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back to article Sony PlayStation Move: your questions answered

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. Sony PlayStation Move What is it? PlayStation Move is a stick-like handheld game controller that's able to …

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"This is Sony basically ripping Nintendo off with a me-too product that's been carefully designed to sidestep Nintendo's patents. "

Isn't this how products advance and improve over time with each iteration ?

Using your thinking here would mean we would all have the choice of just one car (T-Ford) one aircraft etc etc because someone did it before.

Every single controller thats ever been used with a controller essentially came from the NES controller design anyway so what's the big deal ?

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Stop

Delve a bit deeper

The Wii remote tracks distance from the sensor really well, because it is using two lights to judge distance (the infrared lights at either end of the sensor).

The big light on the Sony controller (not sure how one light can track distance well) clearly aims to get around the Wiimotes limitation of having to point directly at the screen for this accurate position information.

Also, the whole 'track over time' comment doesnt make sense. The camera in the Wii controller is running at 200Hz for gameplay responsiveness. I'm going to guess the full colour web cam for the Sony wont run faster than 60Hz. Both the Wii and the PS3 are perfectly capable of sampling at whatever Hz and analysing this over time....

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Anonymous Coward

Actually

The eye seems to have 2 LEDs on the front, so presumably it does know where your pointing...?

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Coat

Questions you didn't answer

If people are watching whilst I wave around something that's 6" long with a red knob on the end....will I get arrested?

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essentially the same as a wii remote

but the wii remote has a sensor on the front that reads the position of the "sensor bar" and provides the pointer functionality of the wii. This makes games like metroid prime and the various light-gun style shooters much more intuitive than using a joystick or even a mouse.

Does the Move provide this functionality?

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Anonymous Coward

Not exactly!

I think you'll find tha'ts used more to figure out where on the screen the wiimote is pointing.

Point the controller upwards like you are holding a sword and how is it going to know the relative position of the 'mote to the screen?

While it's not that pretty, the globe on the top does serve this purpose. It can also figure out the relative position of two controllers, which could lead to some interesting concepts.

It also allows you to do some interesting things with the eye-toy, take one of the example pictures with the girl holding a paintbrush. That is obviously being superimposed over the globe.

So all in it would seem to take the Nintendo's ideas and expand upon them.

What I don't see is a way for the console to know where on the screen the player is pointing. Or am I missing something?

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yes

It does all that and more. It has additional functional controlls. Also the motions are not limited to pointing the device in the general direction of the screen, making motion much more natural, and additionally moving the device off camera (behind you) triggers additional actions (and it can tell the difference between you moving it behind you and out in front again while you stand still, and when you spin and it comes out the other side of you, as separate actions).

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but

>>I think you'll find tha'ts used more to figure out where on the screen the wiimote is pointing.<<

That's what I mean! The Move will have a hard time emulating the accurate pointing functionality that the wii has! The motion sensing hasn't resulted in many good games, but the pointer functionality is used in a lot of the wii's best titles.

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Seems a shame that...

You can only connect 4 devices. So 2 people will only be able to play if you're using the main and subcontroller for a game.

That's one of the Wii's biggest points, having four people jumping about at the same time...

Saying that, when I bought my Wii, I initially only had one Wiimote and one Nunchuck and just passed that around...

I'll still be buying it I reckon - Still looks pretty decent

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You can have 4...

...just not 4 people that require both controllers at once. Sports games like baseball, tennis, and more could be done with a single remote, also most car games. Some games will require a controller and sub-controller, others will require 2 standard controllers for each player.

Yes, for complex games involving moving around both arms, it;s a drawback. however, with the Wii, each player in a 4 player game usually doesn't act all at the same time, and the Wii's motions are far more limited (must point towards screen at all times, cable connecting both is short). With the PS3, the motions are more pronounced, use both arms, you spin and turn backwards, if you had 4 people in a major combat, that all have to stand within visual range of the camera, that's a case for disaster... only 2 hard core players at once, or 4 players with more simple motions, is a better plan likely.

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Looks good

Admittedly, I do prefer my gaming to consist of no more movement that thumb-twiddling. Having said that, I always manage to get dragged into a bit of Wii play when the missus is on it, so it'll be good to have a PS3 version as well. The controllers look quite smart as well. Thumbs up from me.

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WTF?

USP

Hope nintendo sue the arse off them for stealing their USP... Its not even pretending to be different! Gametrak (before Wii) used strings, this is just a blatent copy.

I don't even like / own a Wii, but this is taking the urine!

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Flame

not Nintendo's patents

Sony was VERY careful with this design, and extremely cautiously inspected each and every relevant patent. Keep in mind, Sony had the eye toy before there WAS a Wii, and motion control is nothing new in and of itself (only its implementation and hardware design was new). The method which Nintendo used to motion sense the controllers is COMPLETELY different than Sony's. The accelerometer input was patented long before the Wii and is properly licensed by Sony in this case. The game use scenarios are also nothing new, in general, and Sony has greatly expanded upon that by using such techniques as "hide the remote from the camera to do X".

yes, this is a side step of Nintendo's IP, but motion control has been around since the original Nintendo (actually I think even later Atari systems) and has long since passed it's 20 year patent lifespan. Only the Wii-motes, nun-chuck design, and sensing/input systems are really patents at stake here, and Sony did good to both avoid the patents and significantly improve on the idea (re-invention and visualization of someone else's IP is a long standing tradition with the PTO, you absolutely CAN patent something NEW and UNIQUE, even if it's based on someone else's work.

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Amazon patents one-click and this clone is OK?

Wowza.

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Looks like I...

Clicked on an ad.

I don't pay for ... oh wait.

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Anonymous Coward

Looks pretty awesome to me.

If you think this is just a Wii remote copy then watch the tech demo on You tube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgLN7uOj8Jg

This is waaaaaaaay better.

Looking forward to it.

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Anonymous Coward

@USP

Seems to be an extension of the EyeToys tracking ability to give position and thats been around a while so that'd be where the difference lies in the first part.

Were there game controllers with inertial sensing but without position sensing before the Wii remote?

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Troll

steve

would not sit idly by and watch this if he ran Nintendo! He didn't get where he is today by sitting idly by!

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Grenade

infomercial

but well , it answered some of my questions.

Regardless if its any better than the wii remote and/or natal ALL DEPENDS UPON GAMES.

The wii mote is great - but only for wii sport.

Metroid prime, mario galaxy were good games but didnt do anything special with the wii mote. The best game on the platform is mario kart that really didnt use much of the remote either.

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metroid?

the pointer functionality makes Metroid the excellent game it is! The point also drives all the "light gun" games (though I for one have had my fill of them), works excellently in the new silent hill, is used in lots of wii ware stuff like bonsai barber, lost winds and also the excellent Endless ocean games.

So, while waggle on the wii is rubbish, the pointer control is excellent and is the main feature missing from the Move...

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FAIL

Late to the party

Plus, the logo looks like early 90's condom branding - both the name itself and the logo - a bit 'Mates Condm'-ish! Plus the controller looks like something you would slip a condom on to! I'm calling epic fail.

However, with that ball thingy, I would buy one if they brought out "The Prisoner the game".

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Late 2010?

Then I guess Natal is going to wipe it off the face of the planet.

Agree with the folks above, this is a pitiful copy of the Wiimote/Nunchuk that isn't core to the PS3 in the same way as the Wii is built around the Wiimote. It's going to be here nearly four years after the Wii and it seems to do very little extra. I reckon there will be a few games at launch and then it will quietly die a death.

Put this alongside Natal in a game store and it's not going to look good. Put this and a PS3 against a Wii and people will only see the price difference and wonder what's so good about it.

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Re: Late 2010?

You say "Then I guess Natal is going to wipe it off the face of the planet."

Why is it? I have a PS3 and the arrival of Natal will make me dump that and buy an Xbox.

I'm no expert on Natal (I had to look it up, after wodnering why you mentioned an area of South Africa), but, I can see some serious drawbacks with it.

Whilst it will work for sports such as boxing and possibly tennis, there are so many where it won't work as well as the Wii controllers and probably the PS3. I presume the Natal sensors are not so sensitive that they could identify a slight movement of a finger? That is, after all, how the Wii knows you wish to release the ball in ten-pin bowling, by releasing a button. Can it sense the slight twist of the wrist to spin the ball? Also, releasing a button tells the Wii to release the bowstring when playing archery. Can Natal really pick up moving fingers on a hand that is hidden behind your head and leading hand? Certainly the examples shown in Xbox video are all very basic looking games that require little more than moving arms to play. And voice recognition? Have Microsoft sussed a technology that has evaded specialist companies for years? Voice recognition software takes hours to train to a specific voice before it becomes anywhere near reliable. Oh, and the racing game? What sort of racing car doesn't need a brake and accelerator?

So, no, Natal won't wipe the floor with the PS3, or Wii, there are far too many instances in any game where some sort of controller is needed in order to enrich the game.

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The one thing Sony missed....

.... Is they're not Nintendo.

The vast majority of great Wii games are Nintendo first party. Nintendo have a track record of making brilliant and very enjoyable games to play.

Sony have no such track record, they think it's all about the controller, it isn't.

Sony stopped innovating years ago, now they just copy other peoples ideas.

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Really? You have seen Nintendo games I haven't seen then...

"Nintendo have a track record of making brilliant and very enjoyable games to play."

Really? I'm not saying Sony has a lot of innovative games on the PS3 (the video game industry seems to have some creativity issues at the moment) but to say Nintendo has more innovative games seems silly. Yeah they came out with a novel controller. Yeah Wii Sports resort is cute. The big improvement about the Wii is it encourages multiplayer gaming. Not sure that's innovative. That award would have to go to Atari with Warlords on the 2600 that got four people playing at the same time.

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Looking good!

And what people fail to apprehend is that Sony came up with the idea of wireless controllers like this before Nintendo, but failed to monopolise on it as they decided to keep their traditional controller. Fact.

This is going to add all the benefits of casual gaming but with hi-def graphics. Additionally, this has all the support from 95% of games companies. Nice!

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errr...

If we were talking about Sony when the PS2 was kicking the arse off of both the XBox and Gamecube, I'd not only have agreed but would've been buying one or more of these quite happily.

Sony now? Struggling to get the consumer to buy their console at a loss for about half its original launch price, while Nintendo make a profit on every Wii sold for the same (reasonable) price it had when it launched. Struggling to sell it on the basis of "all the other stuff it does - it's not just a games console" because not enough gamers are willing to buy it. And now, with the Move, struggling to see if they can bolt on what they think is the hardware that made the Wii so successful without having the software environment that will make it fun to use and thus a commercial success.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see Sony return to the form that saw them kick both Nintendo and Sega's arses with the PS1 and then follow that up by again kicking Nintendo and Microsoft's arses with the PS2. I don't think that's going to happen in the PS3's lifetime, though.

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Stop

surely

the wavebird on the gamecube was the first mainstream wireless console controller?

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Alert

reflect

I wonder how reflection will effect this, such as mirrors or windows.

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(a || 0) || (a && 0)

Looks like an Hitachi MagicWand. Does it come with vibrate functionality?

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Pint

Yes

Apparently the Move does have vibrate functionality.

What I perceive is the main difference/advantage over the Wiimote is the ability to do augmented reality. I have some AR demos on my computers that blow people's minds. I can't wait for some game house to come up with some blow-your-mind AR game for the PS3.

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Anonymous Coward

Wrist strap or straps?

Is there a wrist strap for the sub-controller too? The Wii nunchuck is tethered to the Wiimote, this thing isn't.

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FAIL

Who is copying who?

Whilst is was fashionable back in 2006 when Microsoft sold everyone to hate Sony and PS3, it's not any more..

For those idiots that believe everything they read on the Internet, they might want to look at the YouTube clip that predates the Wii...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24CkoCQzURE&feature=related

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FAIL

re: Who is copying who

whoops, wrong link... This is the real one. Playstation Move from way back, predating the Wii...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpNdkm9s8AY

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