Looking back on the PlayStation 3 era, gaming companies were really trying to do something new and original. Most of the time, they failed miserably, and the PlayStation Move is certainly evidence of that. But was it really that bad, or did it come out at a time when the market was too saturated with other gimmicky accessories?
Nintendo’s Wii was released in 2006, and it created a frenzy where companies wanted to capitalize on the motion-based gaming craze. But the PlayStation Move wasn’t Sony’s first foray into blending the physical world with the digital one. While the Move wasn’t a smashing success, it did help pave the way for some of Sony’s other breakthroughs, like the PSVR.
What Is the PlayStation Move?
The PlayStation Move was a motion-based accessory that was released in 2010 to less than impressive fanfare. It attempted to piggyback off of the success and popularity of Nintendo’s Wii console. However, this is not the Wii, and it certainly never gained much traction. In addition, the Move competed with Xbox’s Kinect, which had a similar premise but did not rely on motion controllers.
As for the PlayStation Move, it relied heavily on the PlayStation Eye, which was the PlayStation 3 successor to the Eye Toy. The device has a camera and microphone that can pick up what is going on in the real world, much like the Kinect. However, it is not reliable enough to track motion by itself, so you must also use the Move controllers.
- Bundle hardware is compatible optional hardware, sold separately, including additional Move motion controllers
- Affordable starter bundle for the Sony's motion-controlled gaming system, PlayStation Move
- Includes the PlayStation Move components, the PlayStation Move motion controller and PlayStation Eye camera peripheral
- The PlayStation Move motion controller features standard PlayStation navigational button for easy in-game movement
- Includes a copy of the Multiplayer PlayStation Move game, Sports Champions
Most PlayStation Moves were sold in a bundle that included the camera, a Motion Controller, and a game. The main controller was a wand that had a rubbery ball at the top with action buttons. This controller worked for most games and is very similar to the Wii’s remote. However, some games needed a little more control.
You could also purchase the Navigation Controller, which is required for some games. Just like the Motion controller is similar to the Wii remote, the Navigation controller is very similar to the Wii’s Nunchuck. However, the controller is completely wireless and also includes a D-pad in addition to an analog stick.
Besides the Motion and Navigation controllers, you could also purchase additional controllers and accessories that worked with the Move. There was a charging dock that fit both controllers.
Additionally, there were two Sony-branded shooting attachments that the controller set into. But the coolest add-on is the Move Racing Wheel which can even flip open to simulate motorcycle handlebars.
The PlayStation Move was originally designed for the PlayStation 3, and that remains the case today. However, the Move Motion controllers also work on the PlayStation 4 and are notably used for the PSVR. Unfortunately, the camera cannot be used, so you need to upgrade to the newer PlayStation Camera for those games.
The Eye Toy
Before the PlayStation Move, there was the Eye Toy which was actually ahead of its time. It was essentially a webcam made by Logitech for the PlayStation 2. Coming out in 2003, it recognized basic motions that were made by a player and added to the game. This usually worked by adding gameplay elements over the video feed coming from the camera.
Only eight games were released for the Eye Toy in North America, so there really isn’t much to play. There were also numerous games that supported the accessory but did not require it. If you had the Eye Toy, you could also use it with the PlayStation 3 for video chatting, but its 320×240 resolution probably left a lot to be desired.
The PlayStation Move Successor
Now, you may be wondering what became of the PlayStation Move and if it received any successors. Well, unfortunately, it never received a direct successor, and the Move was only available on the PlayStation 3. However, a similar camera system was used for future games, just like it had been since the PlayStation 2 era.
- Advanced motion sensing and light tracking technology
- Easily accessible trigger and face buttons
- Immersive vibration feedback
- Rechargeable batteries provide long hours of play
Very few PlayStation 4 games used the console’s camera for gameplay. Making things even more complicated is the fact that the PlayStation 5 also has a completely different camera which is only used for a couple of online games. The main use for it is to film yourself while playing a game for streaming purposes.
The real successor to the PlayStation Move has to be the PSVR which is a virtual reality headset. Not only does it take the principles of gameplay from the Move, but it also reuses the PlayStation Motion Controller. However, the camera systems from the PlayStation Move and the Navigation Controller are not compatible.
Instead, players use the newer PlayStation Camera designed for the PlayStation 4, which has a second camera lens. They also use two of the Motion controllers for gameplay, but many games also support the regular DualShock controllers. Although the PSVR does have some flaws, it paved the way for many people to affordably access virtual reality without a high-end PC.
Is the PlayStation Move Worth Getting Today?
It is hard to say whether the PlayStation Move is worth buying today. For those that never got a chance to play it, there can be a strong desire to buy one. Similarly, those that played understandably want it for nostalgia. But, if you don’t really have a desire either way, then it may not be the best purchase for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, the games didn’t age very well. These were products of their time, and even then, many of them weren’t very good. Also, the PlayStation Move didn’t have that many games released for it. Since so few people bought the device, only a handful of developers (mostly Sony-owned ones) made games that used the accessory.
On the bright side, the PlayStation Move is usually pretty cheap at used game stores. Much like the Kinect, the PlayStation Move isn’t in high demand.
Plus, if you already have a PSVR with Motion Controllers, then you only need to buy the PlayStation 3’s Eye Camera and possibly a Navigation Controller. Best of all, games are extremely cheap, so you can pick up a bunch without breaking the bank.
PlayStation Move Alternatives
If you’re still not sure whether or not the PlayStation Move is right for you, then you may want to consider some alternatives. The Nintendo Wii is the most obvious choice, as it did an exceptional job at utilizing motion controls. It also had tons of high-quality games that you can pick up for a pretty low price, and they are also great to play with others.
Alternatively, you can look into the Xbox Kinect if you already have an Xbox 360. The peripheral is very cheap at most game stores, and the games are equally affordable.
But, if you really want to go all out, then consider the PSVR. While a new one is set to release soon, the original PSVR still offers a lot of fun and entertainment at a very good price point. Plus, most games are under $20.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Christian Bertrand/Shutterstock.com.