Sony has announced the PlayStation Move – also know as “Sony’s Wiimote” or “PlayStation Ice Cream Cone” as I like to call it.
This new motion control for the PS3 from Sony is a hybrid between Microsoft’s Project Natal and Nintendo’s Wiimote. The physical design and layout of the controller duplicates what is essentially the Wiimote (minute the audio I believe) and adds a visual queue to the tip of the wand in the form of a glowing orb that the PS3′s EyeToy uses to track the devices position in 3D space:
I bought my PS3 EyeToy almost 2 years ago with hopes that I could chat with friends — it’s been turned on twice due mostly to how chat is handled on the PS3 (no private chat rooms that you can use to chat with a friend regardless of what each of you are playing).
There are accelerometers inside the ice cream cone that help the PS3 figure out rotation and acceleration in additions to the camera’s ability to position you in the room. My expectation is that Sony’s solution will provide the most accurate 1:1 motion mapping over the Wii and Project Natal’s solutions.
I don’t expect Project Natal to have the ability to track my hand accurately quickly enough during games like tennis to actually give me the effects I want out of a tennis racket (drop shots, spin, etc.) and the Wiimote I already know cannot do this no matter what Nintendo says.
There are a slew of videos from GDC that show the PlayStation Ice Cream Cone being used, here are the top 3 in order of how much they impressed me for your viewing pleasure (each video is only a few mins long):
Table Tennis: Detection of micro-movements seemed strong leading to some real-looking table tennis play. What excites me the most here are his drop shots, big cross-table shots and little finesse shots that all got picked up accurately.
Gladiator: Swinging weapons and blocking with shield were picked up and executed without any hickups noticed. He even swings quickly a few times and it still looks good.
Motion Fighters: I think most of us want to play this type of game with motion controls get good — beating the shit out of someone.
Overall we are impressed with what we saw. And like we mentioned our expectation is that the PlayStation Move will provide the most accurate motion control between the three systems for the immediate future – at least for the next year. We just don’t see how Natal could come close to the speed required for really fast-paced games like tennis or basketball that is required when the person playing gets excited and starts freaking out.
You ever seen someone play Wii Boxing? 1/2 the time they resort to flailing their arms like crazy and the motion detection goes out the window.