Sony PlayStation Move: your questions answered
What you need to know about the Wii-style PS3 accessory
Sony this week formally announced its long-awaited Wii-style motion controller system for the PlayStation 3. Once thought to be called Arc, the add-on is now officially Move. And here is all you need to know about it.
What is it?
PlayStation Move is a stick-like handheld game controller that's able to detect its orientation, location and movement in three dimensions.
Sounds a bit like the Wii Remote...
It does, and it's essentially the same thing. Sony maintains Move's detectors are very sensitive and tacitly suggests the peripheral is more accurate than the Wii Remote. Whether that's the case remains to be seen, especially when compared with the Wii Remote plus Nintendo's MotionPlus add-on.
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The WiiMote doesn't have a coloured globe. What's the one on Move for?
It's used for two things. First, it gives the PS3 extra information about how far away from the console the controller is, or how close. This gives it an edge over the WiiMote. Second, it changes colour to feed game-specific information to the console.
How is the globe 'read' by the PS3?
This is where the console's Eye webcam comes into play. It watches the Move's globe during gameplay. The Move software uses the video feed from the Eye to monitor the size of the globe - giving an indication of the controller's distance from the console - and it's colour.
How does the controller talk to the console?
The controller communicates with the PS3 wirelessly over the same Bluetooth link regular wireless controllers use. The Move sub-controller does the same.
Yes, it's a secondary controller with O and X PlayStation keys, direction controls and a thumb-facing analogue joypad. It's Move's answer to the Nintendo Nunchuk.
What controls does the main controller have?
It has the four PlayStation 'shape' keys, plus a Move button on the front and a trigger-style control on the underside.
Is there a wrist strap like there is on the WiiMote?
So is it just a case of swinging it around to control on-screen tennis rackets and such?
That's undoubtedly one way Move will be used, but Sony seems to have designed the controller to provide much more data, allowing games not simply to query where it is at a given moment, but to track it over time, so they can implement 3D gestures. Because it's also looking for the globe, if the globe disappears, that can be used to trigger an action. Couple that with a gesture and you can, say, spin round to launch a certain kind of attack in the game.
Quite how far this kind of thing can go is really going to be shown over time as developers take this technology and implement clever uses for it in their games.
What games are coming out that support Move?
Sony has announced the following: TV Superstars, The Shoot, Sports Champions, Motion Fighter and Move Party. The last two are working titles and may change.
TV Superstars is a reality TV game, while The Shoot is an on-the-rails shooter that takes place on a film set. Sports Champions is a bionic, HD version of Wii Sports, with the boxing element taken out, made more visceral and released separately as Motion Fighter. Move Party is a compendium title with an emphasis on augmented reality.
Pretty much all the major games publishers have also lined up to say they're working on Move-capable titles.
How many controllers can I have?
As many as you like, but you'll only be able to connect four of them to the PS3 at once. That's four devices: a controller and a sub-controller count as two devices, not one as is the case with the Wii. That's the downside with connecting the sub-controller wirelessly, not through a cable to the main controller.
When can I buy Move?
Sony Europe has said Move will go on sale over here in the "late 2010" timeframe.
How much will it cost?
Right now, Sony isn't saying. A price of $100 has been mentioned in the US, but it's not known whether that covers just the controller, or a kit comprising the controller, the sub-controller and/or the Eye. Most likely Sony will offer bundle packs, and sell the controllers and camera separately. ®