At the Game Developer’s Conference today, Sony held a press conference where the name of its long-discussed motion controlling wand device was unveiled: PlayStation Move. The device has some obvious similarities to the Wii Remote, but it takes the same basic technology to sophisticated new heights, thanks to the PS3’s tremendous horsepower.
The PSMove is made up of three integral devices: the PlayStation Eye camera, which has been around for a while now, and is used by the Move to track positioning; the primary PSMove controller, a wireless device that looks like a more ergonomic, black Wiimote with a color-changing ball on the end; and the PSMove sub-controller, a secondary controller that’s essentially a wireless nunchuck.
Sony’s pulling out all the stops in promoting the new controller, hyping it like a full-out console launch. At least twenty games are planned for release this year that are made specifically to support the Move, and other popular titles like the PS3 juggernaut LittleBigPlanet will also be made compatible with the PSMove.
The PlayStation Move’s specs and design are powerful and appealing, but fundamentally, it’s the same basic idea as the Wii — two controllers, one in each hand, swung around in conjunction with button and trigger mashing. For Nintendo’s part, the Wii continues to sell well among casual gamers, but the hardcore set has largely grown bored with its low-res graphics and gimmick-filled library of titles (can you say “mini-games”?). Microsoft’s Project Natal, by contrast, represents something altogether more intuitive and potentially paradigm-shifting, dropping all handheld devices and transforming your entire body into the controller.
One thing the PlayStation Move has going for it is that when Sony releases the Move this fall, it’s planning a sub-$100 price point for a package that will include the PS Eye, both Move controllers, and a TBA game. That’s a sweet little pricetag in the midst of this dreadful recession.
Still, will the PlayStation Move turn out to be anything more than Wii: the Next Generation? I have my doubts.