|Release date||September 15, 2010 (EU & Asia)|
September 16, 2010 (Australasia)
September 17, 2010 (NA & UK)
October 21, 2010 (Japan)
PlayStation Move is a motion-sensing game controller platform for the PlayStation 3 (PS3) video game console by Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE). Based on a handheld motion controller wand, PlayStation Move uses the PlayStation Eye camera to track the wand's position, and inertial sensors in the wand to detect its motion. First revealed on June 2, 2009, PlayStation Move launched in mainland Europe and most Asian markets on 15 September 2010, in Australasia on 16 September 2010, in North America and the UK on 17 September 2010, in Japan on 21 October 2010. Hardware available at launch included the main PlayStation Move motion controller, a supplementary PlayStation Move navigation controller, and an optional PlayStation Move charging station. It competes with the Wii Remote/Wii MotionPlus and Kinect motion control systems for the Wii and Xbox 360 home consoles, respectively.
Although PlayStation Move is implemented on the existing PlayStation 3 console, Sony stated that it treated Move's debut as its own major "platform launch", with an aggressive marketing campaign to support it. The tagline for PlayStation Move from E3 2010 was "This Changes Everything", including partnerships with Coca-Cola, as part of the "It Only Does Everything" marketing campaign which debuted with the redesigned "Slim" PlayStation 3.
As with the PlayStation Wireless Controllers (Sixaxis, DualShock 3), both the main PlayStation Move motion controller and the PlayStation Move navigation controller use Bluetooth 2.0 wireless radio communication, and an internal lithium-ion battery which is charged via a USB Mini-B port on the controller. Up to four Move controllers can be used at once (four Move motion controllers, or two Move motion controllers and two Move navigation controllers).
The primary component of PlayStation Move, the PlayStation Move motion controller is a wand controller which allows the user to interact with the PlayStation 3 through motion and position in front of the PlayStation Eye camera.
The PlayStation Move motion controller features an orb at the head which can glow in any of a full range of colors using RGB light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Based on the colors in the user environment captured by the PlayStation Eye camera, the system dynamically selects an orb color that can be distinguished from the rest of the scene. The colored light serves as an active marker, the position of which can be tracked along the image plane by the PlayStation Eye. The uniform spherical shape and known size of the light also allows the system to simply determine the controller's distance from the PlayStation Eye through the light's image size, thus enabling the controller's position to be tracked in three dimensions with high precision and accuracy.[fn 1] The sphere-based distance calculation allows the controller to operate with minimal processing latency, as opposed to other camera-based control techniques on the PlayStation 3.[fn 2]
A pair of inertial sensors inside the controller, a three-axis linear accelerometer and a three-axis angular rate sensor, are used to track rotation as well as overall motion. An internal magnetometer is also used for calibrating the controller's orientation against the Earth's magnetic field to help correct against cumulative error (drift) by the inertial sensors. The inertial sensors can be used for dead reckoning in cases which the camera tracking is insufficient, such as when the controller is obscured behind the player's back.
The controller face features a large ovoid primary button (Move), small action buttons (Triangle, Circle, Cross, Square), and a regular-sized PS button, arranged in a similar configuration as on the Blu-ray Disc Remote Control. On the left and right side of the controller is a Select and Start button, respectively. On the underside is an analog trigger (T). On the tail end of the controller is the wrist strap, USB port, and extension port.
The motion controller features vibration-based haptic technology. In addition to providing a tracking reference, the controller's orb light can be used to provide visual feedback, simulating aesthetic effects such as the muzzle flash of a gun, or the paint on a brush.
Using different orb colors for each controller, up to four motion controllers can be tracked at once with the PlayStation Eye. Demonstrations for the controller have featured activities using a single motion controller, as well as those in which the user wields two motion controllers, with one in each hand. To minimize the cost of entry, Sony has stated that all launch titles for PlayStation Move will be playable with one motion controller, with enhanced options available for multiple motion controllers.
All image processing for PlayStation Move is performed in the PlayStation 3's Cell microprocessor. According to Sony, use of the motion-tracking library entails some Synergistic Processing Unit (SPU) overhead as well an impact on memory, though the company states that the effects will be minimized. According to Move motion controller co-designer Anton Mikhailov, the library uses 1-2 megabytes of system memory.
The PlayStation Move navigation controller (originally referred to as the PlayStation Move sub-controller and also known as the navi-controller) is a one-handed supplementary controller designed for use in conjunction with the PlayStation Move motion controller for certain types of gameplay. Replicating the major functionality of the left side of a standard PlayStation Wireless Controller, the PlayStation Move navigation controller features a left analog stick (with L3 button function), a D-pad, and L1 and L2 analog triggers. The navigation controller also features Cross and Circle action buttons, as well as a PS button. Since all controls correspond to those of a standard Wireless Controller, a Sixaxis or DualShock 3 controller can be used in place of the navigation controller in PlayStation Move applications.
Announced at E3 2010, the PlayStation Move charging station is a charging base unit designed to charge two PlayStation Move controllers (e.g. motion controllers, navigation controllers).
The PlayStation Move shooting attachment is an accessory for the PlayStation Move motion controller that adapts the motion controller into a handgun form. The motion controller is fitted into the gun barrel so that the motion controller's T trigger is interlocked with the trigger on the gun attachment, while leaving all the topmost buttons accessible through a hole in the top, similar to the Wii Zapper.
The PlayStation Move Sharp Shooter Attachment is an accessory for the PlayStation Move motion controller that adapts both the motion controller and navigation controller into a submachine gun form, which features an adjustable shoulder support. The motion controller is fitted into the gun barrel so that the motion controller's T trigger is interlocked with the trigger, and the navigation controller is clipped into a holder below this gun barrel. However, the accessory goes far deeper by adding several extra buttons and controls (via the EXT connector on the base of the Move Motion Controller). These extra buttons include Triangle and Square buttons (on both sides, located near the T and M buttons), RL button (located under the gun's magazine) and pump-action mechanism (located under the barrel) which both can be used to reload (or alternately may serve another function depending on future game design), 3-setting Firing Rate control, M-button lock, and secondary M button (located below the Trigger) for easy access. It has been announced that this peripheral is officially supported by Killzone 3 and SOCOM 4. Due to overwhelming community demand and the massive amount of positive feedback from sharp shooter users, it has been announced that Resistance 3 will also be supported.
In addition to selling the controllers individually, Sony also provides several different bundle options for PlayStation Move hardware such as: software/camera bundles with a PlayStation Eye, a Move motion controller and motion-control enabled software; console bundles which include a PS3 console, DualShock 3 controller, PlayStation Eye, and Move motion controller; and bundles with a Move motion controller with select games.
Though the games with the bundles vary in each region, most bundles come with the PlayStation Move Demo Disc which contains demos for eleven different games. The bundles in Europe and Oceania however, come with the PlayStation Move Starter Disc with a setup tutorial and nine demos (same as the Demo Disc, except without Kung Fu Rider and Time Crisis). The demos included are for the games Beat Sketcher, Echochrome II, EyePet, Kung Fu Rider, Sports Champions, Start the Party, The Shoot, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11, Time Crisis: Razing Storm, Tumble, and TV Superstars.
In North America, bundles are available with the game Sports Champions or the PlayStation Move edition of EyePet. In Japan, bundles with Beat Sketch!, Biohazard 5 Alternative Edition or Big 3 Gun Shooting are available. All bundles, as well as the stand alone controller will also include the demo disk for a limited time. In Europe, a bundle will be released with a demo disc. In Asian countries outside Japan such as Singapore, the bundles are available with the games Sports Champions, Start the Party and Kung Fu Rider.
Research on the PlayStation Move began as early as 2001, stemming from parallel development of the EyeToy which was eventually released in 2003. An early prototype version of the Move was demonstrated in a technology demo known as "Magic Duel" in 2001, in which developers experimented with color-based 3D controller tracking, including prototypes using spheres.[fn 3] In 2008 Sony began work on developing a commercial product, integrating inertial sensors into the motion controller, and refining the device from an engineering and a design perspective.
The motion controller was revealed at Sony's E3 2009 press conference on 2 June 2009, with a live demonstration using an engineering prototype. Tentatively referred to as the PlayStation Motion Controller, the device was originally stated to be available in Q1/Q2 2010. As of August 2009, the controller features and design had not been finalized.
Soon after revealing the motion controller to developers, Sony indicated that it was exploring the possibility of using the motion controller in combination with a standard PlayStation Wireless Controller, such as having the player use "the motion controller as a sword and use DualShock 3 as a shield."[fn 4] A combination control scheme was demonstrated in September 2009 at the Tokyo Game Show for Biohazard 5: Alternative Edition, making particular use of the DualShock 3's analog stick. Although users found the setup to work well, some found holding a DualShock in one hand to be somewhat awkward. At the time Sony was already rumored to be in the design phase of a supplementary controller akin to that of the Nunchuk controller for the Wii Remote.
In January 2010, Sony announced a revised release target, stating instead that the motion controller would launch in Q3/Q4 of 2010. On March 10, Sony revealed the official name and logo at the Game Developers Conference, showcasing the final motion controller design, and unveiling the PlayStation Move navigation controller (then referred to as the PlayStation Move sub-controller), to be launched concurrently with the motion controller. The logo is a colored squiggle-like shape, representing a light trail from the sphere of a PlayStation Move motion controller being waved. Newly revealed in the final motion controller was the inclusion of an internal magnetometer.
Prior to the Game Developers Conference 2010, the PlayStation Move motion controller was known by several names. Initially given little guidance on what to call the device when it was unveiled in June 2009, many in the video game press informally referred to the controller as the "magic wand" or simply "Wand" due to the controller's wand design and glowing orb. Sony had used the term "PlayStation Motion Controller" from the motion controller's introduction, but many perceived it to be used merely as a description. Sony gradually clarified "Motion Controller" as the tentative name, but by this time media attention had shifted to rumored final names. In September 2009, statements in two unconnected interviews at the Tokyo Game Show led to speculation that the controller may be referred to by developers as the "Sphere". In December, a brief reference to the motion controller as "Gem" by Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello during a media industry conference presentation prompted an admission by Sony that "Gem" was an early code name for the controller.
In January 2010, video game blog VG247 reported that Sony had named its PS3 motion control platform "Arc". The name was observed to liken the controller's glowing orb to the charged sphere of a Tesla coil or a plasma globe electrode. The report was supported by evidence emerging in the following weeks, including a registration of the playstationarc.com domain name to SCE dated October 2009 (shortly after the Tokyo Game Show) and numerous references to "Arc" by president Brian Farrell of video game publisher THQ during the company's February earnings conference call. Responding to speculation that Farrell's statements effectively confirmed the name, SCEA senior director of corporate communications Patrick Seybold stated that they did not, and that Farrell was referring to "Arc" as a "rumored code name."
On March 1, it was reported that Sony submitted Japanese trademark application filing for "PlayStation Arc". A week later on March 8, Sony was reportedly considering a hasty renaming due to a trademark held by competitor Microsoft for its Arc-brand PC accessories, which could present trademark conflicts. On March 9, Sony submitted a European trademark filing for "PlayStation Move", which was announced as the official name the next day at Sony's press conference at the Game Developers Conference. Video gaming blog Joystiq reports several anonymous Sony sources claiming that the PlayStation Move logo presented at the conference resembles a letter "A" because it is the same design for when the name was "PlayStation Arc", in which the "A" would stand for "Arc".
On the box art of PlayStation Move games, underneath the PlayStation 3 logo banner, a blue bar with white letters indicates when a game supports the PlayStation Move. When a game can only be played with the PlayStation Move, the box art carries a "PlayStation®Move Required" label. When a game supports traditional Sixaxis/DualShock 3 controls and PlayStation Move controls it carries a "PlayStation®Move Features" (or "PlayStation®Move Compatible") label.
Alongside Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios and its second-party partners, a total of 36 third-party game development companies have confirmed that they will support the PlayStation Move.
Reception and sales
The PlayStation Move has received positive reviews. Game Informer gave it an 8 out of 10, saying "The PlayStation Eye and motion controller are a killer combination for accurate and highly responsive motion-based gameplay, and we applaud Sony for getting the hardware right the first time." Kotaku praised its accuracy, design, use of augmented reality and said that "The Playstation [sic] Move is a intuitive, natural feeling way to play games and it brings with it not only a sense of increased immersion to already graphically immersive games, but a new way to play with your reality and a refreshing form of colorful feedback." IGN gave the Move an 8.5 out of 10 , noting that the launch line-up of games for the controller was insufficient though it summarized by saying "At the end of the day, the PlayStation Move has the potential to be the best motion control system on the current crop of consoles." Joystiq praised the Move, saying "The hardware's great, and I can see it being used in a multitude of really cool ways, but of course it's only as cool as the games that use it" and that the launch line-up was not worth the purchase, though it believed that the Move would be worth the purchase in early 2011 due to a stronger line-up of games such as SOCOM 4 and Killzone 3. CVG gave the Move an extremely positive review and awarded it 9 out of 10, saying that "Sony's motion control gets beyond being a gimmick. We found ourselves constantly itching for 'one more go'." The Guardian strongly criticized the Move's launch line-up, though it noted that the hardware was strong and that after playing with the Move it was "very hard to go back to the relative inaccuracy of the Wii".
On 14 October 2010, it was confirmed by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) president Andrew House, that PlayStation Move had sold around 1.5 million units in Europe during its first month of release. During the same week, Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) Senior Director of Corporate Communications, Patrick Seybold also remarked that Move was performing "extremely well at retail" in North America but no exact sales figures were given. It was later confirmed to have shipped one million units in the Americas region during its first month of release.
On 30 November 2010, it was confirmed via a Sony official press release that the Sony Move Motion Controller had shipped 4.1 million units worldwide in the first two months since its release.
The PlayStation Move won the 2010 Popular Science award for the "Most immersive game controller".
- According to the Move motion controller's designers, the sphere's position along the camera's image plane can be resolved at a "really sub-pixel level", translating to a spatial XY-axis precision to the nearest millimeter. The motion controller's distance from the camera (Z-axis) can be resolved with a precision of a few centimeters.
- According to SCEE senior designer for PlayStation Move software Mark D. Green, the response time for the motion control system is 22 milliseconds.
- The colored-sphere based 3D wand tracking technology was publicly demonstrated as early as 2000 and 2001.
- The PlayStation Wireless Controller has some inertial sensing capabilities through the standard Sixaxis feature. Sony had also submitted several patent applications describing techniques in which the port indicator lights of a Wireless Controller could be used as markers for tracking the controller's position and orientation with the PlayStation Eye.
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- Sony Computer Entertainment Japan to introduce PlayStation Move motion controller bundle packs featuring Bio Hazard 5 Alternative Edition and Big 3 Gun Shooting. Sony Computer Entertainment Japan (2010-07-06). Retrieved on 2010-07-07 “Furthermore, as a limited time offer starting October 21, users who purchase PlayStation Move motion controller will receive PlayStation Move Omnibus Demo Disk (tentative name) that contains a demo version of various PlayStation Move supported and dedicated titles.”
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