Sept. 17 (6:30p): Added five additional reviews.
What it is
Sony's answer to Nintendo's Wii, the PlayStation Move is a new motion-sensitive controller, scheduled to arrive in stores Friday in North America (and available since Wednesday in Europe). The Move requires the use of the PlayStation Eye camera, which is one of several methods used to track the location and orientation of the controller as you play. That tracking is enabled by the Move's most distinctive feature: a glowing, squishy rubber orb that sits atop the controller.
The controller also provides both tactile and visual feedback -- the former through vibrations, and the latter by changing the color of the orb in response to actions in a game. And, unlike the Wii controllers, there are no AA batteries required; recharging is done via USB cable (or an optional charging station) as with other PS controllers.
Much like the Wii offers a secondary "nunchuk" controller, Sony is also offering an add-on "navigation" controller. Smaller than the main Move motion controller (and, unlike the nunchuk, completely wireless), the nav controller includes a small joystick, a D-pad, and additional buttons. The navigation controller is not required, since you obviously have a DualShock controller sitting around that can be used instead (though the compact nav controller is a lot easier to use while holding in one hand).
Options for purchasing the Move at launch include:
- One Move controller alone: $49.99
- Starter bundle of one Move controller + PlayStation Eye + Sports Champions: $99.99
- Bundle of one Move controller + PS3 console + PlayStation Eye + Sports Champions: $399.99
If you plan on playing any local multiplayer games, you'll quickly realize that you need a second Move controller, so count on spending an extra $50 in addition to the above prices. And, if you do want the navigation controller add-on, it will run you another $30.
Move-enabled games available at launch include:
Before the end of the year, additional titles such as The Fight: Lights Out will hit the market, while previously-released games like Heavy Rain and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 will be patched to allow Move control. Hardcore gamers may not be satisfied until 2011, however, when SOCOM 4 and Killzone 3 are set to arrive.
What critics are saying
Read through just a few reviews of the PlayStation Move and you'll notice a clear consensus forming: the Move is far superior to the Wii controller (even with Motion Plus) in terms of accuracy, but a lack of any solid launch titles means that there is no compelling reason to purchase the new controller immediately. Critics also are unanimous in finding the initial setup process a snap.
There's more of a debate over whether button placement is ideal, or if the controller's design will remain comfortable over prolonged periods of gameplay, but most critics are generally appreciative of the Move's ergonomics. Some reviewers also had minor issues with inconsistencies from game to game in the distance you are required to be from the Eye camera. And a common (but again, minor) gripe was the far-too-frequent need to recalibrate the controller while playing most games.
Below is a sampling of the critical response to Sony's new controller. We have grouped the reviews based on the general level of enthusiasm for the product, from most to least positive. If a publication assigned a score to the review, it is listed below (converted to a 100-point scale if necessary for purposes of comparison); otherwise, we did not attempt to assign scores to reviews that did not have them. Click on any publication name to read the full review.
|It's hard to say whether the Move has much technical prowess over the Wii Motion Plus or whether it's just that the high-end graphics that draw your attention to the finer details. Either way the PlayStation Move feels more responsive, more-sophisticated and generally more in-depth.|
|For now, the early read on the Move is that it’s a fantastic piece of equipment that adds an interesting wrinkle to the PS3 experience. Sure, you probably don't need to rush out and get it on initial release, but if Sony plays its cards right, it will eventually become an essential part of the PS3 library.|
|This isn't just a Nintendo rip-off. ... With the use of the camera and the added buttons you feel like it’s the next evolutionary step in motion-controller technology.|
|The PlayStation Move is here, ladies and gentleman, and it's pretty damn great. ... It used to be that you'd tolerate the Wii's graphics in order to use its motion controls. Now you don't have to.|
|The controller acts and reacts with unprecedented accuracy and can be applied to nearly endless applications within games. ... When you finally do pick up a PlayStation Move you’ll realize a few things: this isn’t just another motion controller, it’s precision is unmatched, it’s going to open up a host of new game experiences, and it’s going to revolutionize the PlayStation 3 experience moving forward.|
|At the end of the day, the PlayStation Move has the potential to be the best motion control system on the current crop of consoles; but unfortunately, the games offered at the moment just don't do the technology justice.|
|Overall, the PlayStation Move does exactly what it set out to accomplish: bring very accurate motion controls to the PS3. My one issue with the PlayStation Move—and it's less a gripe, and more a fear—is now that Sony supports motion gameplay, many budget-priced, poorly developed motion control shovelware titles that once lived exclusively on the Wii (like Pool Party, for example) will be ported over the system.|
|Move is comfortable, the onboard controls are solid, and its precision is unmatched ... but many of you will likely want to wait until there are a few games on the market you really want to try.|
|The controller is comfortable, but not for really long sessions of hard-swinging games. ... Our single biggest concern is the space required to really go at the games. It won't be an issue for games like MAG and SOCOM, but it could be the difference between whether this or a Wii is more appropriate for your space.|
|The success is going to be largely dependent upon the games that support it. What we've seen so far is very promising, but whether or not the $100+ cost of entry will dissuade one too many customers remains to be seen.|
|To be clear, the PlayStation Move has shown that it's capable of some of the best motion controls we've seen in a game. That said, we're just not sure the launch library of titles provides a compelling reason to spend $100 on the new technology.|
|My first impressions? Underwhelming. The controller's performance was somewhat iffy, likely skewed a bit by poor lighting and 50-plus Bluetooth controllers all vying for air time. And the software? I already had a Wii, thanks. Yes, I was that guy. But after spending some time with the controller and a batch of software in the comfort of my own living room for the past week or so, my tune has changed. Simply put, I'm impressed by what Sony has to offer; it may have a winner on its hand with PlayStation Move.|
|The PlayStation Move is neither as original as the Wii, nor as unique as the Xbox 360 Kinect, but what the Move does, it does well. Surprisingly well. ... It's now up to the software developers to really show off the Move's capabilities, and only that will truly determine if the Move is a hit or a miss.|
|Playing with Move makes it very hard to go back to the relative inaccuracy of the Wii.|
|I can't help but declare PlayStation Move a resounding success as a piece of consumer technology and general way of interacting with games. ... But considering everything on offer, it's hard not to classify Move as anything more than a "cool toy" at launch. The best of Move is worth experiencing, but is it worthy of a day-one purchase – not to mention the full set of two controllers and a NavCon? No.|
|The PlayStation Move is a intuitive, natural feeling way to play games and it brings with it not only a sense of increased immersion to already graphically immersive games, but a new way to play with your reality and a refreshing form of colorful feedback.|
|The wand-style remotes are very easy to use, and offer a level of accuracy and precision that you won't find on the Wii, or on Microsoft's rival system, Kinect.|
|n/a||Christian Science Monitor|
|While Sony has nailed the feeling of motion-controls, the illusion falls apart if the camera ever loses sight of a controller. This won't be a problem for most people, since games don't ask you to do any behind-the-back tricks. But gamers with small living rooms may want to look elsewhere.|
|It’s more laggy than Wii and has an annoying reflection issue ... [but] the actual hardware is of a better quality than the Wii Remote and Nunchuck setup. PS Move also has an advantage in its ability to track movement in a 3D space giving it the potential to extend motion gaming beyond what the Wii can offer.|
|In the games that I tried, it's just about as accurate as the Wii MotionPlus—which is to say, accurate about 75% of the time, and frustratingly loose the other 25% of the time.|
|It's not new or at this stage in its life even very exciting. But it doesn't suffer from the potentially crippling limitations of Kinect or Microsoft's refusal to use it with core games.|
What do you think?
PlayStation owners: Are you excited about the new Move controller? Let us know in the comments section below.