Kinect vs. Move vs. Wii

Motion-control schemes will soon be available for the Sony PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, as well as the Nintendo Wii. But out of the PlayStation Move, Kinect and the Nintendo Wii, which will be the best?

PlayStation Move

Kinect vs. Move vs. Wii
PlayStation Move logo

The PlayStation Move can be viewed as an evolution of the Wii Remote — but for a rival console. It allows for far greater precision than its Nintendo predecessor, which translates to more complex and intuitive gaming.

How it works

The PlayStation Move consists of two motion-sensitive control wands which work in conjunction with the PlayStation Eye — a webcam-style camera that sits above your TV.

Kinect vs. Move vs. Wii
PlayStation Move wand and sub-controller

The Move wand accurately tracks your true-to-life actions and then turns them into precise onscreen movements, such as punches, sword strokes, and tennis racket swings. The Move wand also has regular controller buttons for shooting games that require you to pull a trigger.

Sony has also developed a second wand called the sub-controller, which works in a similar fashion to the Wii Nunchuck. The sub-controller has an analog control stick that you hold in one hand while your other hand is busy using the Move wand. This will allow you to easily move your in-game avatars around in action games, for example.

Sony Move
PlayStation Eye

The PSMove will also give you physical feedback, like vibrations, similar to the Dual Shock controllers.

Games

The PlayStation Move is attempting to provide the best of both worlds, with games that appeal to both casual and hardcore gamers. By contrast, the Kinect for Xbox 360 seems to be aimed squarely at families and non-gamers (for the moment, at least).

Some of the new titles in the works include Sports Champions (which features archery, futuristic table tennis, and Roman Empire-style gladiatorial combat), TV Superstars (a series of quiz show-style mini games), a bare-knuckle brawler called The Fight: Lights Out, and the third-person adventure game Sorcery.

Kinect vs. Move vs. Wii
The Fight: Lights Out

Sony will also be re-releasing some regular PlayStation 3 games with added Move-functionality (examples include Heavy Rain and Dead Space: Extraction). Apart from the Move controls, these games will play identically to the originals.

Pros and cons

The main thing that the Sony Move offers over the Wii is better precision. At a recent press conference, Sony demonstrated the scope of the controls with a table tennis game. Subtle shifts in wrist rolling or pitching could produce any of the effects a physical paddle would, from various types of spin to near-court swats and far-court slams. The same level of control simply isn't possible with the Nintendo Wii, which translates to simplified gameplay.

Kinect vs. Move vs. Wii
PlayStation Move wand

On the downside, Sony has a habit of not supporting its peripherals. The PlayStation Eye is a case in point. To date, only a handful of games have been released for the device, despite it being launched in 2007. The same fate befell its PlayStation 2 predecessor, the Sony EyeToy.

Pricing and availability

PlayStation Move solo unit: $69.95 RRP
PlayStation 3 console: from $499 RRP

PlayStation Move will be available from September 2010.

Verdict:

Sony Move

Based on our brief time with the PlayStation Move, Sony seems to have the lag-free precision-tracking down pat. In fact, it arguably trumps either of its competitors. Its challenge: producing more than just one or two games (including retroactively upgraded ones like Heavy Rain) worthy of the technology when it launches on 19 September.

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Tags games consolesgamesnintendo wiiMicrosoft KinectPlayStation Move

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