Review : PlayStation Move

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While the Wii started this crazy phase, Sony and Microsoft have waited years to perfect their own solutions – and they come out this year. Sony, however, has gotten theirs out of the gate first with their PLAYSTATION MOVE, using the magical wand-like controller to interact with the game.

However, does it work? Is it really that fun to use for gaming? Read on.

  • Score:

    7.0 / 10

  • The Good:

    Very precise; True 1:1 Gameplay; You can be shown on the screen.

  • The Bad:

    Might not work in well-lit rooms; Calibration required before each game; 2 controller limit in some games.

  • Bottom Line:

    Great hardware with potential, though it’s not present currently.

What’s In The Box

Please note: the review unit given to us has a slightly different configuration as mentioned in the review. The editor has taken this into consideration when writing his review.

In the Starter Bundle (AU), you will get the controller plus a PlayStation Eye Camera. Also included are wrist straps and a demo disc. Sadly, unlike the US starter kit, you don’t get a full game in the bundle. The US version comes with Sports Champions, while the rest of us have to fork out $59.95 for any games other than what comes on the demo disc.

If you already have a PS Eye, not to be mistaken with the PS2 Eye-Toy, you can just pick up a Move controller for $69.95 but this won’t come with the demo disc. You can download most of the demos included on the disc from the PlayStation Store, but whether the bandwidth required for these demos is worth the $20 or not is up to you.

Also available is a PlayStation Move Navigation controller for $49.95. We didn’t get one, but it does look like you’ll have to pick this up for controlling a few games, like Killzone 3, or you can just hold the DualShock 3 with one hand. Uncomfortable, but free!

Set-Up

Setting up your PlayStation Move for the first time is relatively easy.

Just plug a USB cable into the Move controller and press the PS-Button to sync with your PS3. Our kit didn’t include a USB cable and neither does the Retail Starter Bundle, so you might want to buy one if you don’t already have a million of them like I do.

Once that’s done the Move will now be linked to your PS3 for wireless goodness! You might have to charge it out of the box though.

Next you need to plug in the PS Eye to one of the USB ports on your PS3. The camera isn’t wireless and must remain plugged in to play most Move games, meaning PS3’s with only two USB ports could be become a bit congested.

Hardware

First off, the PlayStation Move motion controller looks and feels great.

On the top of the motion controller is an orb which glows a whole range of colours using LED’s. It’s not a hard plastic, which is what I thought it would be, and is instead a soft material that can be squeezed. Yay! The different colours aren’t all just for show though.

Depending on your environment, the colour of the orb will change for better tracking from the PS Eye. So if your wall is yellow, the controller might go red so that it doesn’t blend in. The camera also looks at the size of the orb and uses the information to see how far away from the TV you are. It’s all very smart, precise and complicated but thankfully works brilliantly. And with all this technology under its belt and after playing a fare bit with it, I can say that the Move is so much more precise than the Wii and supports true 1:1 gameplay; meaning playing table tennis is actually like playing table tennis and not just a waggle-fest.

With all of this 1:1 gameplay, moving the Move controller in 3D space is super cool.

The Move is comfortable to hold too. Your hand just wraps around it and every button is in the perfect place. Well, nearly every button. The Start and Select buttons are in a really weird position, meaning pausing the game can be a bit of a struggle, especially in an intense part of a game.

The , , and buttons are also not in their normal diamond formation, instead changing into a square position.

There is also a middle button with the PlayStation Move logo on it. This button acts as an OK button in most games, just like the button. It seems a bit pointless though. I mean, why didn’t they just make it a big button?

The Move’s not heavy either and packs a 3-axis accelerometer and a 3-axis gyro, as well as the PlayStation Eye tracking, all in a light device. It also supports rumble feedback, but lacks the Wii-Mote style speaker.

And even with all this under the hood, it still gets a solid battery with around 9-hours of life. And instead of getting AA’s to charge the Move, you just charge via a USB port with its inbuilt rechargeable battery.

Instead of two and triggers, you get a single T trigger, which has exactly the same squishy feeling of the DualShock 3’s L2 and R2 triggers and feels great in my opinion.

On the bottom of the Move is a Mini USB port and a proprietary port (labelled EXT), which will probably be used for accessories, like the shooting attachment which is coming out soon. This could open up a world of possibilities for future titles.

An annoying thing about the Move is that before you play any game, the PlayStation Move must be calibrated, even if you’ve played the game before. So every time I played ‘Start The Party’ I had to calibrate the Move. Thankfully calibration only required pointing the Move to the camera and pressing the Move button in the games we played, but other games might require more work. This is required so that the ball on the

top of the Move can change colours and be seen better by the Eye.

My biggest issue with the hardware was that the Move Controller doesn’t work in a well-lit room. And the strange thing is that some games worked better with a bright room than others. The reason why that is the Eye can’t see the coloured ball on the top of the Move Controller. This is a bigger issue than you may think, as lots of people won’t be prepared to change their living room set-ups for a game controller.

Another issue could be that you are limited to using either 4 PlayStation Move controllers or just 2 PlayStation Move + Navigation controllers, meaning games might not be as social as they look. We aren’t sure whether this is a hardware limit or whether it just doesn’t work well with heaps of players, but this rules out some games from local multiplayer support.

I’m only going to be brief with my PlayStation Eye impressions.

The camera that tracks the Move does feel a bit flimsy, probably because moving it makes a rattling noise. But it is a great piece of hardware. It has a microphone, meaning games can support voice capabilities. And the camera quality is actually pretty fine. Sure, it’s not HD, but it’s better than the EyeToy camera and gets a resolution of up to 640×480 at 60FPS or 320×240 at 120FPS. Basically, you get what you pay for. An alright camera at a good price. And it’s not like it needs to be HD anyway.

Launch Titles

Below is a list of the PlayStation Move launch games:

  • Sports Champions
  • Start The Party!
  • EyePet Move Edition (patch also available for original game)
  • R.U.S.E.
  • Kung Fu Rider
  • Flight Control (PSN)

Also coming later this year are:

  • The Shoot
  • TV Superstars
  • The Fight
  • SingStar Dance
  • Time Crisis

There are also plenty of games coming out next year too, like ‘Killzone 3’ and ‘SOCOM Special Forces’ but so far all of the released games are aimed at the casual market, which could disappoint some gamers looking for a more hardcore experience.

Wrap-Up

In conclusion, the PlayStation Move is a great piece of hardware and as long as some good games eventually come, I’d be prepared to get one. The problem is that there are not too many games targeted at the hardcore market yet, so you may want to keep the money in your pocket until more games are announced.

Another issue though is whether you have much light in your TV room. If you do, you’ll have to play your games at night or in the morning/afternoon.

When it’s working though, it really precise and fun to use. And kids will just love games like ‘EyePet’ and ‘Start The Party!’ Because unlike the Wii you’re shown on the screen.

There is still plenty of potential as long as Sony doesn’t stuff anything up  and I’m looking forward to seeing what cool stuff developers come up with.