Exploring Sony’s Nintendo Wii Rival

The casual gaming market saw Nintendo strike gold with their game-changing Wii console and, naturally, Sony and Microsoft each wanted a slice of the action, leading us to the PlayStation Move motion controllers and the controller-free Kinect in 2010. The PlayStation Move controllers were first designed with the PS3 in mind and are not entirely unlike the Nintendo Wii equivalent in design, but are more technologically advanced than the standard Wii offering. Alongside the controllers, you’ll also need the PlayStation Camera or PlayStation Eye to play the PS Move on your PlayStation 3. As a gaming product, it was generally viewed positively by reviewers at launch.

Gaming technology is all well and good but there’s no doubting that if the consumer does not buy into said technology then the product could be doomed to failure. The PlayStation Move always had (and has) undeniable impressiveness as a bit of hardware but the sales figures (in the PS3 years at least) failed to reach anything near the dizzying heights of what the Wii could muster up. The Wii sold a whopping 100 million plus consoles overall in comparison to the Move’s 15 million units sold (according to 2012 Sony figures), which looks a bit small fry in comparison (though taking on motion gaming’s heavyweight champion of the day was no easy task). There were a number of first and third party PS3 titles that supported the Move and below we’ll cover two that did just that before looking at what one site made of the hardware in 2010.

Game One: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

Spider-Man and videogames stretch back a very long time, with 1982’s Spider-Man on the Atari 2600 being the first time the superpowered slinger of webs would enter the gaming world. There’s also a brand shiny new Spider-Man game launching for the PlayStation 5 in late 2020, but here we’ll be focusing on 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man (a multiplatform title). I think this game is worth a mention as a PlayStation Move compatible game due to the huge possibilities and potentially massive fun it could have brought to playing as Spider-Man with those Move controllers. The alternative play style seemed to bring something new to the table as you web sling your through and across New York City, doing whatever a Spider-Man does. The graphics are rather good too. I may not be a massive Spidey fan but the experience here sounds pretty appealing. Or is that just me?

Game Two: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 (2013)

Anyone for golf? As many of us know, the motion controlled golf seen on Wii Sports really adds to the gameplay experience that sets it apart from other golf games. I suspect it’s a very similar story with the Move compatible Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 release on the PlayStation 3, only even better. I’m not just talking about the inevitably upgraded high definition visuals but the gameplay side of things as well. If the PS Move was as precise, impressive and great as was claimed, then golf gaming would almost definitely be a perfect match and it could very well have improved on the Wii version of the title. Perhaps one reason the sales weren’t all that brilliant was because of the PS3 having a successor on the horizon which was set to launch later that year. Still, that doesn’t change the fact there is an interesting game there and one that would exploit the Move controllers in full, surely?

(For the PlayStation Move) golf gaming would almost definitely be a perfect match.

The reviewers had a lot of praise for the PlayStation Move when it hit the gaming market in 2010. The website TechRadar, for example, seemed hugely impressed, branding the product “incredibly accurate”, a “step beyond the Wii” and “highly responsive” alongside other plus points. It got a reassuring four out of five stars from them and was “heartily” recommended to PS3 owners. The Move story doesn’t end with the PS3 though. The PlayStation Move endures in updated form all these years later for the PS4’s amazing PlayStation VR setup, adding extra to virtual reality gaming that has captured the attention of many. Titles include Iron Man VR (which puts you behind the visor of Iron Man) and a VR version of 2011’s fantasy epic Skyrim from the long-running Elder Scrolls RPG series. And let’s not forget that the Kinect and the ill-fated Wii U (which was compatible with Wii controllers) have both been outlived by the Move. All things considered, did Sony really lose with the PlayStation Move in the lucrative battlefield of motion based gaming? I’ll leave that one to you…

Words by James Gillespie

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