When two of the three largest players in the video game industry announce potentially game-changing devices (no pun intended), set to launch within mere months of each other, there is no telling just how many times the technologies will be compared. So I’ve been thinking about it on my own, and here is the conclusion I have come to. Buy Kinect. Oh, and buy Move, too. Here’s why:
Kinect offers controller free gaming for the Xbox 360. They’re not playing catch-up with the Wii, they’re inventing their own stuff. They target casual games to start, but that doesn’t necessarily mean kiddy-games (see Ubisoft’s Your Shape: Fitness Evolved or Harmonix’s Dance Central). They will likely offer a mixture of controller plus motion based gameplay for hardcore games, or introduce a one-handed peripheral that will make it easy to use items without bogging both your hands down, forcing you to dance around like a disabled puppet. With that said, there haven’t been any games announced for this mix, and the single handed controller is pure speculation (the rumour started here, folks!), but that is where things will inevitably head in my opinion. The mixture between controller and motion is exactly what Kinect needs to survive, I think, and that is half of Sony’s story.
Move was born out of what I think was a copycat move on their part. However, they have innovated in more than a few ways than one with regards to more fluid and intuitive motion tracking. First, they can track the Move controller in a 3D space more easily thanks to the camera system they use. And, as a double whammy, they solved the problem of tracking at night by making it such that the controller ball lights up for the benefit of fluid tracking. Both controllers are wireless (Bluetooth is at work here), and only the main controller is needed for Move, although both are probably going to be required by most games. Sony is trying to target the more hardcore audience with Move games, saying that it is not the same experience that the Wii offers, but I disagree with the level to which they’re trying to sell it. Move’s motion controller is still a motion controller, and that poses a problem for a lot of gamers who are either too tired to play Killzone 3 standing up, or just have no interest in doing so in the first place.
The big draw for either of these platforms for me is that they have their own specific uses. Will that make either a guaranteed purchase? Probably not, but for the majority of consumers, beginning to adopt these technologies early will mean that developers will bet more of their farm on it and develop stellar titles for the new tech. Everybody wins.