Andy Sim's Blog

Andy Sim male Former Senior Tech Writer

Andy is a self-made geek with a penchant for good music and a hearty pint. His domain includes swanky TVs, notebooks and networking gizmos.

I Like To Move It, Move It!

Gamers following the PlayStation franchise shouldn't be strangers to Sony's recent progression into motion-sensing territory. Announced sometime last week, the imminent PlayStation Move is more or less what the Wii is all about - motion-control technology. Of course, Sony's move (pardon the pun) into the free-movement domain didn't go unscathed. The Move is already in danger of being labeled as a brazen rip-off by the Wii fanboys. While the two controllers, Sony's and Nintendo's, appear to behave and function in the same fashion, the technology driving the two couldn't be anymore different.

Let's look at their similarities. For starters, Nintendo's Wii is typically bundled with two rods. A remote (dubbed as the Wiimote), and the pod-like Nunchuk. Place one in each hand, and you are free to jab, slash or hack your way through any animated adversaries. Now, Sony's black and sexy PlayStation Move has two wands as well, a primary and a sub-motion controller. Similar to what the Nunchuk is to the Wiimote, Sony's sub-controller was designed to complement the main rod. What's more, both the Wii Nunchuk and Move's sub-controller rock with an analog stick. Well, that's as much I can tell you about parallel forms.

Physically, you don't need to wire the Move controllers to one another. The Wii does. While the Wii relies on a Sensor Bar to detect movement based on infrared technology, the Move uses a camera (aka the PlayStation Eye) to track the controller via an LED sphere located at the top of the Move's controller. Indeed, even the accelerometers incorporated by Nintendo and Sony differ in terms of recognizing movements on the different planes, or axis. As for hardware controls, it appears that the Move is burdened with more buttons and triggers, which can be a plus or a bane, depending on the kind of gamer you are. More obviously, of course, you get to charge the Move's rechargeable batteries via USB. The Wii, on the other hand, demands a pair of AA batteries in order to dance.

At the end of it all, I'd still defend a belief that the PlayStation will continue to pander to the gaming hard-heads, while the Wii was created more for the casual gamer and family entertainment. While my simple narration might not convince Nintendo die-hards that Sony's technology is diverse, it appears Sony will have to deal with a bigger problem than just the copy-cat label. We know a standard Wii package comes with both controllers. The Move's starter kit, in contrast, should burn a nice little hole in your pocket approximately the size of a 100USD. Naturally, there's also Microsoft's Project Natal they'll have to take care of at the other end of the spectrum.

Hmm, who says fun and merriment is free?
 

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