Itís no secret that the classic video game controller simply isnít for everyone. Manipulating and coordinating dual analog sticks, as well as a multitude of face buttons, shoulder buttons and buttons within buttons (okay I made that last one up, but I wouldnít put it past console developers), all in furious real time is a task some gamers, particularly those who didnít grow up gaming, simply cannot manage.
While not every game requires deft control of multiple buttons and razor sharp reflexes, gaming was moving towards an era of greater and greater complexity, and many were getting left behind in the dust. Then along came the Nintendo Wii, with its revolutionary control scheme the Wiimote. The Wii Remote and Nunchuk combo allowed gamers with little to no experience playing games, and most importantly, those who werenít necessarily as coordinated at using controllers, the ability to play pretty much any game they wished. This led to the Wii being an instant sensation, and striking a chord with casual gamers that neither the Xbox 360 nor the PlayStation 3 could do with their traditional control methods. Even handheld systems like the Nintendo DS and Appleís iPhone have largely ditched traditional controls in favour of easily used and mastered controls.
Naturally, Sony and Microsoft both saw great potential (and plenty of money to be had) to move into motion control-based gaming themselves, and have since readied their own devices to compete with the Wii. Sonyís PlayStation Move and Microsoftís Project Natal will both release towards the back end of 2010, and should help steal some of Nintendoís thunder (and money).
Sonyís PlayStation Move appears to be quite similar to the Wiiís control system on the surface. When it launches in mid to late 2010, the device will come with two different controllers, the navigation controller, and the motion controller. These two devices will be used in tandem to control the action onscreen.
The motion controller, with its distinctive orb affixed atop it, will work in conjunction with a PlayStation Eye camera to track motion in 3D, translating that motion to the in-game action. Each of the two control devices contains a few additional buttons, with the navigation controller also housing a D-Pad and analog stick.
Early reviews of the device have been largely positive. One of the most notable points of discussion is the light weight of both controllers, in contrast to the Wiimote, whose heft often causes gamers to grow weary after a few play sessions. The accuracy and speed of the controllers were seen as a positive, though there is definite room for improvement as the devices continue to be tested and calibrated, and developers work their use into their upcoming games.
Again though, the real question is not so much the exact specifics of how the device will function, but rather how games will play using it, and what innovations, if any, will be brought to the table in comparison to the Wii and Microsoftís Project Natal. While each device will have its own unique feel, and naturally its own unique games, thereís really nothing to suggest one will be head and shoulders above the other, or do things the others wonít.
As one who was never all that interested in the Wiiís control scheme, or the PS2ís EyeToy before it for that matter, all the hype about the PlayStation Move and Project Natal have been somewhat lost on me. It simply doesnít make sense to me that people can criticize the Wii on the one hand, but then get all stoked about Natal and/or the PlayStation Move on the other hand, when theyíre all largely the same thing. Thatís not to say Iím not interested in these new devices, as I will try them all and hope they provide something to really get me excited about, but ultimately I have a feeling Iíll walk away largely unimpressed and uninterested in what these devices can do.
What about you? Is anyone truly pumped for the Move, and the possibility of having Wii-style games on the PlayStation 3? Do you think motion controlled gaming is here to stay, and could possibly be the standard control setup for the PlayStation 4?
Move is definitely a step in the right direction for Playstation, however i will not be buying it. My main reason for this is that only select games will be able to use the Move controller, surely it could be possible to allow Move to be used for all games considering that the controller with the sub-controller has all the buttons on the dual-shock 3 and sixaxis, its just that 1 analog stick has become "wii like".
Bought it, enjoyed it, but I believe more games really need to be developed for it.