First Looks// PlayStation Move Controller

Posted 10 Sep 2010 16:00 by
We've had Move in the office for a while now. We've been getting used to it with EyePet for Move, Sports Champions and a party game that I'll remember the name of soon (that's it, StarTheParty). Rather than simply rely on one opinion however, I've decided to ask both Marcus Dyson (long time Playstation user) and SPOnGcast's Mat Murray (longtime Xbox 360 user) to join me (the Wii man) in telling you what we think.

My initial reaction when I first heard and saw move at E3 was, “Too little too late”. I don't think I was alone in that. My first thought after I'd used the two free Moves we were sent by Sony (no Nunchucks, as I call them – not Navigation controllers as they're actually called) to control the XMB was:

“Crikey, I'm not going back to the SixAxis!”

Yes, far from the games we'd been given to review the qualities or otherwise of Move, it was the basic navigation of the PS3 that first grabbed me. This contrasts greatly with the Wii, which saw me giving up trying to make my way around the actual system without defaulting to the d-Pad, after the first two days. Sure, when Wii Motion Plus flopped into the office, I gave that a go, but all the talk of accuracy didn't result in the idea that you have to love your Wii's controllers in the same way as you love the gear ratios in your first, fifth-hand car.

Move doesn't just feel swift and accurate, it genuinely is, and that's a good start. It also feels solid. It's got enough weight to it to make you feel as if you haven't simply forked out £44.91 for the starter pack plus £17.99 for the Navigation controller (as it currently stands on Amazon) for a hastily knocked-out piece of plastic.

“That bulb on the top of the Move though,” I thought on first sight, “that's going to break easily. That's going to heat up. They've got a major single point of failure there.”

I am apparently wrong. Not being the technical type I had not realised that the multi-coloured light source is of course LED. There's as much chance of my getting hot fingers, or chin, from those as there is of me ever giving up hard liquor. The covering of the light is made of a hard-wearing but flexible plastic. Now, people are calling it an orb. It's only an orb if orbs now look very much like small pots. The cover, you see, tapers into the head of the controller. I imagine you could pull it off, or slice it with a razor, or damage it in some other way. However, if that's your plan, well, you deserve everything you get.

The shape of the Move controller – as I say, I can't comment on the NavigationChuck – is pleasing to me. Sorry about the constant Wii-mote comparisons, but they've all I've got and Sony isn't fooling anybody if it isn't expecting Apples for Pears comparisons. So, here comes another one: the smooth lines of the Move make for a good fit in the hand. The trigger, placed underneath the controller, is responsive and doesn't require you to blindly hunt for it as it sits exactly where you'd expect it to be. Because it's also hooked around rather than being a light-switch trigger, it holds the finger snugly. Basically, it's a much smoother device to hold than the Wii-mote.

There are, however, Select and Start buttons. There are. You will have to hunt for them as they are flush to the sides and near the front of the device (by front I mean nearer to the light source than to the USB charging socket). In order to use either of them, you have to release the trigger and move your entire hand back - or you need two long thumbs, which even for fanboys might be pushing the limits of surgery.

This could present a problem in games whereby a map or inventory is instigated by use of Start or Select. None of the three games we were given requires it.

Mounted on the spine of the controller is the long Move button, used in partnership with the trigger to signal the existence of the controller and also to flick through options. Along both sides of this are the familiar PS shape buttons: square above X on the left (if the light source is facing away from you); triangle above circle on the right.

They are tiny and sit proud of the controller body. Tiny they may well be, but they are supremely accessible (if you've got small hands - I do). Seated below this array is the Playstation button familiar once again to owners of DualShocks or SixAxissesss, and used for the same purpose.
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