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post #1 of 4 Old 03-28-10, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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PlayStation Move Hands-On Impressions

PlayStation Move Hands-On Impressions
03/27/2010 Written by Anthony Severino

When the PlayStation Move was first revealed during E3 2009, its precise 1:1 tracking won over fans and critics alike. With a Fall release date looming, Sony is set to deliver over 20 games at launch with over 36 publishers supporting the device. This is no accessory or peripheral, this is the “de-facto” PS3 controller along side the Dualshock 3. After getting some time with Move it seems to be taking shape as a platform, rather than just a controller.

During the PlayStation Blog’s PAX East Meet-up in Boston, MA, was my chance to get hands-on time with the highly anticipated PS3 motion controller, the PlayStation Move. Demand was high for the device and there was over 300 in attendance, regardless, I managed to spend an ample amount of time with the upcoming controller. I sampled the available software offerings, as well as a tech demos prepared to show off the Move’s capabilities and unique features.

Introducing, The PlayStation Move

The first thing I noticed about the PlayStation Move was how light weight it was (it’s just under a third of a pound). Which is not as light as the original SIXAXIS controller, but, not much heavier. Thinner than the Wii-mote, the Move is rounded which allows for a better grip and comfort. The bottom of the device has a port for attaching forthcoming accessories that may be released.

PlayStation Move’s signature element is the color changing, glowing orb on top of the wand. This feature makes it instantly recognizable and when paired with the PlayStation Eye allows for 1:1 tracking.

Surprisingly the orb has a rubbery texture; you could squish it and squeeze it in your fingers. Definitely a plus in the event the controller went flying toward your precious HDTVs. The color range helps provide additional feedback as well as the built-in rumble. The orb would indicate attacks or damage with a red flash. Another example was provided via a “painting” tech demo. You could “dip” the PlayStation Move into an on-screen color palette. The orb would change to the corresponding color and you could “draw” with it.

Taking that one step further, you could “dip” and “drag” the PlayStation Move across the color palette, and the orb would change color right along with the color spectrum available in the palette.

The controller features the PlayStation standard face buttons: X, circle, square, triangle as well as the PS (home) button. In addition the controller integrates an eponymous “Move” button with an analog “T”, or trigger button on the backside. Most of the game commands seem to be based around the “Move” and the “T” buttons. Including the face buttons found on a normal PlayStation 3 controller allows the PlayStation Move to work with games that weren’t initially designed for it. The added functionality, allowing for more inputs, commands or menus will certainly serve the core players.

PlayStation Move’s accuracy can not be overstated. Swinging, swaying, tossing, spinning, etc. all produced very impressive results. Every movement or action attempted translated on the screen with great precision and speed. Controller latency has been a concern and Sony R & D’s Anton Mikhailov assured me that it is something they are constantly working on. Recently he revealed latency had been reduced to just one frame and that it had been improved upon since the last showing of the PlayStation Move, just 2 days earlier.

The Games

The available catalog of software to sample was in the alpha stages, very early in the development cycle. Despite this, most things played smoothly with a few minor hiccups. Of the few issues I witnessed most were user error as not everyone was calibrating the controllers when needed. Among the software showcased were Move Party, Sliders, Sports Champions and a bunch of technical demos. Everything available was there to focused on showing off the motion controllers capabilities.

Sports Champions is highly inspired by Wii Sports but in beautiful, full HD. This is an excellent strategy for Sony, because the different sporting events you can play perform much better than Wii Sports. Included in the roundup of sports events is Table Tennis, Archery and more. The most fun and appealing of the available “sports” was Gladiator Duel, a weapon based fighting game where you utilized 2 PlayStation Move controllers and manipulated them on screen as a sword and shield as you battled against fierce warriors.

The crowd was literally cheering as one user was dealing devastating blow, after blow to his AI opponent.

Move Party is a great family friendly motion controlled party game. Of the two “mini-games” I tried, one turned the Move controller into a hair clipper in your hand while you tried to buzz the hair off an on-screen character. The other turned it into a fan and you had to use your fan to “float” baby birds into their nests. The PlayStation Eye is utilized to superimpose yourself into the game which adds to the fun. Certainly not deep hardcore gameplay, but definitely fun and appealing to a wide audience.

One of the more original ideas I have seen in a long time is Sliders. Think: Pain meets Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater with a dash of Kung Fu. Your character zooms down a steep hillside riding on a rolling office chair. You have to dodge obstacles, swerve around corners, and grind rails like you would with a skateboard. Thrusting the Move controller toward the screen would result in a speed boost. The graphics were quite eye catching and detailed for a title such as this. A screwball concept that works overall as it was a fun experience.

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post #2 of 4 Old 03-28-10, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
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Re: PlayStation Move Hands-On Impressions

The Tech Demonstrations

Lastly there was the tech demo kiosk which was manned by Dr. Richard Marks himself. Marks is the manager of SCEA’s “Special Projects” group engaged in research and development. Marks has a PhD from Stanford University in Aerospace Robotics. His thesis was in visual sensing to control underwater robots. His research in visual control is likely what inspired him to invent the EyeToy camera. Marks is now managing PlayStation Move project.

Though Marks did give me and the other patient attendees the chance to try some of the tech demos it was much more interesting to see him use it. He knew all the ins and outs and was able to really show off what Move was capable of. The tech demo allowed you to swing swords, bats, even the Sony “make.believe” logo around. There was also a very basic painting demo, an RTS demo that allowed you to switch between a top down view and a first person view, and some sort of snake skeleton fighting demo which did a great job at showing just how fast the controller reacts. Also demonstrated was the device’s camera mode, which let one of the PlayStation Move controllers act as a camera into the screen. You could look around, pan forward and back, all by moving the controller. Marks mentioned that this camera mode would work particularly well with survival horror games, giving you a real sense of being “in the game”. We could think of dozens of other unique possibilities with the camera mode alone. The tech demos were by far the most interesting of what was available at the event, because each demo was specifically designed for the sole purpose of showing off the seemingly endless possibilities of the PlayStation Move.

In Conclusion

Overall, the PlayStation Move is a awesome concept and a diligent work in progress. The games and the device are still a ways off from being the polished product set to launch this fall. That being said, if the controller in its current form works extremely well and the precision is uncanny. One could only imagine how accurate it will be when it hits retail shelves in time for the holidays. Move does about anything and everything you throw at it, fits your hand perfectly, and a delight to play with. After using the controller it was apparent PlayStation Move is filled with endless potential. Sony is intimately aware of this which explains their strategy to position PlayStation Move as a complete platform rather than a peripheral.

The PlayStation Move is the paintbrush to the PS3 canvas. The artists and developers ultimately are tasked with creating the masterpieces, not the device itself. The possibilities are limitless, the capabilities are there, it’s just a matter of someone tapping into it and doing something really unique and amazing.

The PlayStation Move controller releases in this autumn. Stay connected to PlayStation LifeStyle for continued updates and our informed commentary.

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Source: PSLS

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
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post #3 of 4 Old 05-18-10, 06:27 PM
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Re: PlayStation Move Hands-On Impressions

wow. killer post. im new to the forum, but this is quality. thanks

the one thing i was disappointed to read was that you cant have 4 simultaneous players due to each player requiring 2 bluetooth channels.
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post #4 of 4 Old 09-20-10, 01:55 PM
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Smile Re: PlayStation Move Hands-On Impressions

We picked up the move on Friday and we love it!! I really cant see us using our Wii any more.....

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