I had a first look at the Playstation Move system in action this week, and I wasn't disappointed.
First off, the big glowing orbs look brilliant, and even at the end of the session I felt like I should be bringing planes into land.
There are two elements to the move, the Move controller with the orb on top, and the navigator controller that has an analogue stick on it to give the full range of motion in a similar arrangement to the Nintendo Wii Remote and nunchuk. The two combined provide the full functionality of a Sixaxis controller.
To get a feel for it, I played a small selection of games including Table Tennis, EyePet, SOCOM4 and Move Party.
The controller needs minimal setup, just requiring a couple of button presses – one with your arm straight out to the side and one with it by your belt buckle.
I was impressed by how accurate the system was, deftly responding to my most cunning of topspins and slices while playing table tennis...and faithfully reproducing my clumsier moments.
This continued into a demo using the upcoming third-person shooter SOCOM 4, using the Move controller to look and shoot, and the navigator controller to, er, move. Targeting was pleasingly accurate and while not having the crosshairs fixed centre-screen was strange at first, it did lead to some fluid gunplay, reminiscent of on-rails duck shoots like Time Crisis.
Then onto the two augmented reality games that make use of the system's camera for video as well as positioning – EyePet and Move Party.
EyePet's monkey (actual species undetermined) romped about the screen and responded to on-camera movements in a familiar, but more sophisticated manner to EyeToy games. When it got fun was when the controller was substituted onscreen with a variety of different objects. For example, my monkey was dirty, so naturally I washed it. Onscreen, the controller took the form of a showerhead, soap-dispensing duck, and hairdryer. All of which were firmly attached - no waiting for them to catch up with my hand position. I'd happily wash my monkey again.
Finally Move Party, and again the controller was replaced onscreen with everything from paint brushes to tennis rackets to fans, and all similarly responsive. By the end, I'd shaved a few heads, splatted a few bugs and saved at least 23 percent of the falling baby birds that came my way, but would happily have gone back for more.
The few quick photos I've taken don't do the Playstation Move justice, so keep an eye out for the video we'll be posting on site soon in the videos section.