Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sony's GDC Press Conference: I Like to Move it!

At the Game Developer's Conference this week, Sony unveiled the name for the Playstation motion controller they unveiled at E3 last year. It will be called Playstation Move and as Sony confirmed earlier this year, it will release this Fall.

Playstation Move uses the Playstation Eye camera in conjunction with a "wand" with buttons that is even more accurate and precise than any other motion controller out in the market today. There will also be a sub-controller that will have a similar purpose as the Wii's nunchuck controller except it will only have buttons not and not a motion sensor. Not to mention, they connect wirelessly.

There will be three SKUs available at launch. They will sell individual controllers for those who already own the Playstation Eye camera. There will be a starter kit which will contain a Playstation Eye camera, a Playstation Move controller, and one game. I would guess that there are going to be multiple starter kits at launch featuring different games. Sony will also bundle the starter kit with Playstation 3 consoles in an effort to get new casual gamers on board as quick as possible. Sony will market Playstation Move as if it were the launch of a new console. Microsoft has previously said that they will have a similar market strategy for Project Natal.

Sony showed many games. Some were older games taking advantage of Move's motion capabilities while new game that were made to take specific advantage of Move were also demoed.

Sports Champion is a sports compilation that will launch with Move. Sony showed off gladiator fighting which takes advantage of two Move controllers being used simultaneously and also showed of Table Tennis which they say is the most accurate experience you can get on a motion controller.

Move Party is a party game with minigames specifically made to show off what Playstation Move is capable of. From tracing shapes to swatting bug and shaving hair, this game looks to be filled with tons of variety.

Move Fighters, a street fighting game showed off just how much movement Move is capable of capturing. From tracking the smalled jabs to actually being able to physically turn your body for spin punches, it really shows off just how much real your movements can be. Not only did this game look fun to play but the graphics looked amazing just like any other HD game in this generation.

Aside from new games, Sony also showed off some of their older titles taking advantage of Playstation Move. LittleBigPlanet which has been previously shown, requires two players for its Move experience. One player controls the Sackboy using a Dualshock 3/Sixaxis controller while a second player points the Move controller at the screen and can change the environment by pulling levers of moving platforms in order to help Sackboy make it through a level. This is very similar to what Nintendo has done with Super Mario Galaxy's co-star mode offering a very fun co-op option that anyone can understand.

Eyepet which was supposed to release last year was delayed to give extra time to focus on making Move of native part of the experience. The Playstation Eye's augmented reality feature allows the Move controller to look like a hairdryer or toy when looked at on screen. Eyepet will release this holiday season.

Earlier this week, EA Sports announced that Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2011 would use Playstation Move to offer an incredible realistic experience when it releases this Summer. Other older games that have been previously announced to support Playstation Move in the future include Resident Evil 5, Pain, Flower. A software update will allow these games to use Move in new ways.

Finally, Sony showed off the first gameplay footage of Socom 4 which used the Playstation Move controller in conjunction with the sub-controller. The full game will be playable with this control scheme. It offers more realism combining the power of Playstation 3 with the accuracy of Move. Socom 4 will release this Fall.

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