PlayStation Move: A Purchase In Retrospect

ps-move

It has been a little over eight months since that fateful morning of September 17th, 2010. That was the day I marched into GameStop at 10 AM with one goal in mind: Pick up my brand new 320GB PlayStation 3 bundled with the brand new PlayStation Move. That was my mission and that was what I was going to do. Yeah, of course I heard all of the mockery beforehand, “certain people” trying to dissuade me from purchasing the Move:

“Oh, who would want to play with big glowing lollipops?”

“Motion gaming is [lame].”

“Move sucks!”

Yes, thank you people for telling me a product that has not been released yet, that you have not even tried,  sucks. THANK YOU! Needless to say, I ignored those comments and went ahead with my launch day pre-order pickup despite all the naysayers’ protesting. I threw in a couple of bucks extra for another motion control and I was ready to go! Brand new PS3 Move bundle and an extra controller in hand, I made my way back to my car ready to get some motion gaming done. But was buying the Move at launch the best idea? Or was buying it a good idea at all?!

It wasn’t too long before I got inside my car, that a friend called up my phone and asked what I was doing. Well, I was about to let him know that “this guy” was just about to head home for some Move action when I changed my mind and told him, ” Hey! I’ll come on over and we’ll try it together!” This would be the first of many experiences I was about to have with the PS Move.

Now before I go on to tell you about my first time and those thereafter with the Move, let’s look at some statistics for the motion controller as of recent reports. From a Press Release on April 15, 2011, Sony announced that as of March 29th, 2011 sales [to retailers] of the PS Move had reached 8 million worldwide. While these figures may pale in comparison to its competition, the Kinect, they are by no means low numbers at all. In addition, the Move has been recognized by tech industry professionals to be a great piece of technology, receiving awards and nominations for awards from places such as Popular Science and the UK’s Develop magazine.

Several Move exclusive and Move enabled titles have been released since launch and there are many more to come. How have they held up? Overall, the majority of Move exclusive titles have not held up too well under the light of critical reviews. Some feel that the real good games that use the Move exclusively are yet to come. Many are still waiting on the title Sorcery which was demoed at previous E3s. However, that doesn’t mean that all Move games have been disappointing. Especially with Move enabled titles where it can be used optionally, the Move has proven to be a force to be reckoned with. So, with that in mind, let’s go back to my story.

In the blink of an eye, I was over my friend’s home and after a little grub, we got the gaming on. First up? The game included in the bundle, Sports Champions. So we set up the PSEye, put in the disc, synced the controllers and we were ready to play. Since I only had two motion controllers and we wanted to play together, we each took one. The game does however allow for the option for each player to use one or two motion controllers. I’m pretty sure the first game we tried out on Sports Champions was “Gladiator Duel.” Not only was that the first game we tried out, but probably the game we stayed on the longest. We picked out our characters and got down to the battles.

Before the round, we did have to calibrate the controller in front of the camera as most PS Move games require. It’s a small inconvenience for accuracy. We were off! Swords slashing and shields bashing! We were pulling out moves we didn’t even know lay dormant in our warrior-like physiques. The game impressed us not only with its accuracy as to our movements, but also the amount of fun we could have just on that one section of the whole disc. Before I knew it, word spread fast because now my friend’s brothers, his sister, and other friends had come over to check out the Move action. By this time we were real tired and our arms were a little sore from all those battles. So everyone else took turns while we got some rest. Eventually, we tried the game one person at a time with two controllers playing “Gladiator Duel.” Again, the precision and accuracy impressed us. And when we were playing on Gold difficulty and having our rear-ends handed to us, we could definitely feel the physical benefits to having this game. Playing with two motion controllers per person truly did enhance the experience, so while it’s not necessary it does add to the game. After we were all pooped from waging war, we tried a few of the other not so strenuous challenges found within Sports Champions such as table tennis, disc golf, and volleyball to name a few. So far, out of all the Move exclusive titles, I feel this one has held its weight the most. Truly a fun experience to play with family and friends.

After Sports Champions we tried out a few of the demos on the demo disc included in the bundle. As I noted before, many of these titles were not as impressive, but we did enjoy the little time trying them out, such as Kung-Fu rider, Time Crisis, and Echochrome II. That one experience with the PS Move prompted a few of my friends to purchase it the very following week because they enjoyed it that much. So I guess you could say, in the early stages, it did not disappoint.

Now let’s fast forward a bit a few months. After trying out the demos, I played a few full games of the more casual Move exclusive titles and unfortunately, these made the novelty of it all fade away quickly. The games quickly ended up in my drawer and were rarely touched thereafter. At this point, I was wondering if I had made the right choice in purchasing the Move. Don’t get me wrong, there were fun games that I played with friends and family when we got together, but that did not happen too often so all of a sudden, my Move was used a little less than when I initially purchased it. Then came along a little boy; A little sackboy. This little boy showed me the erroneous ways of my thoughts. A new title was released as a free download for PlayStation Plus members in December of 2010, Sackboy’s Prehistoric Moves. Now Sacboy’s Prehistoric Moves was a little different from other move titles but it showed the potential for development around the Move controller. I found some buddies and we co-oped through the game, I held the Move controller and while I myself was not controlling any on-screen characters, I would use my move to help the crew navigate their way through the course safely. Prehistoric Moves felt a little more like a tech demo to me than a full game, but it did give me hope that soon there would be a lot better uses for the Move.

Enter 2011 and my hopes were realized. One of Sony’s biggest titles had been previously revealed to incorporate the PS Move, Killzone 3. Now I admit, I was a little wary about how this would handle. I really did not want to compare the two, but I had played FPS’ on the Wii and I’ll tell you this, I was not fond of it at all. However with more and more time passing and videos and interviews about Move integration into the game, I became a little less unsure. A fan of the series and a closed beta tester from the previous year, I was going to play Killzone 3 regardless of the Move or not, but I figured, what’s the harm in trying? Soon I was able to test it out in the open beta that came shortly before the game’s launch. I had previously purchased the navigation controller (not required but HIGHLY recommended for titles that can use it) for Time Crisis and so I was ready to pass the Move a swift and complete judgement.

To my surprise, the move worked like a charm. Together with the navigation controller, I was pulling off shots as easy as a click of a mouse. I was able to adjust settings to my liking and in almost no time I was used to the control schemes. One of the things I really appreciate about the Move, especially in respects to the Killzone 3 integration, is that I can use it sitting down comfortably with my arms at rest just like a normal controller. There’s no flailing of the arms and huge body movements needed for every game. Of course there are games that require a lot of motions and physical interaction, but what place does that really have in Killzone? None. As the sensor is so accurate, just a slight turn of the wrist is needed to point your crosshairs in the direction as needed. When the full retail version of Killzone 3 was released, I couldn’t have been more pleased with the Move. While I played the campaign with my Dualshock 3, to this day, I will only use the PS Move in online multiplayer matches and let me tell you, I dominate. Yeah, yeah, some will cry foul saying it is an unfair advantage. It’s really not, and if you think that way, why not join the MOVEment and get the controller for yourself?

Killzone 3 launched in February with the Sharpshooter Move accessory (which is VERY useful for a more immersive experience) and since then things seem to have only moved forward. Come April, SOCOM 4 also made use of the Move and sharpshooter which you can hear my full thoughts of in the review. Another almost perfect integration to a hardcore game. Later this year, this trend will continue with another one of Sony’s big exclusives, Resistance 3 which will make use of the Move as well.

The Move so far has been satisfying. While I wouldn’t call it a MUST HAVE at the moment because it’s still a “new” piece of technology that has yet to be fully explored and developed for. Earlier this year, Sony announced a program called Move.Me which I am really interested in seeing the outcome of. This will allow anyone to develop for the Move. Already in the early beta stages, people have put it to use by incorporating it in their Linux based computers along with other uses. Hopefully when this goes public, Sony will set up a sort of program sharing store where developers can submit their work and allow others to try it out. There are sure to be a lot of good things to come from it. Hopefully this will help push the Move to its limits and really open the gateway for great uses for the Move both on the PS3 and even on home computers.

E3 2011 is just around the corner and there will no doubt be talks about the Move. Likely we will hear how much it has sold, some more info on the tech behind it, but what I’m really hoping for is more info on new games and apps. We have already seen Sony supporting both the hardcore and casual gamers with the Move which I am happy about, but as I stated before, I am really looking for that must have Move required/exclusive title that will drive the sales of the Move up the charts. Hopefully something of the likes will be revealed at E3. New PS3 apps that will make use of the Move or upgrades to apps we already have like Netflix and Qriocity. Video and photo editing? Hopefully more info will be divulged about Move.Me. We may possibly even see upgrades to the Move controller itself or the PSEye camera. Could we get a FW update to the PS3 that will allow more uses of the Move in maybe video chats or XMB and store functions? Time will tell!

All in all, I would say that I am satisfied. I do not regret my decision to purchase the Move on day one. It gave me time to see the highs and lows of the device, its strong points and its weak points. It game me time to try out just about all the Move enabled titles available in North America (and even some outside) both via disc form and PSN download. I have been able to enjoy it at gatherings with friends and family and alone in my own gaming sessions. There were some very disappointing titles that I did come across hoping they would be good but not really holding up under the anticipation such as Heroes on the Move, The Fight: Lights Out, and Kung-Fu Rider. But at the same time, there were some really great titles to play too!  At this moment there are not too many Move enabled titles that I would call a must have, but there are some that you should definitely try out at least. Take a gander at my list below of some games you may want to check out. This should cover just about all types of gamers, casual and hardcore alike. There’s something for everyone young and old. Dancing and singing, shooters, puzzle, casual, action adventures, party games, and so on. (note that some of these games are not yet released):

Recommended Move Titles:

  • Auditorium (Move optional)
  • Beat Sketcher (Move Required)
  • de Blob 2 (Move optional)
  • Echochrome II (Move required)
  • Heavy Rain (Move optional)
  • Killzone 3 (Move optional)
  • LBP: Sackboy’s Prehistoric Move (Move required)
  • No More Heroes: Paradise (Coming Soon – Move optional)
  • Resistance 3 (Coming Soon – Move optional)
  • SingStar Dance (Move required)
  • SOCOM 4 (Move optional)
  • Sports Champions (Move required)
  • Start the Party (Move required)
  • Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 (Move optional)
  • Tumble (Move required)

Did I miss anything? In the end, I’m happy I purchased a Move. I have enjoyed new and accurate HD motion gaming and I expect that from here on out it will only get better. Tech demos showing off the many possible uses for the Move before it was even released gave evidence that there is still so much that can be done and I’m hoping that more developers will really take an interest in this piece of tech and really give us something that will knock our socks off. I would recommend the controller to gamers just to at least try it out with one hardcore title and maybe one more casual title (I would go with the choices of Killzone 3 and Sports Champions if any). Even if you are not sold on it [yet], keep an eye out on the tech because it is sure to evolve in the future.

How about you guys? If you have purchased the Move, or tried it out, how do you like it? What are your thoughts overall on the motion controller and what do you want to see implemented in future uses of it? Sound off in your comments below.

Note: [All opinions expressed herein are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of GamerXChange]

GamerXChange's founder and editor-in-chief. Jack of all trades. A lover of the arts and technology, he has been playing games and writing in various forms from a very young age, including a weekly column on education for the Indian River County news paper. Stick around and find out even more about the staff's fearless leader!
  • http://Website(optional) SteveM

    I agree with what you’ve said. The Move is a awesomely precise motion controller. I too have purchased it on day one and have never regret it. I now own 4 Move controllers and 2 Navi controller. Loved Sports Champion, Flight Control and Killzone 3 with the Move. Highly recommend the Move to anyone.

    • http://gamerxchange.wordpress.com Simply G

      Thanks for reading! Right now I own two motion controllers and one navi. Usually when we play with friends we just use one controller each or for party games like Start the Party, we just use one controller for everyone because that’s all it needs. So it depends on what game we’re playing. We have survived and had loads of fun with just the two I have.

      But then again a few of my friends got Move for themselves so we use them together at times depending on the game and enjoy it even more.

      Not many games make use of the navigation controller that I play with friends, so for now I only own one. Its still good fun!

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  • http://about.me/jaxtons jaxtons

    I have to agree with you that the Move is an added bonus to the PS3. After last years E3 I made up my mind to buy a Move because I really saw the potential and integration into FPS, action games being handled better by Sony. I have a Kinect too, although I tend to use it more for controlling my Xbox than really playing anything these days. I bought the sharpshooter with Killzone 3 and love it. Socom 4 has been fun as well, granted you will have to make adjustments and tweak to your satisfaction.

    I can remember as a kid thinking about one day being able to control games with brainwaves. This is a step closer to a second nature feel of gaming immersion and interaction. Overall I have been happy with the Move purchase and expect more awesome things down the line.

    Thanks for the great article!

    • http://gamerxchange.wordpress.com Simply G

      And thank you very much for reading!

      We have just one week until E3 where I’m sure improvements on games and uses both for the Move and Kinect will shown! I’m very excited.

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