Playstation Move Review

Motion control is not for everyone. I think that after several years now of the Wii’s initial success and the cashing in on the trend by both Microsoft and Sony we can safely say that those who want motion control now have and use motion control. Here focus will be solely on Sony’s system – the Playstation Move.

In terms of hardware Move ships in three parts – the Wand, the Nav Controller and the Playstation Eye Camera.

The first of these, the Wand is a ~20cm long stick, bowed slightly around the centre to be more comfortable to hold and has in a glossy finish which feels slightly smoother than that of the Dualshock 3. At the base of the wand there is a micro-usb port for charging and assignment and an attachment for the adjustable wrist strap. On the front of the device there is a new large new ‘Move’ button which often functions as a specialised X button, around it arranged the four face buttons which are much smaller than normal and can’t be depressed as heavily as those on the normal controllers choosing instead to be more stiffer and have a click to them. Below these there is the standard PS button. All of these are positioned to be operated with the thumb.

The first finger is used to control a large trigger, curved outwards to be much more trigger-ish than those on the Dualshock and Sixaxis. On the left and right of the wand are the Select and Start buttons, mounted at the same height as the Move button, around 2cm below the large ping-pong ball sized hollow rubber ball which lights up a certain colour chosen by the camera to stand out from your surroundings.

Whilst the wand is mandatory for and PS Move game the second component; the Nav Controller is not and can be replaced by the left hand side of a Dualshock. The controller itself is around 15cm long and is a tapering stick, again bowed in the middle for grip. Like the wand it has a trigger on the reverse and a PS Button on the front. Specific to the Nav controller is a smaller analogue stick with more wiggle room than those on the Dualshock below which are an X and O face button. Below these are a set of D-Pad buttons, again being stiffer than their non-motion sensing counterparts.

The final component is the old Playstation Eye Camera which can be placed above or below your TV set and tracks the movements of the lit up Wand. The rubber feet on the underside are useful for holding onto the top of sloping TVs.

Use of the system is very easy, all the held components are comfortable to use, even over extended periods with them sitting comfortably in the hands and furthermore both are fully ambidextrous so even a lefty like me can use them easily with games asking your handedness during a setup. The wrist strap isn’t irritating, providing it isn’t tightened too much.

There are now a fair few games that support move, with varying results. We’ve used it with a number of titles now of different genres, as mentioned in the Resistance 3 Review, and whilst it is a substitute for conventional means, a controller tends to be a better choice. That being said it is possible to achieve good levels of precision with the system and it is actually pretty fun to use with games such as MAG and some of the smaller third party titles. There are a number of attachments which go a good way to helping give a better degree of precision and at the same time look badass - the Sharpshooter being the best of these.

In fact some genuine fun is to be had with this motion control system, a statement I never thought I would utter. The gladiator arena part of Sports Champions is an excellent example of this and had myself and three other serious gamers jumping around my living room, the system proving absolutely fantastic for 1-1 movement tracking. It is this precision tracking that makes the system great to use, when your movements transfer perfectly onto screen it makes mini-games like Archery and Petanque actually mean something and there is an actual level of skill to timing and performing actions.

The library of titles for Move is constantly growing, and unlike other motion sensing systems isn’t shoved up your nose at every opportunity, with preference being given to standard control systems.

Final Thoughts

Move is; as all these types of things are, a party piece. There are some games in which it is really fun to use, and others where it can be used but often shouldn’t. It adds a degree of accessibility to for gamers who don’t fancy the traditional set-up but doesn’t detract from times when a controller is a better bet.

In terms of performance Move does well to replicate the precision control offered by the Dualshock and the 1-1 tracking it offers makes games such as sword fighting and archery very satisfying, seeing a swing of the wand replicated exactly into a slash of a sword which is then parried by a well timed shield block was the first time any motion control system actually gave a sense of fulfilment. It might be worth picking up a second wand straight away as some games require two for best performance.

If you are after a bit of fun for yourself and some friends or have a younger audience to entertain Playstation Move is a fantastic choice – it even got Mr I-Ain’t-No-Casual-Gamer here of the sofa for a bit of arm swinging!

Buy: PlayStation Move Starter Pack with PlayStation Eye Camera, Move Controller and Starter Disc (PS3)

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