PS Move: The Good & The Bad

October 11th, 2010 -

I recently purchased a Move controller in addition to EYE Pet. Before that, James and I attended a Move demonstration from our local Sony rep at a local Game Stop.

As far I was concerned, I was okay with waiting for SOCOM 4 to come out before I made the purchase. As far as my girlfriend was concerned, that wasn’t okay because “we need to have the cuteness!” I was apprehensive of getting a Move because of the lack of interesting software, but I took the advantage of having one in my house to put the hardware through its paces and see what really makes this thing tick. The more I used it, the more I understood its boundaries. After a couple days of play I found some interesting aspects of the Move controller – what I found didn’t surprise me entirely, though it did hold a few hidden gems. Allow me to explain.

Buttons you say?

The Good:

It Works, No Joke: Skeptics be damned, this thing really does perform like shown at previous press events. During a round of Disc Golf, before I let one loose, I swung the disc around in the air by rotating my wrist and it kept up with every move I made. I own Wii Sports Resort and 2 motion plus controllers, so I’m familiar with what Nintendo has improved upon from the original Wii remote. However, this is much more pin point accurate.

“Its so squishy!”

Your TV Can Rest Easy: The ball on the end of the Move looks like a ping pong ball, but it feels more like a soft racket ball. You can actually squeeze it, almost to the point where you can touch your fingers together. I was asked by the Sony rep not to try this after a kid opted to try with out asking. The beauty of this is when said remote goes flying at your screen because your buddy “Jim” has had to too many “Seabreeze’s” and forgot the strap… The chances of your 55 inch LCD surviving are significantly better then the competitors hard plastic tip. (Considering the Move doesn’t use a sleeve, I am comparing against a Wii Remote without a sleeve.)

Exercise: If the Wii and or Wii Fit have yet to motivate you to get off your ass and start burning calories, this may be the answer. If you’re reading this, chances are you’re more of a “Core” gamer and you’re looking for something with more fidelity. After a 5 -10min session of Ping Pong with a Game Stop employee, I felt a slight set of fatigue setting in. Not in the sense that I just sprinted across the street, but more then I feel after a 4 hour session of Super Street Fighter 4. You don’t have to stand up to play the Move, but if a core franchise would pick up on this and adapt “sword and shield” gameplay (like in sports champions) into something along the lines of say, The Elder Scrolls? Then who knows, you just might get off your fat ass and start burning those calories instead of “paying with your blood!” … sugar …

Calibration and Tracking: Calibrating the Move does not require you to lay the controller on the ground similar to the Motion Plus. Why? Because of a Magnetometer that the Move uses to always register true north. Also, unlike the Wii, the Move isn’t vexed by direct sunlight. Since the Wii uses IR (infrared sensor), anything with infrared light can create confusion. So what uses IR? How about a candle? Lit fireplace? Or maybe that thing called the Sun? The only issues I’ve seen with calibration on the Move is lighting – too dark or too light. It takes a couple tries, but once it calibrates, it’s locked in. Unlike the Wii, where you could be in the middle of playing, the sun shifts and casts towards you and now your little pointer finger is doing its best Michael J Fox impersonation shaking like you’re in an earthquake.

Hardware Design: I’m quite impressed with the hardware design. The buttons feel solid, t wasn’t too light or too heavy, the Move button feels good and the trigger, oh man. The trigger is like a perfect, squishy marshmallow… the whole unit just feels quality built. Hopefully Sony will eventually brings these triggers to the dual shock, but I digress. I didn’t get a chance to use the navigation controller, though I did get to hold it. It felt good too; I was expecting the directional pad under the analog to be awkward, but it actually feels right. It has a Mini USB charging port on the bottom by the strap as well as an… expansion port? I’m not really sure why you would need a USB and an “expansion” slot, especially since the Navigation controller is wireless. What’s Sony cooking up?

XMB Navigation: You can control the Cross Media Bar or XMB with the Move by holding the trigger and waving in the direction you wan to scroll. It’s very sensitive, but it’s a cool feature.

The Bad:

XMB Navigation: I know I just said this is good, but as I explained… it’s “cool” – not practical. If I’m playing a Move game and I wanna play a different Move game, I might use this to change games… but I don’t see this replacing my dual shock. It’s very sensitive in the sense that you can make a light whip of your wrist and you’re all the way across the XMB. Cool, but not practical.

James tearing it
up in Kung Fu Rider

Learning Curve: If you’ve used a Wii before, you’re screwed. The Wii has subconsciously trained you to think that when you swing a sword you need to whip your wrist like it weighs as much as the Wiimote and you are trying to register a motion input. The Sony rep literally told me I’m doing it wrong, and if I was in a real sword fight I would be dead in 5 seconds. I kinda scoffed at that and figued he was making a joke. However, after changing my stance to look like I’m cosplaying as a gladiator and started swinging it like the sword has weight to it, my game improved ten-fold. Even after understanding that when using the Move you need to pretend that you’re really doing said action, I still found myself defaulting to whipping my wrist back and forth. Its a bad habit that ALL Move owners are going to have to shake (pun intended)…

Boom Blox HD? I’d buy it.

Not as Surprising: Everyone said this works like advertised, and it does. Because of that, its not mind blowingly impressive (yes I said “blowingly”). Had this launched with the Wiimote in 2006, the impression would have been stronger. Had they released Socom, Killzone 3, or any other hardcore franchise that shows how the Move is truly different from the Wii and Kinect, then I might have been more impressed. As of right now (given the software available) it feels like a Motion Plus “+”! controller.

1 to 1.. or pretty close: I’m not sure if this should be in the good or the bad… If the Wii only delivered 50% 1 to 1 and Motion Plus gave us 70% 1 to 1, the Move is closer to 90-95%; still not as as accurate as real life. Using the controller at 95% is still an impressive feat compared to its competition, but there are still moments when you’re reminded that you’re playing a game and holding something that can move or travel further then the item on the screen. I’m sure over time this will get better, but as of right now it’s not quite perfect.


Software Support: To anyone that follows the video game industry, you already know that when any new hardware launches, the software available only uses half of what the hardware can actually do. Regardless of the obvious nature of this complaint, it’s still a fact that we have to face. The software launching with the Move does nothing to help shake the PSWiiimote stereotype. All the software available has been done (to some degree) before on the Wii with the exception of games like EYE Pet. In most cases the software is more impressive with what it delivers on but, not as impressive with originality.

Sports Champions is basically Wii Sports HD – there’s no getting around that. If I went on a rant about how much more accurate it is then the Wii, I would be beating a dead horse, so I think you get that by now. I  played Disc Gold, Ping Pong and Gladiator. All of which I was quite impressed with. I really enjoyed the Disc Golf after I remembered how to throw a Frisbee.

After Getting a chance to play this I would consider the Sports Champions Move bundle if you’re looking to get one. It’s actually quite a different experience for being the same game.

“What the ****?” Is literally my first impression of Kung Fu Rider. Anyone familiar with Crazy Taxi or the Dreamcast era will fit right in at home here with its cheesy gameplay and even more cheesy plot… yes, I said plot. How can a game about riding office furniture down a street as a hot Asian chick have a plot? How can it NOT!

The Yakuza is after you for reasons unknown and you must escape them. How? On the first thing you see, could be a desk chair, could be a luggage cart – if its got wheels and a place to sit, you’re ready to go. The girl in the game is your secretary and I’m not sure how this all ties together, but I think Id rather not know as it makes this wacky game only more wacky.

Final Thoughts: 
My original thought when the Move was announced was “this is neat, but it’s not for me…” and then I saw Socom 4. Everything I read and everyone I’d talked to said it was better then a controller. Then people compared it to a mouse and keyboard for the PS3. At that point I was so intrigued that I wanted to buy one just to try it, and then… Socom was delayed until 2011. Since my whole driving force for purchasing one of these was delayed to TBA 2011, my interest in it has faded. However, now that I’ve actually played with one, I’m on the fence. Playing it gives me a better perspective of what to expect for a more casual usage of the Move, and it’s actually a lot of fun. But is it $50-100 more fun then the Wii and Wii Sports Resort that I already have? That’s a tough call for how often I play and plan to play motion games.

Contrary to this I bought one day one. Not to play Socom, not because Kung Fu Rider reminds me of the good ol’ days of arcades, but because my girl friend wanted EYE Pet almost as bad as I want Gran Turismo 5. I’m not really sure where this leaves me on the Move. I have one, but actually I got it for my girl friend so that she can play Eyepet… Would I be buying a Move day one if I was single? Hmmm… probably… not. The potential for this is great, and I cant wait to see what developers come up with for unique ways to use this hardware, but we just haven’t scratched the surface yet.

For this review I purchased a single Playstation Move and EYE Pet. I downloaded every Move capable demo available and played with each multiple times. I stress tested the Hardware. I tried it in a large empty space in a Game Stop, as well as a cramped apartment bedroom. 

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