The Playstation Move is Sony's answer to the Nintendo Wii and Microsoft's upcomingKinect. It is a motion sensor game system coming in September 2010. I hosted a Houseparty to celebrate its release and received mine a full month before the real release date.
Unlike the Wii, the Playstation Move is not a self-contained console but is an accessory to add to your Playstation 3 unit. To use it, you need the Playstation Eye, which is a camera and the handheld motion controllers. Some games may also need a Navigation Controller and I am sure as new games come out, new accessories are sure to follow.
So, what's my family's impression? Well, the technology is pretty amazing but unfortunately Sony limited how we got to use it since we were only sent demo versions of games instead of real full games to try. Some of these games allowed us to see one or two segments of what the finished games will look like and others were clearly labeled that they were not the last versions of the games that would be released. From what we were able to see while trying the games they sent, I must say we were disappointed in them and felt they did not give us a good representation of what the system is capable of. We felt the games were cheesy, childish and were not even engaging enough to hold my children's attention, let alone the adults. Of the ones they sent, I cannot see us going out and purchasing any of them. That said, as new franchise action games come out with familiar characters and not these games made for the new system where you do silly tasks like paint objects on the screen and add music to it, I'm sure it will be more entertaining to play.
Now, let's move on to the individual components. The controllers for the Move are round and shaped like microphones with a rubber ball on the end that glows in different colors during game play. They are rechargeable right through the PS3 so there are no batteries to buy or separate charging stations to use. There are however charging stations available for sale so you can charge more than one at a time. The glowing balls allow the Eye to track each player's movements in the game and look pretty cool too. The controllers are a little big though and for people with smaller hands, they might be difficult to hold. There is a wrist strap attached to keep them from flying off when you are playing and the system can support up to 4 controllers at a time for multi player games. The biggest problem with the controllers is the number of buttons and their placement. The buttons are spread out, hard to find during play and there is no consistency between which buttons you need to use from game to game.
The Playstation Eye is the camera unit made just for the PS3 and the Move. It tracks the controllers and has a 640 x 480, 60 FPS video feed that displays pictures of you directly in the game. It's this feature that most sets the Playstation Move apart from the Wii. The biggest problem with it is getting the lighting in your room just right so your picture is not grainy. You also have to pay attention to where the light is coming from as too much background lighting will prevent accurate reads from the controllers. The Eye comes with downloadable software that allows you to save pictures, videos and audio clips on to your PS3 where you can add special effects and edit them into movies. We have not tried it yet but it sounds like a fun project.
The biggest issue we have had with the system is how exact it is. For each game, you need to calibrate the controllers for each player. For some games this is as easy as pointing the controller towards the screen and hitting a button. For other games, your image is projected on the screen and you have to physically stand within certain boxes shown and hold the controller at different points of your body while pressing buttons. During play, you will then need to stand in the same place where you set it in order for the game movements to work correctly. While I understand this is what makes the system incredibly exact, my kids hate it and think it's a hassle. Now, we have based this on playing several different demo games all in one night and we had to change the setting often so I do not think it will be as bad once the real games come out and you are playing one for a while without changing games.
In conclusion, I think this system has great potential but I don't think they are doing it justice with the games that they have selected for the first release.
I personally feel when more games and accessories come out for the system, the possibilities of what it can do will be endless.