So, how does it perform? Well, there’s no question of the Move’s potential. Having played a wide range of titles at E3 and seen technical demonstrations performed live by the design team, it is already clear that there are ways in which Move takes motion control further than even the Wii with MotionPlus could.
In titles, like Start the Party, where virtual objects are superimposed on top of the Move controller in a live video feed from the camera, you can see exactly how accurate and practically lag-free the controller is, and the skill with which the camera can track the glowing bulbs in 3D space offers up all sorts of possibilities when it comes to gesture recognition or manipulating objects on the screen. It’s also abundantly clear that Sony will move heaven and earth to make Move work with hardcore gaming titles.
Much of this potential is visible in the launch games we’ve been playing. Play Start the Party – a slightly twisted multiplayer-focused, mini-games compilation – and the speed and finesse with which the game can track your movements is consistently impressive, Sports Champions’ renderings of golf, table tennis, volleyball, gladiatorial duels, archery and petanque (a variant of boules) prove how sensitive the controller is to the details, whether the angle and position at which you hold the Move to the distance and velocity with which you move it.
If the table tennis in Wii Sports Resort was good, then the Sports Champions version is uncanny; capturing the rapid snap of the stroke, the way stepping forward or backwards affects the shot, and allowing you to add all kinds of spin. From archery through to the sword-and-shield action of the gladiator duels, there’s no question that Move takes motion controls to a new layer of realism.
Playing other titles adds to the positive impression. Kung-Fu Riders – an oddity where you race office-chairs through the streets of Hong Kong – could have more precise controls, but Ubisoft’s excellent war-game, RUSE, proves that Move has the precision to work as a mouse replacement when it needs to.