It’s officially on. That is the motion control wars and, don’t hate, but Nintendo isn’t one of the combatants. Nope, this war is clearly between Microsoft and Sony. It’s the Kinect vs the Move. Full body tracking vs 1-1 controller tracking. This is going to turn out great for you, me, and both Sony and Microsoft.
Nintendo really deserves some recognition here. They blazed the path in this field, educating and showing consumers why motion control deserves a spot in their living room. Millions and millions of people have used and feel in love with the Wii over the last few years and now both Microsoft and Sony are ready to steal a lot of consumers into their world.
The two camps are radically different. Kinect touts full body control of up to two people at one time. Tracking is accurate and seemingly lag-free. But the games are virtual Wii-clones. It’s clear the market that Microsoft is primarily targeting even though there will be some more adult titles like Star Wars and Metal Gear Solid.
But there are no buttons. Games need buttons. That’s where Sony Move comes in.
The Playstation Move controller is just like you would imagine how Sony would make a Wii Remote: dark, industrial, but solid and smart. There’s also a second smaller controller that helps complete the experience for some games.
Yeah, it sounds like the Wii, right? It kind of is, but so much more powerful. There isn’t a cable connecting the two controllers, the controller doesn’t wobble on-screen, but more importantly it has 1-1 tracking in 3D space. That means you can move the controller side-to-side, forward and back and every which way. The Playstation 3’s powerful core allows the games to take full advantage of this system.
Simply put, the Playstation Move is all about games where Kinect feels like something more. It feels like Microsoft is on the verge of something really big and is using its Xbox 360 gaming platform as a sandbox for the motion tracking system. Kinect is built into the Xbox 360’s dashboard and users can fully interact with the gaming console with nothing more their hands and voice.
It’s important to note that Sony and Microsoft are distinctly different companies. Sony is a hardware company first where Microsoft has primarily been in only software. Sony wants to sell you your whole entertainment system from the TV to the speakers to the gaming system and media playback devices. Microsoft wants to connect your world with Windows, Windows Phone 7 and Xbox 360. Both Sony and Microsoft have developed their motion control system with these goals in mind.
“I say we focus on what really matters, the games.”
That pretty much sums it up in the end. Sony is about the gaming first where Microsoft isn’t. They are about the user experience. But the real winner in the end is, well, everyone. Both systems will provide awesome gaming experiences that Nintendo showed us could be possible.
But there’s a problem. Gaming add-ons don’t sell. They never have. There has never been a blockbuster gaming add-on unless you count the Gamecube Wavebird controller. Sony and Microsoft will have the tough task from here on out convincing current system owners — and Wii owners — that they should drop some hard cash down for these systems. It’s going to take hit titles and heavy media coverage for them to even get off the ground.
Don’t think for a minute that either of these systems will be an instant hit. Yeah, sure, fanboys and pundits will proclaim their system of choice, but it’s your parents, non-techie friends, and Wii owners that will decide this one. It’s going to get bloody and that’s awesome.