LOS ANGELES (AP) At first touch, the PlayStation Move feels awfully familiar.
Unveiled at the recent Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Sony’s forthcoming wand-shaped motion controller and the smaller subcontroller handle similarly to Nintendo’s Wii Remote and Nunchuck. There are differences, of course: It’s lighter. There are fewer buttons. The batteries are rechargeable. And there’s that big glowing sphere on the end.
The biggest difference seems to be in the games — admittedly in the early stages of development — that were showcased for the PlayStation Move at several events during the conference. There’s another level of interaction and kinetic fidelity with many of these titles because the system uses a PlayStation Eye camera and can make players part of the game. Here’s a rundown:
EyePet: Gamers can feed, clean, and entertain their own virtual monkeylike creatures in this augmented reality title aimed at youngsters that relies on a PlayStation Eye camera pointed at the floor. The controller becomes different tools, such as a hair dryer or X-ray machine, that help to take care of and customize the cuddly lil’ cooing critters.
Motion Fighter: Controllers are required in each hand for this stylized brawler that’s reminiscent of “Fight Club.” Punches must be followed through to land on an opponent. Unfortunately, some of the more intricate pugilistic approaches, such as uppercuts or grabs, awkwardly require button mashing or a twisting of the wrist to register on screen.
Move Party: This collection of silly arm-flapping amusements, such as swatting virtual bugs or creating digital paintings, is focused on projecting the action around players with the help of the PlayStation Eye camera. Players are displayed on screen with the controller appearing as such cartoony tools as a bug swatter or oversize paint brush.
Slider: A one-handed combination of wrist movements controls virtual characters riding office chairs and other pieces of furniture through the streets of Japan in this quirky casual downhill racer. Players must drift, jump, duck and kick through obstacles, such as cardboard boxes, barrels and even a few mobsters, as they scoot to the end of the course.
SOCOM 4: The upcoming third-person shooter sequel will support both the standard controller and the PlayStation Move system. The wand-shaped controller is used to target enemies and look around the environment while movement is strictly activated with the analog stick on the sub-controller. Button taps trigger sharper aiming and lunging to cover.
Sports Champions: An obvious challenger to “Wii Sports Resort,” this assemblage of casual sport games, such as table tennis, flying disc golf, archery and beach volleyball, highlights the PlayStation Move’s increased precision. In a gladiator fighting mini-game, players are able to use two controllers to wield both a shield and a sword against oncoming foes.
The Shoot: This lighthearted arcade-style shoot ‘em up turns the PlayStation Move wand-shaped controller into a blaster used to strike down baddies invading Hollywood movie sets. The controller’s function isn’t just limited to simply pointing and shooting. One wacky maneuver involves spinning around in place to freeze time on the screen.