After having a chance to try out both Microsoft’s Kinect for the Xbox 360 and Sony’s Move for the PlayStation 3 at E3, it’s clear that there are advantages and disadvantages to each. However, before that, let’s make one thing clear: goodbye Wii. While Nintendo has held first place for the most units sold in this generation’s consoles, that’s likely going to change soon. Both Microsoft and Sony, taking inspiration from Nintendo, are hard at work to put the Wii to rest once and for all. While the Xbox and PlayStation are reinventing the controller backed by high-definition graphics, their new technologies will appeal to different audiences.
Microsoft Xbox Kinect
While I was quick to assume that controller-free gaming was far from being ready, Microsoft took the leap with Project Natal (now Kinect). Sony attempted the same thing just a few years ago with the PlayStation EyeToy, but it was far from practical and never caught traction with customers. The Kinect, however, pushes the limits by dumping the traditional controller. While it’s hard to imagine how games such as Gears of War 3 or Halo Reach will be played without controllers, upcoming titles such as Dance Central and Fitness Evolved make Microsoft’s vision for gaming clear.
The technology behind it is simple yet ingenious: a set of cameras and microphones detect your movement and listen to your voice. It truly makes you the controller, and no gloves, vests, or accessories are needed. It is unquestionably easier to use than the PlayStation Move or the Wii. It’s refreshingly exciting with its“Minority Report“-like features for waving a hand in mid-air to slowly scan back and forth through a movie. Even the ability to simply yell out “Xbox Pause” or “Xbox Play” without having to hold a controller is truly convenient. The only thing that’s not exciting is the price-point. While Microsoft hasn’t officially revealed numbers, most reports indicate that the Kinect will cost consumers nearly $150. While multiple players can use a single Kinect, the price might be a speed bump for potential buyers.
While I’m positive that this technology will be great for family driven games, the true potential of the technology is probably not going to be apparent for some time. As Microsoft begins to offer more APIs for Kinect and developers begin taking advantage of them, I’m confident that gamers will see some exciting ideas. But for now, some issues are worth mentioning. For instance, there are slim chances that true gamers will consider staying on their feet all night long with Kinect. Voice commands may also become problematic if the sound from a home theater setup is too loud or if everyone begins yelling things. And while most demos were shown off in brightly lit situations, it’s hard to tell exactly how well the technology will work until the Kinect gets tested in an average living room.
Sony PlayStation Move
At first glance Sony’s latest creation, the PlayStation Move, appears to closely resemble the Nintendo Wiimote. However, there are a few differences in addition to the illuminated globe on top. While the Wii has a Nunchuck that’s tethered to the Wiimote, the PlayStation’s motion and navigation controllers offer more freedom by wirelessly connecting to the console. While the Wii uses an infrared sensor bar, the PlayStation Eye offers a camera and microphone for further interaction. It is true that the PlayStation Move technology isn’t revolutionary or groundbreaking; the components have been around for sometime already. Sony may have taken the safe route, but they also better implemented the idea into their console.
For serious gamers, the PlayStation Move is the best solution of the three consoles. For starters, it’s far more accurate and offers more control than the Kinect. With a joystick, a d-pad, and buttons in addition to camera tracking and motion capabilities, the PlayStation Move offers more control of a game. It’s something the Kinect, which can only track arms, legs, and body movement, simply can’t offer. The PlayStation Move also offers an unparalleled integrated 1:1 virtual movement experience in 3D space. The Wii, on the other hand, needs an addition Motion Plus accessory to simulate the same thing. When it comes to long hours of gaming, the Kinect gets tiring to play. Health benefits of physically engaging games aside, the PlayStation Move suits the average gamer better.
The PlayStation Move’s controllers offer a more traditional approach to gaming. A Sony spokesperson even assured us that most major titles would be entirely compatible with both the PlayStation DualShock controller and the Move controller. While the Move isn’t as convenient as the gesture and voice based control that the Kinect offers, it’s better for gaming at the moment. As for pricing, Sony announced that it would sell the Move motion controller for $49 and the Move navigation controller for $29. It’s a bit more affordable than the Kinect, but the bill can stack up when purchasing additional units for multiple players.
It would be unwise to try to predict which console will come out on top in 2010 until I can spend more time with the new hardware and game titles. After all, I did initially denounce the Wii since it’s graphics capabilities were years behind both the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, yet sales figures soon proved me wrong. As for the latest console hardware, both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 have plenty of potential. With great graphics, a media center platform, and an online social network, Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect appeals to a large audience. Although slightly different, Sony’s PlayStation Move offers plenty as it paves the way into the realm of high-definition 3D gaming with Blu-ray movies and many upcoming exclusive game titles to back it. The new battle between consoles is clearly between Microsoft and Sony. The Nintendo Wii is in dire need of an upgrade.
Links: Xbox.com | PlayStation.com
Question for the author: “Sony may have taken the safe route, but they also better implemented the idea into their console.”
How the hell did Sony implement it better in their console? Xbox’s motion controller also operates the menus and the interface. Does Move do this beyond the d-pad and buttons?
Also – your assumption that Move is better for any hardcore gamer . . . let’s be clear about one thing: the current hardcore games you mention will never be played with any of these two technologies by anyone who wants to be competitive. You mention Gears of War, you mention Halo Reach . . . I personally would love to use a regular controller and play anyone who is using one of the motion controllers . . . he will die.
Therefore you have jumped the gun yet again. Just like you did when you called Wii a fad that would not have sales, you have now stuck your foot in your mouth one more time. The next generation of “hardcore gamers” will be decided by the hardcore games that come out for both of the above technologies. I would argue that the install base is not enough for the PS3 to make any significant headway in the mainstream “hardcore” genre – outside of the cutsie games that have already come out for the Wii. However – when considering Microsoft’s Kinect, and remembering statements from Bill Gates after last year’s E3 . . . that Kinect (or Natal at the time) would not just be for the console but could also be ported to the PC . . . The install base for Kinect is only limited by Microsoft’s ability to produce them.
But I digress . . . the Hardcore games that will be created based on these interfaces . . . are what will determine the hardcore games that will define these interfaces. Right now, I’ll continue playing my FPS’s with a controller, thank you, and I’ll challenge any Move or Kinect user to a game any day of the week.
So far I have yet to believe that a hardcore gamer can benefit from much of this “move” / “kinect” bull crap. Therefore to believe Sony’s marketing that theirs will . . . is to well . . . let me say I have a peice of land I’d like to sell you in New York, have your people call my people . . . we’ll make a deal.
lol a gamer war begins. i think Sasha means Move is better than wii controller.
I don’t think any hardcore gamer plays the wii, will use the Kinect, or the PS Move. the story doesn’t mention hardcore gamers anywhere.
how would Kinect work for laptops? a webcam. haha funny. you can barely make out a face to start.
and how are u saying kinect is better for hardcore than ps3? u can play move games with a dualshock, u can’t do that with the kinect.
i think average gamers will like kinect and move, you won’t. that’s cuz you are a hardcore player. majority of console owners arent.
i could take you to school in wii table tennis, kinnect dance central, or move sports anyday.
i just want to know the best console for my 8 year old daughter, aside from wii she already has that. I’m dizzy from reading so much about them both!
Kinnect way better and you still have the 360 which is way better online then sony will ever be
ummm Rox, The author states “for serious gamers”
I think just maybe that could be a synonym for “Hardcore” . . . .
I think Sahas is considering “serious gamers” as gamers that just don’t feel like dancing to Lady Gaga, playing with baby tigers, or kicking a big red ball down a river or something like that.
dude . . . Dominic . . .
It was Gwen Stefani, not Gaga.
After seen both videos, I preffer the music of the PS3 Move video than the Kinetic.
Going to the controls, maybe are two different things… Microsoft sells software, maybe kinetic is just their first step to put this technology in devices such as cars (MS already is in this market) or points of sales (no contact from clients, no damage of parts) while Sony is in the market of hardware, trying to sell you the ps3, move gamepads, 3d tvs, home teathers… so move is designed only for games.
Maybe the results are similar, but the objectives of both technologies are distinct.
Remember that if you get kicked in a game like Modern Warfare or another FPS, you can get your wireless gamepad and return the kick.
Just give me a mouse and keyboard for XBOX. $30 and I’m good to go!
I prefer iphone games better than any of the video games out there, cz it makes me not feel bored when i am taking a dump…..
Come on guys…u need to grow up…
what do u think is better i mean the move has buttons for games what happens if i want to play call of duty black opps for xbox i cant right? so i honestly think the ps3 is better anyways it was always better in general.
Nobody ever gives credit to nintendo they made it first.but now its sony vs. microsoft.
i think playstation move is better than an kinnect no lie it looks funner
after watching the video i realise that the move is better just watch it.
I personally think the xbox kinect is generations ahead of sony’s 1967 camera. Imean who would want to play hardcore games like Gears of War or Halo Reach without a regular controller, do you want to die or something.I’ve played on both xbox kinect and sony’s move so I speak out of experiance and I don’t think the playstation move resembles the nintendo wiimote I think it’s the same thing in a fancier design. SO PLEASE STOP COMLEMENTING SONY’S DUSTY OLD FAX MACHINE!!!!!!
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