Compared to Microsoft’s much-hyped Xbox 360 Kinect, Sony’s PlayStation Move motion controller has always had a slightly low-tech feel. Instead of an advanced 3D camera and full-body motion control, Move harnesses the existing PlayStation Eye, a bundle of motion sensors and two glowing plastic bulbs to do the job. Perhaps that's why some people out there have dismissed it as a sort of high-definition Wii, which is kind-of missing the point. For one thing, since when is that such a bad thing? For another, there’s so much more that Move can do.
As far as the hardware goes, the news is mostly good. The Move controller itself is a great bit of work. Made from the same tough, matt-black plastic as the Dual Shock 3, it’s a solid, sculpted cylinder, with the glowing plastic bulb - which can rapidly and seamlessly change colours - at the top. The unit has a satisfying weight and balance, and it generally feels better in the hand than the Wii’s remote. It's also powered by built-in Lithium Ion batteries, which last for around seven to eight hours of use.
Beneath the thumb you’ll find the new Move button surrounded by four small buttons, decorated with the classic cross, circle, triangle and square icons, and underneath the index finger, an analogue trigger. As the Move controller never has to double up as a joypad, it improves on the less-than intuitive layout of the Wii remote, and most of the early games seem to focus on the Move and trigger buttons in any case.
In general terms, setup and use is simple. Connect the mini-USB port at the base of the Move with a USB port on the PS3, and the battery charges. Press the PlayStation button while the controller is connected, and it pairs with your PS3. You can then use Move to navigate the XMB interface, holding down the trigger and moving the controller left and right or up and down to make selections, then pressing the Move button to activate the current item. It takes getting used to, but with practice it's very slick indeed.