June 16, 2010

Sony’s ‘Move’ Motion Controller Coming In September

Sony's Move motion-sensing controller for its PlayStation 3 gaming system is scheduled to hit the U.S. market in September, ahead of Microsoft's rival Kinect device.

"We think the PlayStation Move is the device that will bridge the gap between core and casual gamers," Sony vice president Peter Dille said during a press conference on the opening day of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).

The controller will hit the market in time for the year-end holiday shopping season. 

Move controllers aim to tap into an enthusiasm for motion-sensing controls that Nintendo pioneered with its Wii console.

The controllers allow gamers to control PS3 play with swings, jabs and other natural movements instead of the toggle-and-button commands that have been trademarks of play on PS3 and rival Xbox 360 consoles by Microsoft.

Microsoft is unleashing its Kinect motion-sensing controller on November 4. 

This device uses a 3-D camera and gesture recognition software that allows people to play videogames using natural body movements and spoken commands instead of hand-held controllers.

Move wands will be priced at $49.99 when they debut in the U.S.  A smaller "sub controller" wand for use of navigating characters in shooter games will be priced at $29.99.

Sony will combine Move controllers with Eye cameras and a videogame in bundles sold for $99.99. Adding a PS3 console to that bundle raises the price to $399.99.

PlayStation Eye cameras, which are needed to track movements of controller wands, will sell separately for $39.99.

Sony took swipes at Microsoft on Tuesday about the way it debuted its Kinect device by using Cirque Du Soleil dancers.

"Am I crazy or did I just see a hundred French acrobats prancing around an arena the other night?" joked Jerry Lambert, the actor who stars in Sony television adverts as character Kevin Butler, in a pithy on-stage presentation.

He went on to tell the AFP news agency that Move "has futuristic things called buttons, which really matter to people who want to play games that involve anything more than catching a big red ball."

Sony America President and CEO Jack Tretton said the company plans to retain buttons along with motion-sensing technology.

"Buttons are critical," he told AFP. "We are not trying to stir the pot here, but we think it is an important distinction. Buttons allow for precision."

Microsoft said the Kinect will transform the videogame world by opening creative new options for software makers and eliminate learning curves for people interested in playing on consoles. 

"It recognizes you; it responds to your gestures and it listens to your voice," Xbox Live division head Marc Whitten said during the unveiling of Kinect.

"With technology like this there are no barriers."


On the Net: