Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sony Playstation Move VS Nintendo Wiimote

It has come to my attention that most don't realize what the difference between the Sony Playstation Move controller and the Nintendo Wiimote is and honestly that's okay. That's what you have me for.

A little side note, I am NOT the definitive be all to end all when it comes to this technology. I am merely trying to explain this in a way that makes sense to the average user.

The Wiimote is based around an infrared optical sensor with the combination of motion sensing control thanks to an accelerometer. That's a mouthful huh? Let's break that down. Two things here: one is a shiny light that points at a sensor bar and the other is the control recognizes certain movement when you shake the crap out of it.

The Playstation Move on the other hand uses the Playstation Eye camera to track the position of the two controllers and the controllers themselves use inertia sensors to figure out how you're swinging your imaginary lightsaber. Thanks to the glowing bulb on the top, the eye can pick up exactly where the controller is in all directions and dimensions.

You might be thinking, "Wow... that sounds almost exactly the same. Sony must be ripping Nintendo off." But that is a blanket statement that doesn't take into the fact the actual differences in gameplay AND the different direction that Sony is taking their controller.

First of all, the Wiimote's infrared comes with some inherent flaws that most have never heard of:

Other lights can affect the sensor. Not just other infrared lights (though that can cause all kinds of issues I'm not even going to talk about) but even something as simple as Christmas Lights hanging on a tree in the house. Depending on what kind of light the sensor picks up, you can have issues ranging from the sensor getting confused all the way up to the sensor going ape shit.

Recalibration. The heat from your hand holding the controller can actually screw up the calibration over time. You can always reset the calibration but the fact that it happens is annoying.

Sound! Yes... I almost don't want to believe it but there are reports of sound frequencies conflicting with the wiimote in some way. I don't know if there is a definitive answer as to whether it's butting heads with the wiimote's bluetooth or what but it's kind of funny that this has come up at all.

I'm not saying that the Wiimote is going to fail on you all the time and that it's a piece of crap. Some people jump to that conclusion. I'm just saying that infrared has its flaws and these have come up. It's something to think about. They can be avoided with proper use.

In contrast though, from what has been tested, the Playstation Move manages to avoid all of these issues due to it using different sensor technology than what the Wiimote currently uses.

So now you're probably wondering how Sony is planning to take a different direction or if that is even possible. Sony has announced a hefty list of companies they are working with on projects for the Move controller. They haven't shown off much but what they have shown has managed to turn skeptics into gamers wanting Move in their living room. I'm specifically speaking about those who have actually tested it. Just watching someone use Move controllers is going to look about the same as watching someone use the Wiimote. That isn't going to impress you. When you actually play a game and the ratio is literally 1:1, you are going to be smiling. 1:1 ratio means that when you move your arm, the controller moves exactly the way you are moving. The Wiimote currently doesn't have perfect 1:1 so this is a huge step up in technology.

The next big thing you find out from actually using the Move controller is that they aren't trying to copy Nintendo on gameplay. In a Wii shooter, you will be using gestures for everything. If you want to throw a grenade, you have to swing your arm wildly and hope the controller doesn't throw it somewhere you didn't mean to. This is worse gameplay than just having a regular controller in your hand and pressing a button to throw the grenade for you. So far, the SOCOM testing has proven that Sony plans on making this as intuitive as possible. When you want to throw that grenade, you just push a button. They plan on only adding the Move controls in cases where it actually improves gameplay rather than just being a different kind of control scheme. In SOCOM's case, the only time that motion control is needed is in aiming your gun. The few that have tested have admitted that the Move controls improve their gameplay because they aren't trying to use an analog to aim. So not only can they aim more quickly but they can aim more accurately than any other control scheme currently available.

I'm going to cut this article short and leave things off here for others to ponder about this. Remember that this is all based on impressions and the technology isn't in people's homes yet. We'll have to wait and see for a final verdict.

This is Kylak signing out.


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