While Microsoft decided to go with a totally new system for its motion controller, ending up with a product unlike any of us have seen before in a gaming system. As our own Jon Rettinger pointed out in a recent video, Sony decided to play it safe with its controller, the Playstation Move. The question is, did they play it too safe? Is it too much like the Nintendo Wii’s controllers for anyone to care?
The biggest difference between the Wii and Move is going to be in the games. While the Wii has added more “traditional” games over its lifespan, all of them have been designed with motion controllers in mind. Sony’s games thus far are being labeled as “Move compatible”, and that’s troublesome on some level.
With the games labeled as just being “compatible” with Move as opposed to “Move required”, it makes you wonder if the controllers are really going to give you that much of a true experience. Is it a feature that has just been slapped on to the game, or will it be a smooth transition?
I think the true test of how well Move works won’t come until we get games built specifically for it, but will designers be willing to invest that much money into it without knowing how it will be received? This is actually an issue for both the Move and Kinect, but Microsoft has already got numerous Kinect-only games lined up, so obviously they have convinced at least a few.
Then there is the design issue. Will your average buyer look at it and think it looks too much like the Wii? Imagine kids asking for this for Christmas, and they already have a Wii in the house. Can you imagine how many parents will go, “Joey already has this, why is he asking for this Move thing now?”
Course, Sony isn’t helping this issue either. The image shown here in this article shows one of the original publicity shots for the Wii controller, and below it is a recent publicity shot for the Move. True, there are only so many ways you can show off a controller, but when about the only difference between the two is the angle of the left hand, you just have to go, “Really? That’s the best you could do?”
While the Kinect has a long road ahead of it due to price, the Move may have just as many problems ahead of it due to its design, possible confusion in the marketplace and the games only being “compatible” for now.
What say you? Did Sony play it too safe?