Sony PlayStation Move
We've reviewed the Sony PlayStation Move, which offers something for every type of gamer
- Responsive and intuitive gameplay, handsome build quality, caters to all types of gamer
- Setup can be a bit fiddly, needs lots of room for multiplayer games, initial launch line-up contains a few duds
While easy to dismiss as the PlayStation Wii, Sony's new Move controller is a worthy addition to the PS3. It provides a solid gameplay experience for casual and hardcore gamers alike, and the Move games are only going to get better.
Price$ 99.95 (AUD)
The PlayStation Move is attempting to provide the best of both worlds, with games that appeal to both casual and serious gamers. We tested the gadget with a self-confessed 'hardcore gamer' and a child who was all of two years old — neither of whom wanted to stop playing. (For tots, we recommend Start the Party, which consists of simple, colourful mini-games.)
Some of the PlayStation Move's launch titles include Sports Champions (which features archery, table tennis, and gladiatorial combat), Kung Fu Rider (a comedy ride-an-office chair game), a bare-knuckle brawler called The Fight: Lights Out, and the third-person adventure game Sorcery. As you can see, a breadth of gaming styles and genres are being represented.
Sony is also re-releasing select 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. This is achieved via a firmware update, so there's no need to buy the games again if you already own them.
While some of these launch games leave a lot to be desired (Kung Fu Rider is especially poor), they give a good indication of the Move’s potential. Take Sports Champions for example. While the game itself is little more than a casual diversion, it ably demonstrates what can be achieved with the Move controls. The archery event feels incredibly authentic — especially when using two Move controllers (indeed, many Move games are vastly superior with a controller in each hand). Likewise, the gladiator event makes us wonder what Namco could do with this technology. Soul Calibur Move might sound like a gimmick, but it might just work...
As with any new technology, the games on offer will only get better and more sophisticated as time goes on. (Just look at the PlayStation 3's shoddy launch line-up back in 2006.) Sony seems committed to supporting its new peripheral — for starters, it's a sure-fire way to lengthen the lifespan of the console. Even Sony's AAA titles are receiving the Move treatment, such as the hotly anticipated Killzone 3. In short, early Move adopters are going to be pretty spoiled for choice.
Pricing and additional accessories
If you don’t already own a PlayStation Eye camera, you will need to purchase a Move Starter Pack. The Move Starter Pack comes bundled with a PlayStation Eye, one Move controller and a demo disc for $99.95. Additional Move controllers cost $69.99 a pop.
To get the most out of the Move experience — even in single-player — you’ll need at least two Move controllers. This ramps the total cost up to around $170, which does seem pretty steep for an add-on peripheral; especially one that doesn’t come with any games. Throw the navigation controller into the mix and you're looking at over 200 smackaroos. (To be fair, this is around the same price you'd pay for a Guitar Hero instrument bundle.)
There are several accessories available for the PlayStation Move. These include a charging station which lets you charge your Move controllers wirelessly, and a PlayStation Move shooting attachment.
This replicates the look and feel of a handgun and is designed for first-person shooting games. We've only had a brief go on the PlayStation Move shooting attachment, but it seems to replicate the 'light gun' experience well. (Compatible games include Time Crisis: Raising Storm and The Shoot.) A rifle version is also reportedly in the works.
The PlayStation Move strikes a good balance between family fun and 'hardcore' gaming. Sony has clearly gone to pains to provide something for everyone, for which the company should be commended. Some of its games are best left on the shelves, but the same could be said of any video games console. We think it has the potential to be one of the best gaming peripherals this side of the gamepad. Highly recommended.
Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.
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