With the success of Nintendo's Wii it's no surprise that others would eventually follow suit. Sony recently released the PlayStation Move, complete with a PS Eye camera that can see your every move and controllers that sense your positioning, and they did a great job of keeping the concept alive while adding some great improvements to the limb flailing fun.
One main difference everyone notices between the Wii and the PS Move is the PS Eye, a camera which is used just like the Wii's infrared sensor bar but with camera capabilities. The other is in the controller, with the PS Move having a glowing orb at the tip of each remote. Depending on the game, they will maintain a particular colour, such as red for shooter games like "Socom Special Forces" or a simple blue or green for most other games I've seen so far. Not only are they the new age glow-sticks but, just like the motion capture technology used for movies, they help the PS Eye read your every move including how close and far you are from the screen. These two coupled together make for a more in-depth and accurate gaming experience.
For my first venture into the PS Move world I gravitated toward "Sports Champions", where those before me had fun swinging their arms wildly while leaving a trail of light in their wake. It's PlayStation's version of Wii Sports, with several games to choose from like table tennis, bocce ball, beach volleyball, gladiator duel, archery, and disc golf. Seeing as I'm a huge fan of archery, and I've played the Wii Sports Resort version without mercy, naturally I chose that one to start.
Before the event begins it asks whether you're playing with one or two players, if you're right- or left-handed, whether you want to play with one or two Move remotes, and then suddenly there you are on TV where it asks you to stand within a target and position your arms in different poses to calibrate how you move. After you meet your and your opponent's characters, who are introduced in a manner similar to fighting games like Soul Caliber II, your match begins at whatever difficulty you choose. Archery with one Move remote was simple enough; you reach your arm over your shoulder, press and hold a button while reaching above your shoulder to remove an arrow from your quiver, then you bring the Move remote down, pulling back as though pulling on the string of your bow and letting go of the button to shoot. With two Move remotes, the added difficulty of using the other remote like a bow and holding it directly in front of you to aim where you shoot made for a more concentrated effort similar to Wii Sports Resort's own Archery game.
Once I conquered Archery I then tried out Gladiator Duel, a one-on-one arena combat game where I once again went through the pre-event calibrations before starting the match. The first thing I thought of was Wii Sports Resort's Swordplay, although the only actual similarity between the two is that it's the token weapon-fighting mini-game on a sports-themed disc. In the event, if you chose two Move remotes one represented your weapon, and the other your shield. The PS Eye is so receptive to how you move that you can hit from above, below, the side, however you choose to swing your weapon, and it mimics you quite well. With the shield, one thing I found really great is when I was attacked, if I didn't position the shield properly I'd be hit. You actually have to pay attention so you can predict where they'll attack and twist your body and shield accordingly, because if your shield is aimed high and they hit you below, you're toast. You get to do combo moves, jumping attacks, a lot of different things, and a subtle detail I especially liked was how your shields slowly fall to pieces as your health meter diminishes. I can see this mini-game becoming the popular one on this disc for future Playstation Move parties.
As with the Wii, the Move remotes can be equipped with optional props to make game play feel all the more interactive. For "Socom Special Forces", a remote was fitted into a gun casing which was then used to point and shoot for all you're worth. The gun had some weight to it like you'd expect from an actual weapon, and I thought it was clever that if you flicked your gun-toting wrist in certain ways your character would respond by completing different moves, like the standard no-gun-just-my-fist/knife attack for starters.
I noticed that other players trying out the PS Move seemed to catch on easily, although it'd be difficult not to understand how to move your own body in reaction to what's on screen. Everyone was having fun, laughing, once again proving that more interactivity with games can make for a better time.
PlayStation currently has a great package deal for the PlayStation Move, which has already been released to the world. It includes one controller, a PS Eye, and the aforementioned "Sports Champions" disc for $100. What better way to get comfortable with the system than by playing several different mini-games? How about downloading a patch for games you already have like Heavy Rain, and playing it through while using the Move? PlayStation may be almost 4 years behind Nintendo in terms of when they released their version of this addictive technology, but from the looks of things I'd say it was worth the wait.