Clearly Nintendo did something right: years after incorporating motion controls into the Wii, the competition is finally following suit. With the Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect, Sony PlayStation Move, and even the Nintendo Wii Remote Plus controller all landing during the same holiday season, it's only natural to compare and contrast these three similar-yet-different systems.
Does evolution equal fun? Motion control might be the future, but the present three options all have their ups and downs. Check out our debate below and weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section.
Who is it for?
Dan: Breaking it down into cliches of which audience goes for each console, the PlayStation Move feels like it's aimed at self-identified gamers--those who are into shooting, racing, and, well, more shooting. You get that vibe through everything from the Kevin Butler TV commercials to the console's information design, which at times seems almost joyfully counterintuitive.
The Xbox 360 Kinect is courting in equal parts the home theater enthusiast and the novelty seeker. Nintendo's Wii MotionPlus, at the same time, has quietly caught up by incorporating its ill-conceived external dongle into a regular-size Wiimote, but will the casual Wii audience go back and buy new control sticks?
Scott: The Move is for "hard-core gamers," according to Sony, and the button-covered design may come off as a bit intimidating for the Wii crowd. The Kinect is controller-free, and the motion-heavy gaming is perfect for fitness nuts, families, and casual players with luxurious living rooms. The Wii is still for nearly anyone, but mainly kids, casual gamers, and those without HDTVs.
Setup and space requirements
Dan: Finding a place to stick a Wii sensor bar used to seem like such a hassle; if we only knew how good we had things back then. The simplicity of that nearly passive Wii sensor bar seems positively nostalgic now; not only do the Kinect and PlayStation Move require bulky external Webcams, but both cameras are hard-wired and sure to drive the cord-conscious crazy.
The PlayStation Move is actually fairly forgiving in its space requirements, at least compared with the Kinect. Maybe the tens of millions of people living in New York aren't Microsoft's target market, because we have yet to speak to an NYC apartment dweller who has not had to clamber over their sofa to set up the Kinect (and you can forget about playing many of the multiplayer games). Not to overemphasize this point, but the rigid space requirements for setting up and using the Kinect are incredibly annoying. … Read more