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Playstation Move: Just Catch-up, Or Something Truly Unique?

by Sean P. Aune | March 13, 2010March 13, 2010 10:13 am PDT

With Sony finally showing off the Playstation Move, it seems like it is time to ask if the company has truly done anything unique here, or are we just watching the game companies playing catch-up with Nintendo?

Lets face it, the Wii going fully into motion controlling — and showing an impressive number of sales — it shouldn’t be too surprising Microsoft and Sony had to take a hard look at their own systems and see how they could adapt the technology.  While it wasn’t too hard to imagine that the next consoles from both companies would include some form of motion controls, it was a tad bit unexpected that both would opt to add it to the current generation of consoles, and almost at the exact same time.

moveWhile Project Natal from Microsoft was shown off some time ago, we only knew Sony had some sort of controls with colored balls on top of them, but we didn’t have a name or any other information.  With the public demonstration we did see some aspects that were intriguing such as using two of the balled controllers to simulate street fighting.  While the spinning attack the demonstrator did take two attempts to accomplish, it was nothing you could picture the Wii doing, but perhaps the Wii 2?

Seeing the Move used with a game like Socom 4 is something hardcore gamers have been mentioning as what has been missing from the Wii due to Nintendo’s seeming desire to not really promote first person shooters with the system.  (Yes, they exist, but have you really seen them promoted in the same way as games like Mario or Wii Sports?)  Seeing the Move in use though somewhat saddened me.  Yes, they pointed out the game required precision, so you got to see a guy sitting nearly motionless in a chair while playing the game, and with the addition of the sub-controller it felt … well … it felt like I was watching someone play Wii.

Due to the need for precision he had to sit still, and if you’re anything like me when I play Modern Warfare 2, I move around a lot.  I get very animated, but thanks to the Move, I now get to sit perfectly still, but yay, I’m doing it with a motion controller!

The Move feels to me like it is just the Wii with some tweaks, there is nothing surprisingly unique about it, and I am going to have to say “catch-up.”  Will it help eat away at the Wii’s marketshare?  That’s a tough call because I think Sony may be targeting the wrong audience and may have missed part of the point of the Wii: It’s casual gaming that’s helping to sell the system, not just the motion controls.  All we have seen is hardcore gaming entries thus far for the Move, will there be casual, family style games coming down the road?

Sony may have a hard time getting much traction with this because it seems a bit confused for now as to what exactly it is, and what demographic it is aimed at.


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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