With the console arena going through some pains owing to the innovative motion controls recently, the Wii seems to have obviously blazed the track in this regard. It is really surprising taking into consideration that the Wii has been on sale for nearly four years, and only now are we seeing some true competition from the rivals of Nintendo. Well, that is of course considering the half-cooked motion controls of Six axis, it sure is a smart move from Sony to take its own sweet time in designing the PlayStation Move post its initial unveiling about 16 months ago.
As far as the design is concerned, it is not that hard to realise that Move has bought the concept of remote style controller that Nintento started off, but the company has made its own se of changes. This Move controller is made out of matte black plastic and also has a rounded, sleek design which complements the latest PS3 consoles.
The Glowing Ball:
The most noticeable fact about Move’s primary controller is the glowing ball on top, well, no prizes for guessing that. That is not decorative as that is how the Move system keeps track of the motion-controller’s location. When the controller is not active, the orb is soft white, translucent, and looks like the identical twin of a ping-pong ball and it is actually about the same size as one, too. With the controller in full use, the ball lights up in a range of colours allowing it to be tracked by the PlayStation Eye camera. Though the ball seems to be a weak point, with the controller brushing against a lamp or wall or your buddy’s skull for that matter, the spongy thing just pops right back into shape post the impact.
The rest of the Sony PlayStation Move controller has more of an organic look than the Wii remote. It is curvy and becomes slightly thinner in the middle, presumably to be more ergonomic. In the front, you will find the four familiar PlayStation face buttons. However, the fact that they are arranged in a square, rather than a diamond, makes it quite hard to remember which one is where for a while. In between those, you will find the Move button, which is the new inclusion of a thumb size that is obviously the Wii remote’s chunky A button in this Move version.
Controls and Slots:
Beneath those sits the PS button offering a functionality akin to the SixAxis or DualShock 3 or controller – popping up the Xcross Menu Bar. Sitting in a concave position, it smartly averts accidental presses. The controller’s underside for the most part is clear but for a trigger called the T button. This is analogue, akin to right/left triggers featured in the Xbox 360 controller or L2/R2 seen in the DualShock 3, quite the reverse of the crisp clicky button B on the Wii. In the left-hand side, you will find the Select button, which is quite hard to hit, but is rarely needed. On the right side, there is the Start button, which has greater chances of being pressed accidentally, depending on your hold over the controller, though it only happens occasionally. At the base of the Move Controller, you will find a microUSB port for charging, a slot for the provided wrist straps, and there are even two mystery connectors, which we imagine, could be used for accessories in the future.
Feel and Comfort:
To begin with, the Move controller might feel a bit more comfortable than the Wii remote and it is not that wiimote is uncomfortable, but the roundness of Move does help the controller sit neatly in the hand. That said, you get to realize the difference like the Move being faster with prolonged usage, and guess you will have to thank its shape for it. The tapered middle indicates that you are gripping the Wii’s controller harder than required, particularly games that require a hard swing. You realize this a tad earlier with the discomfort creeping in your wrist than it normally does generally while playing an equivalent game in the Wii Sports Resort. Well, to be precise we are definitely not branding the Move as uncomfortable, painful or messy, that is, provided you are not suffering from joint problems to begin with. Also we are definitely not suggesting it to be less comfortable as against the Wii remote, like mentioned already, it definitely seems better to be held, only that it might not be an ideal for demanding wrist games or for prolonged periods.
There are few other characteristics about the Move’s design that seem kind of odd to us. We were just wondering why has Sony added a new button with the Move logo which can just be a squiggly line, so does not jump out at you on-screen, when Sony could have just used X or Circle?
The distracting globe:
As you can imagine, the tiny light globe on the controller proved to be quite distracting, especially with someone else gaming with two controllers, your eyes naturally gets distracted and for the most part is drawn towards it. With the Wii remote designed to be almost inconspicuous, it sure does gel in with you TV remotes and almost vanishes in the hand with it being held, but then this doesn’t hide the fact of it being a bit gaudy. On the flip side, motion controlled gaming has always been associated with a weird factor to it and never has the wild flailing been dignified prior to the addition of the glowing ball. So, guess we are better off being happy with the supplementary possibilities and accuracy that it offers.
The Move’s design is very much like the Wii than the Kinect. Let alone the glowing globe, the company is mainly looking to take the high end technological road, as in the case of all of the PS3 stuff, and take on the Wii in the field of precision and movement accuracy. The technology used very similar to that of Nintendo’s, but on steroids. If you are not conscious, Wii’s sensor bar, which is placed by the TV releases IR lights that the camera in the Wii Remote identifies in order for the pointer to function. The Move actually flips this around, with a camera next to the TV picking up the glowing ball on the end of the controller. The PS3 can then measure distance from the controller using the size of the ball as a reference. The Move controller also has all of the movement sensing bells and whistles of the Wii remote and MotionPlus attachment.
If you are in search for some extra control, the company has also some additional peripherals that connect wireless to the controller, known as the navigation controller. Their functionality seem to be very much same as that of the nunchuck of Wii, offering an analogue controller, 2 analogue trigger keys, a D Pad, X and O buttons and a PS button too. Again, if the navigation controller doesn’t seem like a fair buy, a conventional DualShock 3 controller (wireless) would also suffice. Note that, if you are planning to use Navigation Controllers together with the Move controllers, you might want to be aware of the fact that only 2 controller sets get going at a time with the navigation controller occupying a slot all for itself. Hence, while with the Wiimote and nunchuk, 4 of you can play, Move will allow just 2 of you.
While playing a few games with the Move, that were compatible with the controller, we felt a bit limited by the way it was programmed. Unfortunately, this is the biggest quibbles of Wii and also the mammoth problem with the games that use motion sensing in a way that should have actually been done with buttons. That said, the good news is, we are very impressed with the Move, however, it still requires careful implementation. Its ball provides you with the type of accuracy that goes beyond what the Wiimote is actually capable off. While it is not as accurate as a mouse, it is accurate enough that it is capable of some real strategy games. The ball is used as the pointer, but often has a very narrow field when compared to the Wii. Though this is not so bad, it makes navigation through menus quite hard than what you are used to. We should also mention here that it is just perfect at larger distances than what the wiimote can do.
The distance issue:
If you are a Wii user, you will be aware that if you are a Wii user, you will be able to walk into another room and bowl if you wished to, but the case here hardly comes close to this. As a matter of fact if the camera’s field of view is left with the active controller, it ceases all functions inclusive of the buttons. While a major criticism of the Kinect is the lack of space to use it, this kind of goes true with the Move’s controller as well. For instance, the ‘Sports Champions’ requires you to stand 2.5 meter or 8 ft away from the TV and yet you are expected to step back and swing up arms in a full circle. While this will not be an issue on the first case, but in most cases it means that people will have to shift the lounge furniture back by a few feet every time we wished to play, and there is no doubt in the fact that you have to get rid of the hefty coffee table. It is true that you will always have to make some room when playing any game for that matter, but it is nothing like this. And remember, we are talking about the lounges here and these kind of restrictions will simply rule out playing Sports Champions in bedrooms.
The ball and camera restriction:
You might be wondering, why should this hassle with Move while it worked for Wii, a far more energetic and active gaming that could easily be played in the comforts of your recliner or just standing without much of this fuss. Well, it is actually the constraint of the ball and camera system. You should be able to swing your arm well out regularly, and still be on camera. This restriction also follows through into some of the multiplayer games. You will be just fine once you have managed to make enough space if only two of you are playing. Try playing a four-player game like Volleyball where it requires all of you to be on camera together, it proves to be an absolute massacre.
You will be disappointed to know that it is not just Sport Champions that causes the distance issue, because, with the ‘Start the Party!’ game, you will find yourself far too back. This game makes use of the camera and Move controller for amplified reality WarioWare kind of party games, so each player has to be quite close to the camera to be the right size on the display. This discrepancy in distance is another give up for the accuracy on offer, but it is simply a trouble that you will not have to deal with the Wii.
The biggest plus of the Sony Playstation Move Game Controller is its incredible accuracy. The additional reality devices move accurately with the device. Though the controller seems comfy, that is not the case with prolonged sessions or hard swinging games as mentioned already. The glowing ball definitely looks ridiculous, but guess that is price you end up paying for your accuracy.
Sony PlayStation Move comes with one year manufacturer’s warranty for parts and labour.
The Move has got its own pros and cons over the Wiimote. This orb provides you with a great deal of accuracy than the Wii and this preciseness is more than that of what Wii can do with the help of its motion sensor. However, the orb at times looks like a restriction to the controller too. This restricted confined area of the camera is great for one or a pair, but for group gaming, it is a no no. We hope the game programmers of the future will drop the too much reliance on the camera and a range of motion sensors. On the same note, while the precise detection of the depth of the Move is great for a few games, its inconsistency of distance is not that great.
As a gaming gadget, we can recommend the Move to the owners of the PS3. The motion gaming part of industry is increasing at a rapid pace and we can be certain that it is not going off anytime soon. The only main factor that will be troubling most consumers is its steep cost, considering that it is just an optional accessory for the gadget. However, those who make up their mind to buy it will not be disappointed.
Sony PlayStation Move Game Controller – Technical Specification Table
|Model Name||PlayStation Move|
|Accessory type||Motion controller|
|Supported game console||Sony PlayStation|
|Dimensions (H x D)||200mm × 46mm|
|Motion controller||Three-axis gyroscope
Terrestrial magnetic field sensor
Colour-changing sphere for Playstation Eye tracking
|Sub-controller||Built-in lithium-ion rechargeable battery
2 DUALSHOCK or SIXAXIS Wireless Controller replacement capability.
|PlayStation Eye||Built-in four-capsule microphone array
Background noise suppression
|Playstation eye resolution||60 Hz – 640×480 pixels
120 Hz – 320×240 pixels
|Features||Accurately reads each player’s position
Head tracking for reading upper body movement
Zoom lens for close-up or full body options
Allows players to create a lifelike avatar of themselves in compatible games
Use for in-game chat and voice commands
Video chat with up to 6 people at a time
120 frames/second for pristine video quality
Sound quality is crystal clear with the built-in 4 microphone array
|SNR (sound to noise ratio)||90 decibels|
|Battery||Built-in, rechargeable lithium-ion batter|
|Connectivity options||USB 2.0|
|Warranty||1-year limited hardware warranty|