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Cody Giunta
29 May, 2010

Hands on with Playstation Move

PS3 Feature | On target for a bulls-eye?
Whilst the weather outside was wet and dreary, the inside of the Sony Conference at Coogee was filled with glee. A big factor in filling the room with mirth was the free demonstration of PlayStation Move, the new motion controller for Sony’s PS3. PALGN was on hand and tried out two PS Move games, including two segments of a sports simulator given the working title of Sports Champions. Comparisons shall inevitably be drawn with Nintendo’s Wii Sports titles, but Sports Champions does offer a considerably varied gaming experience. Though only 20% completed, the results so far are impressive.

Using PlayStation Move for the first time can be something of a daunting experience, but any doubts that people have will be melted away by trying it. By interfacing with the PlayStation Eye peripheral, the PS Move controllers track your arm movements to a high degree of accuracy. According to Michael Ephraim, the Managing Director of Sony Australia, the PS Move is accurate to movements of one pixel and has a reaction speed five times faster than that of humans.

The initial interface for Sports Champions is a very basic setup, with the ability for players to go straight into one of the six games on offer – Archery, Table Tennis, Bocce, Disc Golf, Beach Volleyball and Gladiator Duel. Each of these games allows for a variety of play modes that you would expect from many normal sports games, such as free play and a championship mode. After the sport has been selected, players then must choose a pre-made avatar to represent themselves onscreen. At this stage it is unknown if there will be the option for gamers to create an avatar in their own image.

Table Tennis, PS Move Style

Table Tennis, PS Move Style
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For the moment, the graphics for each of the sporting scenarios are not highly detailed, but they are clean and crisp, and if left unchanged should still be serviceable enough in the final product. That said, the main attraction to Sports Champions is not the way it looks but the way it plays, and it is a treat in this department. For this play test, PALGN got the chance to try their hand at both Table Tennis and Archery.

Table Tennis involves gamers facing an opponent in a frantic game of ping-pong. To serve, you simply raise your controller up in the air and make a hitting motion as you would in a real-life game of table tennis. A coloured beam of light allows you to see the trajectory of your shot. When hitting the ball, you can expect to use all the manner of serves and counters that you would employ in real life, such as backhands, volleys and drop shots. Additionally, players can twist the controller ever so slightly to add a bit of spin to their ball.

Perhaps it can be put down to this particular PALGN staff member’s co-ordination, but the controls of Table Tennis do take a few moments to get to grips with. Various factors have to be taken into consideration, especially the way you hold the PS Move controller itself – it can be the difference between missing an opponent’s ball and crafting your own perfect shot. When playing Table Tennis, the controller will track almost any kind of movement that you make. Coupled with the swift reactions of the CPU player, gamers will need to pay attention to make the right shots at the right times.

If Table Tennis is an exercise in timing and quick reactions, then Archery is all of those things with an extra element: precision. The Archery game contained within Sports Champions allows you to shoot at a variety of targets against another computer-controlled opponent.

Ready, aim, fire!

Ready, aim, fire!
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The control scheme for Archery requires the use of two PS Move controllers in order to fire upon a target. Players are initially treated to a first-person perspective as they grab an arrow. Whilst holding the trigger button, players have to reach behind their back to pull an arrow from their quill and then affix it to their bow by arching their arm forward. After doing so, the player can then pull back on their bow and release the trigger button in order to launch their arrow. The further you pull back, the greater the speed and power of your arrow.

As with Table Tennis, the trajectory of your arrow is marked out with a coloured ray of light. The first-person perspective allows players to take their time aiming their bow and in this regard, Archery doesn’t take long to get used to. Once a player understands the rhythm of reaching behind them, bringing their arm forward and pulling an imaginary bow taut before letting their arrow fly, playing Archery becomes an immensely satisfying gaming experience. The controls become as fluid and responsive as you can be and adds up to a well-paced shoot-out against the AI opponent.

Physical exertion in both games is a factor, though thankfully this is somewhat offset by the quick nature of each round of play. The movements involved in Archery may initially cause aches for some, but again it must be pointed out that once a player's own sense of rhythm is established these concerns lessen. Likewise, players may become very enthused when lobbing a ball in Table Tennis, but thankfully all controllers come with wrist straps which can potentially be the salvation for your television screen.

Overall, Sports Champions gives a very positive impression of how the PlayStation Move operates. While some may have been concerned about the PS Move's accuracy, usability and overall fun factor, our experience makes us believe that it's highly unlikely that the PS Move will be a backwards step in the PlayStation 3's evolution, and should only generate excitement around the possibilities available for the system.

Related Content

GDC 10: Sony's motion controller is PlayStation Move
11 Mar, 2010 Glowy ball wand thingy is out, then.
Rockstar Games presents Table Tennis Review
29 Oct, 2007 Let's get physical.
Rockstar Games presents Table Tennis Preview
04 Oct, 2007 Going through the motions?
19 Comments
3 years ago
The Move controller sure is ugly.
3 years ago
I have no interest in motion controls whatsoever!!!
3 years ago
Bocce!??!? Why not Lawn bowls, at the very least. Something altogether different would be much preferable.

But, this is irrelevant since playstation move is going to fail. Why? Because Sony are releasing this to try and steal back the casual market from Nintendo, and the Wii is so much cheaper that there's no way the casual market will switch over to PS3.
3 years ago
^ yeah but when wii2 gets released, people will have to buy a new console

When this will probably have all the same stuff

+ it isnt that much cheaper
3 years ago
Are you able to compare the controls to the Wii Sports games by any chance?

I don't think anyone thought the Move would be a backwards step in the PS3's evolution, we were more concerned if it would be backwards, or would it improve on the accuracy of the Wii motion controls.

Cheers
3 years ago
Day one
3 years ago
Phreakuency wrote
Are you able to compare the controls to the Wii Sports games by any chance?

I don't think anyone thought the Move would be a backwards step in the PS3's evolution, we were more concerned if it would be backwards, or would it improve on the accuracy of the Wii motion controls.

Cheers
In terms of accuracy and response the two are about on par from my own playing experience, but the PS Move seems to be more involved, so to speak. Take Tennis for example - on the Wii, you can make a shot with a flick of a wrist, whereas there seemed to be much more of a follow-through effect on the Move. It didn't strike me as being more or less accurate by comparison but a slightly different way of approaching the game.
3 years ago
Is the Playstation Move only one colour or can you make it emit different colours by changing a setting?


Either way I want a purple one ^^
3 years ago
From what I understand, the colour changes to help the PS3 track the ball. In other words, to contrast it enough against the background so the camera can see it clearly. So it will change colour depending on the colour of the room it is used in, lighting conditions etc.
3 years ago
Sounds good so far, I was surprised to read about the need to reach for an arrow in the Archery, seems somewhat sophisticated. I'm definitely keeping an eye on the Move, it might just turn out to be great new direction for the PS3.
3 years ago
i really cant wait for it, basically just for the sports games, golf etc.
loved them on wii, but was disapointed with the sometimes slow reactions on the screen to my control, wii motion plus didnt really improve it enough for me, but by the sounds of this it will be better (hopefully)
also a little interested in the shooting games with the controller (only interested at the moment though, not desperate for it)
3 years ago
I'm interested in the 'not highly detailed' comment, as those screenshots look exceptional. Is it just because we don't have a blown-up version to compare with?

Otherwise, I couldn't imagine much more detail than sunlight streaming through the canopy of the trees in the second screenshot or the great looking scoreboard and ground surface of the first screenshot.
3 years ago
Will be interesting to see how this all plays out wrt sales and success.

I look at Move in a similar way I look at my driving wheel. There are a few games where the driving wheel makes the experience and I don't want to play with a standard controller. But there are lots of games, including driving games, that I don't want to play with the wheel. I feel it will be the same with Move.
3 years ago
^^I meant highly detailed in terms of other games that are already out there which have a greater emphasis on visuals than Sports Champions (Uncharted 2, Bioshock 2 etc.)

As for the glowing lights, I wasn't able to tell whether or not the colours had anything to do with distance or ball tracking as all of the controllers I observed being used had different colours lit up yet were all in teh same room.
3 years ago
I'm quite looking forward to this though I'll be waiting to see how the first few months play out before I decide to jump in or not. If dev support is poor and all we see are upscaled wii clones I'll have to pass but I think (and hope) something worthwhile can be born from this. Motion control definatly isn't the future for all games (along the lines of what bowie said) but it can be really fun for the right type of game.

Nice one cody.
3 years ago
The support is looking pretty good so far, with quite a few new games being released that will support it, as well as some big existing titles getting patches to work with it. Games such as Flower, Heavy Rain, Little Big Planet and Resident Evil 5 will all be getting patches, so Sony are certainly trying to get as much support as they can.
3 years ago
admeister wrote
The support is looking pretty good so far, with quite a few new games being released that will support it, as well as some big existing titles getting patches to work with it. Games such as Flower, Heavy Rain, Little Big Planet and Resident Evil 5 will all be getting patches, so Sony are certainly trying to get as much support as they can.
Ah sweet, a reason to actually play Heavy Rain again!
Loved that game, but I have way too many games unfinished in my collection to try for Platinum on it...without a reasonable excuse.

Would love to be waggling instead of wriggling my thumb.
3 years ago
Man I loved RE4 and its all thanks to the Wii, RE5 is a definite purchase with this Move ^^
3 years ago
THEMAN wrote
Day one
Back in 2006?




HUR HUR BECAUSE THATS WHEN THE WII WAS RELEASED AND THIS IS THE SAME THING HUR HUR

My mate will be getting this. If it gives us half as much fun as Wii Sports did, then it'll be well worth it.
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Publisher:
  Sony
Genre:
  Sport
Year Made:
  2010

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