I recently had the opportunity to have a play around with both Sony’s Move and Microsoft’s Kinect devices. While both seem to be a bit late to the movement controls for gaming, they are both launching very soon (move might be out by the time you read this). I did not get a massive amount of time on either so these impressions won’t be too long. More of a first impression for me.
On the Sony side, I had a go with the gladiator fighting game in the “Sports Champions” package, as well as Resident Evil 5 with Move controls. The gladiator duel game was a decent amount of fun. It is a fairly simple blocking and attacking game. Your characters move around of its own accord and then the Move takes the height of your attacks (and blocks) into account. Aside from that you can also jump by moving both arms into the air or move the controllers from side to side to dodge. Its ok, but I don’t see this one being played for extended amounts of time. Resident Evil 5, you know what that is. But now you can opt to move around using the Move controls. I was not impressed. RE5’s movement is clunky to start with. Trying to incorporate Move into it… frankly I don’t see how it would add anything except more frustration.
On the Microsoft side, they had a couple of Kinect Sports on show. I had a go at a skiing game and a football (American) game. In skiing you assume the skiing posture, and lean from side to side to follow the course and jump to… well jump. Simple stuff really. In the football game your character runs forward on his own and you control the direction by moving that way yourself. The chief aim of it is to fend off others trying to tackle you. You do this by holding your arm out, or jumping over lower tackles. Both of these were fairly simple mini game affairs. While I don’t see them holding anyone’s attention for long, they are fun and intuitive.
While both systems are trying to achieve the same thing (incorporating movement into your digital entertainment experiences), they are going about it in rather different ways. They both have the possibility of bringing some interesting things to the table. However, the titles shown are not extraordinary in any way, but show some potential (except for RE5). Of the two I am currently more impressed by the Kinect. This is mostly because it is actually something new. The Move to me feels more like Wii HD. Now there is certainly a place for that, but my Wii SD is currently under a fair amount of dust. Little of what I’ve seen amount to more than mini games at this point, and I guess we’ll have to see how the more complete experiences hold up.