Sony announced what was then known tentatively as the “Playstation Motion Controller” at E3 last year. Back then, while we didn’t know a lot of the finer details, what we did know was that it appeared to be far more accurate than the Wii Remote, even with motion-plus and that it could provide a more tactile control system for possibly more hardcore type games as well as casual ones. Something that Natal can’t really claim.
A couple of names have been rumoured for the final product since then. Those were Arc and Gem. In the end Sony decided on a simple name that clearly described the purpose of the device.
One of my initial concerns about the move was that they never showed a supplementary device to hold in the other hand with an analogue stick, as Nintendo have with the nunchuk. I feel as if motion control, to be used in a more hardcore way and to provide the best experience, you need to have elements of classic control as part of the overall setup. Sony now have announced their take on the nunchuk formula in the shape of the subcontroller which boasts and analogue stick, a couple of face buttons and possibly a trigger on the back as well as being wireless.
While many will simply say that Sony have stooped to simply copying Nintendo, my view is that a device like this is practically a must have for many types of games. For example, I was a big fan of Grand Slam Tennis on Wii which used a motion-plus remote and nunchuk combo for the optimum control. Having precise analogue stick control of your character makes it easier to focus on your shots and not where your character is standing. My hope is that now EA Sports will be able to simply translate across the same control scheme essentially, but the Move will allow greater accuracy and a more fun tennis experience, while also providing HD graphics and probably better online play. For this type of game, it really removes any chance of me buying the Wii version.
I also loved Tiger Woods 10 on Wii last year. It made great use of motion-plus as well and didn’t use the nunchuk which allowed complete freedom of movement. I expect the PS3 version, which has already been confirmed to support the Move when it is released, to take all the great elements of the Wii version and multiply them.
Of course, not all games are suited to motion control and it’s really personal preference as to whether or not you feel you would rather use classic or motion for different genres. I personally prefer classic control on a lot of my Wii games when given the choice. Mario Kart, F1 and more are much more fun with the more precise duel analogue setup of the classic controller. On the other hand, I can’t imagine playing Excite Truck, Wii Sport and Wii Sports Resort, Boom Blox (and bash party) and others any other way.
Gamers shouldn’t feel threatened by motion control because I’m confident that they won’t become the norm. They will be great in some ways, limiting in others but I think there will be a choice for gamers as to how they play.