Since last week`s release of Playstation Move in Europe I had some quality time with the new hardware and games and want to share some of my first impressions. The hardware is robust and the button placement is well-considered. It reminds me a lot of the Wii Remote and the Nunchuck but both the main controller (with the light bulb) and the smaller navigation controller (without the lightbulb) feel a bit more advanced than the Wii hardware in terms of button placement, power supply and the blu-tooth connection. Some of the games I tested have some delay issues but as this is only a problem of some games it should be mainly a software issue. But fast movement, e.g. in close combat games where you wield a sword, seem to cause more delays and wrong pattern recognition so it will be interesting to see in future games if this is also a software problem or an hardware issue which cannot be fixed easily.
A lot of the reviews criticize the calibration process but I experienced it not as an annoying activity. More annoying is the fact that most games want to see you standing in front of your tv set instead of staying seated. For sport games with a lot of body movement it feels right but for some other games I prefer staying seated. In most cases you can accomplish the calibration process sitting on your couch but it may cause some problems if you are too far away for the camera tracking or changing your seating position during the course of the game.
Now to the most important part: The line-up of games. As already mentioned in my last article on PS Move and Kinect I think that both start line-ups are very disappointing. I bought the Sports Championship game and played a lot of demos of the disk provided by the starterset and the PSN but there is no outstanding game to sell the hardware. Of course there are some updates coming up for games like Resident Evil 5 or Heavy Rain but – hey – I played through both of them and both seem to work pretty well without PS Move. In my opinion, the best PS Move game at the moment is Flight Control HD. It`s an extended version of the iPhone game and puts the player in charge of the flight control of an airport with several airstrips and heliports in order to draw for each plane and helicopter a line to the best landing position.
The problem of the other games is that most of them lack some sort of gameplay innovation for the new hardware. Tumble is Boom Blox in HD, Sports Championship is basically Wii Sports in HD and I could continue the list further. There are some small highlights like the EyePet controls or the R.U.S.E. control scheme for PS Move but I presume that it will be not enough to make people want to buy PS Move right now. Of course Sony and the game developers around have a much easier transition from the Wii controls to PS Move than to Kinect but it would be very sad for the gamers out there if this leads to HD-clones of Wii games only. Hopefully Sony and some third-party developers find ways to use this hardware in challenging new ways and build good games around it – if they fail, it will be also the failure of the PS Move hardware.