By KZeni 4 Comments
I should start off by saying that I don't own a Wii, but have played it many times with friends...
Ok, here's what I gotI purchased the Sports Champions bundle, the official charging dock (usb ports are occupied by camera & headset), and played some of the Tumble demo. I would have bought a second controller, but they were sold out. I ended up avoiding the other demos that come with the Sports Champions bundle either due to my lack of interest in the game or the fact that the developers simply replaced button presses with gestures in order to make a motion game [ie. Kung Fu Rider] which then makes me question wether or not it benefits from being Move-based, because the first time you repeatedly fail to perform an action even though you seem to be doing it exactly how they explained it will cause so much frustration that you will never want to play it again.
Form & FunctionalityI find that Move works really well & the level of fidelity provided is quite impressive. Sports Champions is quite fun, and I'm sure you've seen/played Wii Sports (Resort) enough to already know what the gameplay is like. The Move controller fits my hand well & seems to be an appropriate weight (not too heavy to be tiring yet not so light that it feels cheap). Even though the controller has a round design, you can set the it on a flat surface without it rolling off due to it's offset weight & trigger that protrudes enough to prevent the controller from rolling anywhere.
Input LagThere isn't a noticeable lag in Sports Champions, but you might notice a slight "drift" to the onscreen movements when working in a game that requires precise movements (ie. Tumble). That being said, my guess is that the "drift" is a side-effect of filtering out the "shaky hands" issue that seemed to be present in previous tech demos that show the raw output of the controller. This creates the tradeoff of providing instantaneous yet shaky vs. slight lag yet smooth input; which is a choice of the software developer, and not a reflection of the hardware.
What about when they show you the live camera feed?There is a brief moment in Sports Champions where the camera feed shown onscreen with an object overlaying & mimicking the controller. Basically, it takes your picture with you holding an object (frisbee, table tennis paddle, etc) after you beat the 10 opponents in each bracket in the single player mode. I didn't really notice much lag. Although I, admittedly, wasn't really paying much attention to lag at the time considering I should probably play something like Eyepet to see how well it works in a fully realized application.
Please read the following paragraph to calibrate...I haven't had a single occurrence of it loosing calibration in Sports Champions (even when the controller goes out of view of the camera), and you can breeze through the 3 step calibration that's required when starting up a game w/o needing to wait for the instructions so it takes all of 2 seconds to do. Tumble did have a few instances where my controller suddenly thought it was 2 feet lower than it was & required me to "center" it by pressing circle (they made it easy to correct, but it's not perfect).
Buyer's adviceI'm going to assume that potential buyers already own a PS3 or are buying one for some other reason, because I can't imagine someone purchasing a PS3 just for the Move bundle when the Wii is a much cheaper alternative. Someone who already owns a Wii in addition to a PS3 might have a hard time justifying the price of buying the Move bundle, and should most likely wait until there's a game released for it that holds your interest. Most of what's going to be coming out early on most likely has a similar game that's already available on the Wii. However, I do think this is the best package currently available for anyone who is still interested in motion-based games or doesn't already own a Wii.
Those unsure if Kinect will be better should obviously wait until the Kinect is finished being developed, because from what I've gathered from the various videos that are out there is that navigating menus is fidgety as hell (just as it was with the camera-only EyeToy on PS2)... and I know that would be enough to prevent me from buying it if that's still an issue when it's released (also causes me to speculate as to why they decided to add voice recognition for their menus [can't be certain if 3rd-parties will develop for voice-enabled menus at this point either]). It could be fine once it's released, and put my worries at ease (at least that's what I'm hoping for).
Why limit this tech to games?I already owned a PS Eye (due to it's popularity in the NUI Group's dev community) so the secondary PS Eye is going to be used for a project involving Community Core Vision. With new user input devices in mind, I do hope that the Move controller itself picks up some support in the dev community so people can use existing Move controllers with their camera/webcam-equipped computer. I mean, navigating an XMB that has a lot of content is much better with the Move than via analog sticks/d-pad. For those that don't want to use a controller for interaction, people are already developing for two side-by-side usb cameras that then enables Kinect-like capabilities on a computer.
It would be a shame to see new ways of interacting with technology be limited to entertainment (considering that we're nearing / have reached the fidelity that one would hope for when interacting with an application on their computer). However, I am perfectly fine with the entertainment industry picking up the tab for the research/development/manufacturing of the standardized hardware though :-)
TL;DRThis is the best motion-based tech that's currently available. Your feelings about playing Wii will probably transfer over to what you think about the Move in the same way that your feelings about playing EyeToy on PS2 will probably transfer over to what you think about Kinect... higher fidelity versions of past tech that introduces depth perception. The Move does take a slightly different approach though, because it provides both the camera & controller input whereas the alternatives offer one or the other.
[edit: added links & fixed grammar]