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Sony Playstation Move: Details and Games

Rumors have been abuzz on the internet for quite some time, speculating that Sony’s motion control system would be called the Gem or the Arc. None were right though, as Sony announced at the GDC that it will officially be called the Playstation Move. The Playstation Move takes on the Nintendo Wii dominated motion-sensing market, and is supposed to be more accurate.

The Playstation Move will utilize the Playstation Eye camera for precise motion-controlled. It comes with a Wii Nunchuk-like subcontroller which has a d-pad and analog stick, but no motion sensor. Unlike the Wii, the controller and subcontroller do not tether together. Both the controller and subcontroller utilize the same lithium ion battery that the regular PS3 controllers use, chargeable by connecting using the mini-USB cable. (Compare to AA batteries of the Wii) They connect to the Playstation 3 consoles wirelessly using Bluetooth.

The motion capability in the controller uses a three-axis gyroscope, a three-axis accelerometer, colored sphere and a terrestrial magnetic field sensor to pin-point its location.The colored sphere is what the Playstation Eye uses to detect the presence of the Move. It changes colors based on the Eye’s detection of colors in the background i.e. if there is no orange in the background the sphere may be orange. It can also sense depth on the Z-plane because of the colored sphere and the Eye camera.

The Playstation 3 will allow only four peripherals at a time, i.e. four Move controllers at one time, or two controller + subcontroller sets.

It will be available in three packages, a stand-alone package for those who already have a Playstation Eye, a starter kit with the Move wand, the Playstation Eye and a game, and an ultimate bundle with a Playstation 3 console. Pricing and availability has not yet been determined but Sony is hoping to get the starter kit in under $100. It is slated for release sometime this fall.

Sony will be releasing a motion-control game similar to that of Wii Sports, called Sports Champion which contains events such as Gladiator Duels, Table Tennis, Frisbee Golf, Archery, Beach Volleyball and Bocci. First impressions of the Gladiator Duel event that was showcased at the GDC were that it required more finesse and skill than that of the Swordplay in Wii Sports Resort. It comes with a selection of enemies, unlockable weapons, and action-game fashioned graphics.

While some of the games with motion-control support are more family friendly such as Move Party, Little Big Planet and Eyepet, players can expect other games to be more adult-oriented like SOCOM 4. According to Sony, 20 titles will be available for the Move by the end of (fiscal) 2010, and 36 companies have signed on for development of Move games including Disney, EA, Capcom, Konami, Sega, Ubisoft, and more.

The Playstation Move comes as a direct competitor to the success of the Nintedo Wii’s motion-system. The Move is hoping to make the Playstation 3 more family-friendly.

It won’t be without competition, though. Microsoft’s Project Natal is still lacking details and is expected to release around the same time as the Move.

 

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