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37 Reviews

PlayStation Move

Moving in the right direction

For the benefit of anyone who hasn't been paying attention recently, let's get reacquainted with the basics of the PlayStation Move; how it works, how it looks, how it feels, what it smells like.

The Move controller fits snugly in your hand as a smooth, slightly concave, rounded cylinder. Your thumb rests on the new 'Move' button - the controller's action button.

On either side of your thumb, the familiar PlayStation symbols are displayed on small 'clicky' buttons, whilst the PS button is placed just below and set into the controller.

Underneath, your forefinger rests on an analogue trigger - with a slight lip on the end to stop the slipping problem that many gamers found with the shoulder buttons on the SixAxis. It's perfectly moulded to fit the hand and all the key buttons sit exactly where you'd want them to.

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It's only the start and select buttons that are a bit awkward to get to. Placed on either side of the shaft, you end up having to press them with the side of your thumb, which is either a cramped or stretched manoeuvre depending on which you're going for. Lucky you won't be using them very much then.

The Move's stand-out feature, visually speaking, is its white orb. The hollow, soft, squeezable ball is the key to the whole operation and the bit that keeps "sex toy" in the back of your mind whenever it's in sight. Which is no bad thing, obviously.

Couple this with the PlayStation Eye and you've got a similar set up to the Wii - only the exact opposite. Bear with us.

See, where Nintendo essentially put a camera in the controller, which looks for a sensor bar on top of the TV, Sony puts the sensor in your hand. Point the Move at the Eye and the white orb will flick through and finally glow with one its 100 potential colours - the one that contrasts the most with your wallpaper so that it stands out.

Also housed in the Move's matte casing is a three-axis accelerometer and angular rate sensors that can detect the controller's rotation and titling movement in any direction - which also make up the basic mechanics of the Wii remote.

Sony's gone one step further, though, by throwing in a magnetometer (a digital compass to normals) which uses the Earth's gravitational pull to bolster the other readings. That's right, people; the PlayStation Move uses the Earth itself to up the accuracy.

It's the PS Eye that keeps track of the controller in the main, though. By judging whether or not the ball on the end is getting bigger or smaller, it can register forwards and backwards motion for stabbing, pushing or just general poking in-game.

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So it's got the internal gizmos, it looks good (if a bit dubious) and feels good apart from a couple of awkward, lesser-used buttons. Oh and it smells of not very much, for those of you who were waiting for that bit.

MOVING ON
But what really matters is how all this affects the in-game experience. The questions we need answers to are: Does it work, is it really any different to the Wii and will it bring anything to the table other than annoying family fun?

Speaking of which, we dedicated most of our play time to Sports Champions. The other option was Start the Party and, well, there's only so much flying fruit you can slice up against the clock before you go numb inside.

To answer the first question: Yes. PlayStation Move absolutely does work. Sports Champions is lag-free and movement is 1:1 99 per cent of the time - sometimes eerily so.

Take 'Disc Golf' (golf with a Frisbee) for example. Using the Move's trigger to pick up the disc, the camera zooms into a first person perspective, leaving a white hand representing your own. We stood for a while tilting the Frisbee in every direction, attempting to spot even the most minuscule limitation, misrepresentation or lack of synchronisation.

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