Oh dear – Sony unveil dull new controller

March 11th, 2010 24 Comments By Andy Dawson

Playstation Move 300x225 Oh dear   Sony unveil dull new controller Bells! Whistles! Fireworks! Sony have launched a revolutionary new controller! And it’s a lot like Nintendo’s three-year-old Wii controller! Oh…

The Playstation Move was unveiled to some not-whooping delegates at San Francisco’s Games Developers Conference late yesterday and Sony marketing boss Peter Dille harrumphed: “We’d like to think of this as the next generation of motion gaming. We are confident that when we look back in five years time, this will be seen as a seminal moment for PlayStation.” Possibly the moment when it all went tits up?

The controller uses motion control technology and the Playstation Eye camera to track body movements, in almost the exact same way as a Wiimote, except this thing has a big coloured ball stuck on the end like a clown’s nose.

With Microsoft readying themselves for the launch of their Natal control system, where the player becomes the controller, the Playstation Move seems like a backwards step. The projected price tag of almost £50 doesn’t do it any favours either.

We weren’t there in person because Famous Rich And Jobless was on last night but the UK editor of GameSpot, Guy Cocker was there, and he told the BBC: “I was disappointed with the amount of real innovation we saw. In terms of ideas, it is very similar to what we have seen with the Wii and if you are Sony, you can’t help but want to ape that success.” It was a useful critique from Guy as it made us stop thinking about this shitty controller for a minute and got us thinking about apes instead.

Apes are fascinating aren’t they readers?

Comments (24) Jump to most recent comment
  1. Wasn’t this system demonstrated at last year’s E3 (same time as Project Natal)? Dubbed ‘The Wand’ back then, it proved to be much more accurate than the Wii controller.

  2. Posted by Fella-Tio March 11, 2010 at 10:41 am

    yh I thought so too Jase

  3. Posted by Graham Sant March 11, 2010 at 10:44 am

    To be honest it’s a real shame. I was having high hopes for this. The graphics should be a hundred times better than the wii though so I guess that’s something!

  4. Posted by Nobby March 11, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Can’t they cover the ball on the end with a black cover so the controller does look quite as gay.

  5. Posted by Graham Sant March 11, 2010 at 10:58 am

    @ Nobby

    Apparently not, the ball gets coloured by an internal LED. The different colours allow the eyecam to distinguish between two separate players.

  6. Posted by SimbaK2K March 11, 2010 at 10:59 am

    dull? Its similar to the wii but more accurate? So not quite sure what your on about.

  7. Posted by darkspark88 March 11, 2010 at 11:05 am

    I don’t think they can cover the ball, because the function of that ball is integral to the whole setup. The camera in the playstation eye needs that bright ball to focus on.

  8. Posted by Simon March 11, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Dunno how well it will work, but man alive the design is awful. Looks like something you would buy at ann somers to stimulate nipples. Or maybe at poundland. hmm.

  9. Posted by MoveOverWii March 11, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Oh dear, did you even watch the presentation? Or did you just see a picture of it in think “that looks a bit like the Wiimote I’ll write a sensationalist and inaccurate story to attract hits”?

    About the only way Move is the same as the Wii is that it has a controller that is long and thin – that is where the comparisons end. Maybe you should go and watch the presentation of 1:1 tracking accuracy with the same lag as a standard controller, the movement recognition in a 3D space (not just a left or right wiggle), the Augmented Reality options of the video feed, the voice control elements of 4-array microphone, the basic motion sensing of body movements like ducking or spinning. In short it’s nothing like the Wii – sit and waggle – controller.

    I find it laughable also that you gave such a gushing about Natal, but write Move of as a Wii clone – Move adds much of the same 3D tracking and Voice control to games as Natal does but with the benefit of having a tangible controller to hold in your hand and get feedback from through light and vibration. By you logic then you should dismiss Natal as nothing more than an EyeToy – a technology that his been around for 5 or 6 years and was available a generation ago.

    Sony were in the best position to launch a Natal controller – or EyeToy2 – if they had chose to do so. They didn’t for one reason – controllerless gaming is extremely limiting for anything beyond party games. You can’t sit on your couch and play Halo with Natal, but you can sit on your couch and play SOCOM with Move. Sony have learnt from experience body-controlled gaming doesn’t work, better camera or not Natal won’t get much beyond the EyeToy.

    The other key failure of Natal will be that it no longer has a built-in processor and instead hogs up to 30% of the 360′s resources. No hardcore game will want to be made using 70% of the 360′s resources and no controller, only party games and shovelware will like that. Whereas Move uses next to no resources – as proven by the fact SOCOM4, a game 3 years in development, has added Move controller option in just 6 months with no impact on the quality of the game…

    Get your facts right and stop polluting the internet with pointless and inaccurate drivel…

  10. Posted by Spark March 11, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Why does it need to have a fucking light bulb attached to the end, you would have thought that technology would have surpassed that level by now.

  11. Posted by Ben March 11, 2010 at 11:29 am

    I’m all for innovation, but why can’t we just stick with the controllers that have worked since ye olde grey Playstations?

    If it ain’t broke, don’t try and fix it by making a Wii for grown ups!

  12. Posted by Gunn March 11, 2010 at 11:30 am

    This is what the Wii mote should have been, and in fairness Peter Dille did give credit to Nintendo for starting the motion control, they’ve just improved it.
    @Spark, the light at the end can be used for user feedback or to indicate different players, I think its up to the developer to decide how its used, perhaps you can alter the colour of the light via the controller and that will alter the game somehow, I believe someone mentioned red light for a Fire spell if it was an RPG.
    £50 for the controller and camera and game sounds ok to me. I can’t see Natal being close to that.

  13. Posted by Lou March 11, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Ben
    Wii for grown ups = lots of money for Sony, it was always going to happen.

  14. Posted by Alex March 11, 2010 at 11:43 am

    3 year old wii controller? More like 5 years old. Funny how desperate Sony have become isn’t it?

  15. Posted by stuart March 11, 2010 at 11:45 am

    has anyone actually really thought about why its a ball at the end?!

    take a look at ho CGI & motion capture are used in movies. what do they do? have the actor with LOADS of balls stuck on them for better motion recording!

    so why have sony used a ball? for the exact same reason! it’ll give a more acurate movements

  16. Posted by Alex March 11, 2010 at 11:45 am

    @MoveOverWii, you forgot to mention the nunchuck “homage” to the wii as well. Seriously, the only reason it differs at all from the wii motion plus is to avoid paying Nintendo royalties. Get over yourself :)

  17. Posted by parpparp March 11, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    Just a further note on balls. The size of the ball as it appears to the camera can be used to determine the distance of the remote from the camera. This allows accurate 3D movement.

    Using a spherical ball is pretty clever too as it means the orientation of the remote doesn’t affect the size of the ball as seen from the camera (of course if you obscure the ball or completely rotate the remote so the body of it obscures the ball there may be issues).

  18. Posted by cool March 11, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    so the wii uses 3d motion tracking and augmented reality does it?!

    ffs do your research BW

    also try explanig why natal isnt just an eyetoy clone…….. because from here
    (in reality) it sure looks that way.

    media whores

  19. Posted by -] March 11, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Having a tangible controller as opposed to going “hands free” is a benefit? lol!

    That is surely some fanboy at work there.

    PS3 and 360 (and wii) owner. Prefer the ps3 due to better controller (never thought I’d think a sony controller was better than anything :| ) and free psn, but I can see the very big advantage that natal has being hands-free.

  20. Posted by Mark March 11, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    @MoveOverWii

    Also there is nothing at all stopping you using a regular controller while also using Natal.

  21. Posted by Fella-Tio March 12, 2010 at 9:44 am

    @MoveOverWii

    PS3 owner by any chance Fanboy?

  22. Posted by MoveOverWii March 12, 2010 at 11:16 am

    @ Alex – Why don’t you try searching the internet for EyeToy controller tech-demo or words to that effect. There is an early concept of this controller (using a coloured ball on a stick rather than a light) that dates back to something like 2002. So you you want to accuse anyone of ripping off anyone I suggest you address it to Nintendo for the Wii – as there is documented evidence and video to prove Sony have had this concept in the works for years. In fact the guy behind the EyeToy wanted this controller releasing on the PS2, but at the time they decided that controllerless/body controlled gaming was more innovative and marketable than a controller you move around – in short they made the same mistake on the PS2 that Microsoft are making with Natal! If Sony had run with the idea back on the PS2 the Wii probably wouldn’t even exist today…

    In addition, the sub-controller is an entirely optional device that is just a streamlined version of the Dualshock 3 that is easier to hold. You don’t need to buy it and you could use the DS3 instead if you wish. It also doesn’t contain any sort of motion sensing – in short it is nothing at all like the Wii nunchuck.

    @ Everyone else, I am not a fanboy I just choose to know the facts about products before making a judgement on them and I dislike ignorant kids and fanboys posting bile on internet sites about things they are clearly not qualified to comment on. Case in point – people are actually suggesting that they hide/remove the orb at the top of the controller, the same orb that is central to the 3D motion detection – it’s like an actor in a mo-cap suit asking “Do I really need these balls on this costume?”.

    A final important fact about Move – it uses around 1MB of system memory and can be patched into any game relatively easily. Whereas Natal requires very heavy resource use (they removed the dedicated processor to cut down costs) and games must be built from the ground up for it (and will never be able to reach the same standard as a non-Natal release due to resource contraints). Natal is a party game like the EyeToy was, Move is a controller for a wide range of games and genres…

  23. Posted by Amanda Hugginnkiss March 12, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Does it vibrate, my OH said her friend wanted to know

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