PS3 Move, much more than a Wiimote, different to Kinect

I have to admit to having been a little dismissive of the Ps3 Move controllers. I should have known better really as if I get that dismissive feeling I usually dig a bit deeper to consider why and find the gem I am missing.
In this case it took getting a Move controller in the house and playing with it. I had only really seen the table tennis game we had on The Cool Stuff Collective show, which whilst it is great seemed very Wii like in what it did. Yes you have brilliant control over the bat but conceptually it is the same.
Anyway on Saturday the predlets and I wandered into our local Best Buy and I thought we should get 2 controllers.
Already having a camera and a few things like eye pet that could be upgraded it was worth it.
Ps3 move controller
You have to charge the things up of course, but as you have to wait several hours for updates and demos to down load there was time for a charge.
The ball on the end of the controller changes colour depending on which controller it is in a multiple set. In the shop I was confused as to whether I needed the extra additional movement controller for anything. So I left that one where it was (more on that at the end of this)
Whilst mentally I have been all about Kinect on the 360 and the fantastic full body motion capture it does for control the Move controller really does some things that the Wii mote cannot do and to some extent that Kinect cannot do.
The Wiimote acts more as a 2d pointer, it does not deal with depth in the same way as a Move does. In addition the move is keyed into the camera. So the experiences are able to put you in the environment and then it is able to track the controller and replace it on screen with something else. See below with the foam hand.

This feedback loop is most noticeable in Eye Pet. The previous incarnation used a tracking marker of card that you moved around the augmented environment. It worked, but it you turned the card at an angle you would loose tracking (as the marker was 2d an obscured). The glowing move ball and its accelerometers know if you twist turn or angle the controller any direction and you can see that on screen with the augmented item. This makes eye pet even easier to use. It is more obvious to hold the glowing ball than a flat piece of card. The predlets got straight on with eye pet and were able to do even more and play the games better, so Move is worth it for Eye Pet alone.
This direct connection to the onscreen environment and the blended augmentation of the magic mirror effect does not feature in all games though.
However one feature that felt great is in the downloadable game Tumble. This is a block stacking game, a clone of Boom Blox on the Wii which allows for a good comparison of the evolution.
Tumble shows the Move as a laser pointer on the screen, but when you pick up a block you have to reach in and out of the screen as well as move in the 2d plane to stack the block. As you place the block you feel the very subtle feedback of the rumble pack. It is haptics lite but with the visuals and the physical activity the feedback loop is very believable. It is this feedback that Kinect will not be able to do. Obviously in a dance game on Kinect the feedback and avatar on screen movement will immerse but you will not feel anything from other experiences. In addition this Tumble game is 3d enabled (which I we are not yet!) but I ca imagine the 3d depth combined with the physical movements and tactile feedback will make this incredibly immersive.
Another tactile element to Move is the fire button in a “light gun” game. In some of the point and shoot games a trigger to press is very satisfying.
So you can see there is more to the comparison of Move and Kinect and Wiimote than meets the eye or hand.
Finally I got Resident Evil 5 as a Move compatible version. I don’t really like zombie games and whilst I appreciate the wonderful nature of Res Evil it always seems the controls CapCom use are counter intuitive. With the Move this was the same. The trigger is user to aim the gun and the thumb button to fire. In addition whilst this says Move compatible the boxes need to be a bit more clear whether you need 2 glowing ball controllers or 1 glow and one movement. Res Evil needs a joypad to move around. You can hold a six axis controller in your left hand and grapple with movement but really the smooth way is the extra extra controller. Not clear from the box (though obvious in some ways of you know the game). As Res Evil is quite a tricky game dealing with odd controls and not just shooting stuff meant it was not a great experience out of the box. I will persevere though.
It is a pity there was not a better line up of games at launch. Something that seems to be a very Sony thing to do. Lots of coming soon 2gb demos to wait to download (or on a disc if you buy the camera with the controller).
However, I like it now, it has a place and it will do some very interesting things IMHO.

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