The Move has the potential to be very accurate – even twitchy at times – but it’s very software dependent. Some games we played were more forgiving than others and for a beginner this could be a real advantage. Its ability to track the controllers position in three dimensions adds to some game play, in that it can make some movements closer to a “real“ action (e.g. Heavy Rain), but it also means you have to be careful to position the controller accurately when playing a game such as table tennis, because the orientation of the bat will affect your ability to strike the ball properly. If the controller slips in your hand you have to use visual cues to reposition it.
This realism has a potential problem. When playing table tennis or golf, for example, you don’t have the weight of the club or racket to deal with. The Move controller offers no resistance so it’s very easy to overdo a swing and possibly cause yourself some injury. The Wii, by comparison, can be controlled with a lot less effort, reducing the possibility of movement-related injury. However, you’ll work a lot harder with the Move, which could be a good thing for fitness titles.
Good lighting is essential with both the Move and the Kinect, so the camera can clearly “see” you. We found the Move’s setup easy, but found it required frequent recalibration, possibly due to less than ideal lighting. This is less of an issue if you’re playing only a couple of games, but extensive use could see it become quite annoying. The Move controller seems very responsive to quick movement, with only a very slight lag at times. However, in a frantic-action first-person-shooter this could still be annoying. Time will tell how well this works when full action titles start using it.
Microsoft’s hands-free controller system (release date 18 November 2010) at $199 includes the basic game set, Kinect Adventures, with around 15 Kinect titles available at launch. The Kinect works purely by motion-sensing camera, without requiring any hand-held controller.
Having played with a pre-release version, our initial impression is that the Kinect could really be a lot of fun with the right games and especially for multiple players. We found it to have a short but noticeable delay, or lag, in sensing body movement but as with the PS3 Move, many initial titles will be casual games designed to capitalise on the new system, where slight lagginess shouldn’t be too much of a problem. The technology will be applied to upcoming big-name titles such as Fable 3 and Forza Motorsport but it remains to be seen how, or if, others will be adapted and whether cross-platform titles will properly take advantage of the new system, or whether it will be applied awkwardly like a bandaid simply to have the Kinect label.