Motion Controllers seem to be the new trend in the gaming world these days with Sony and Microsoft releasing their own peripherals to compete with Nintendo’s Wii. It has now been a while since these motion activated peripherals came out and it’s time to see how they stack up now. All three options have their strengths and weaknesses. To find out how they compare keep reading onward.
The first and original version of the motion control era was the Nintendo Wii. Even though its successor, the Wii U has been announced, the Wii is still a strong contender. Since the Wii was built from the ground up as a motion based gaming system its entire library has support for the control setup. In 2009 they also made the MotionPlus add-on which improved accuracy and was introduced with Wii Sports Resort. The Wii uses a sensor bar with IR Sensors to detect the position of the controller from the console. It also features a gyroscope and accelerometer to determine angle, pitch, and speed at which the controller is moved. As far as accuracy goes it’s in between the Kinect and Move.
The Killer Application for the Wii is Wii Sports Resort because it’s capable of showing just how accurate the system can be when combined with the MotionPlus add-on. Games like Archery and Hang-Gliding show a lot of great capability and despite being 4 years older than its competition the Wii shows it still has what it takes to hold its own against its rivals.
As far as cost of entry is concerned the Wii is all around the cheapest was to get into motion gaming. No extra add-ons or peripherals are required. The Wii currently retails for $149 with a free copy of Mario Kart Wii. That’s the same price as the Microsoft Kinect Alone! The controllers now have the MotionPlus technology built-in so that’s no longer a worry. If you want to add extra controllers the WiiMote retails for $39.99 and the NunChuck goes for $19.99. Games run from $20-$50.
The Playstation Move was released in September 2010 as an add-on peripheral to the PS3 itself. The Move is known for being the most accurate of the motion controls (and for looking a bit inappropriate as well). The Move not only features its own library of motion-specific games, but also older titles such as Heavy Rain and Resident Evil 5 that were updated to take advantage of the new control setup. Also newly released titles such as Killzone 3 and Socom 4 feature support for both standard controls or the Move. The Move uses a Bluetooth connection to interact with the game and like the WiiMote it features gyroscopes and accelerometers to provide speed and tilt. The glowing ball on top is used in conjunction with the Eye Camera to determine the location of the controller in relation to the console. It’s extremely accurate and can detect even the slightest of movement.
The killer Application on the Move is a tie between Heavy Rain and Killzone 3. While neither of the two games were made for the peripheral, they really show the capabilities. Heavy Rain has segments which involve things like brushing your teeth or punching somebody in the face and the Move really makes these actions feel natural and fluid. In Killzone 3 it’s very similar to playing a first-person shooter on the Wii, but once you get the hang of the motion controls you won’t want to use the regular controller anymore.
For cost of entry the Move is highly dependent on what you already own. If you have the system and Playstation Eye camera it ‘ll only cost you about $50 to get the motion control. If you have the system but no Eye Camera it’ll cost you $100 for the starter kit. If you want the PS3 with the Move it’ll cost you $400 to get the Move bundle pack that comes with a 320GB PS3. You can also get the Socom 4 Full Deployment Edition which Includes the Camera, Move Controller, Navigation Controller, Sharpshooter, and a copy of Socom 4. Standalone Controllers cost $50 and the Navigation Controllers cost $30. Games will run between $20-$60
Last of the Motion Control Systems is the Kinect by Microsoft. It was released in November 2010 and like the Move it’s an add-on peripheral to the Xbox 360. The Kinect is known for being a completely controller-less experience. The Kinect’s library is made up mostly of Kinect specific games, but there are some games that allow for either the regular controller or Kinect. The Kinect features both full body tracking and full voice recognition and you can use both those methods to navigate around the menu. The Kinect is a bar-style design that consists of a VGA camera, IR Sensor, and depth sensor. Using the three, it can detect where you are and your body position. It also features a motorized stand that will adjust itself to the optimum angle for use.
Kinect’s killer application from my experience would have to be Dance Central. It really features some crazy positions and when playing the game it’s capable of detecting even slight variations from the move required. For example, if you’re supposed to clap and your hands don’t quite touch it’ll know. It really uses the Kinect to its full potential and will at times surprise you at just how fluid and accurate the Kinect can be despite not having a controller as a reference point.
For cost of entry, if you already own an Xbox 360, you’ll pay $150 for the sensor. Just to note, for those who own the Original 360 (non-slim), the Kinect will need its own power adapter. If you don’t own an Xbox, the Kinect bundles will run you either $300 for the 4GB bundle or $400 for the 250GB bundle. No extra peripherals are required. Games will run about $30-$50 depending on title.
Which one is best for you?
As far as determining which is the best, here’s some criteria to take a look at:
- Do you have plenty of space? – If not, then Kinect is not right for you as it requires a large open space.
- What’s your budget? – If you own the system then buy the peripheral for the system. Also look at cost of ownership (games, extra controllers, etc.) For example getting a complete Move setup for 2 players can cost as much as $210 (starter kit + second controller + 2 navigation controllers).
- What’s your main use? – Hardcore gaming should go with Move or Wii and Casual games are better on the Kinect.
In the end, whichever of the three you choose I can guarantee that you’ll be satisfied with your purchase. All of them offer a great gaming experience and even if you think motion gaming is just silly, I’d recommend giving it a shot because you may be surprised by how good it is.