I Moved. Initial Move Impressions.

All my Move paraphernalia arrived safely from Amazon yesterday. Move Starter Bundle (Move Controller, PlayStation Eye Camera, Sports Champions, and Demo Disk), Move Navigation Controller, extra Move Controller, and Move Charging Station. The immediate ask for a while will be if the $209 Move expense was worth the price. Obviously it is way too soon to tell; we’ll touch on this more as we head into the “Holiday Buying Season” (i.e. secular replacement of Christmas).

After opening all the sorted bits and parts (I hate those plastic blister wrap containers), I setup the PlayStation Eye on top of the Sony Bravia. The USB cable is not very long; probably 5-6 feet, which is barely enough to go from the front of the PS3 Slim, wrap around towards the back of the entertainment cabinet, and then up the back of the TV before reaching the top of the Bravia. Little to no slack may send the PlayStation Eye crashing down if I forget to unplug the PlayStation Eye before moving the Slim.

I was befuddled trying to get my PS3 Slim to recognize my two new Move controllers. My boys watched patiently; probably waiting to see if daddy was going to expand their vocabulary.

For this gamer, the end result was on display; not being able to setup the Move without a quick sneak peek at the Move Controller instruction manual shows that my better gaming days may be behind me. That really sucks; no more mad gaming skillz.

Of course this morning over coffee (and bitching about the Devil returning to GA – see previous post) I realized that the Move Starter Bundle contained a Move Quick Start guide. For those that are not inclined to guess where this story takes us, you have to connect the Move Controller to the PS3 via a USB cable to “pair” the Move Controller to the PS3.

In a move (no pun intended) to control costs, Sony went from four USB ports in the original PS3 models to two USB ports on the current production Slim models. This could quickly become an issue. I normally keep a USB cable plugged in for Dual Shock charging, and the other USB port is used by my external HDD for backups and other media. Now that the PlayStation Eye takes up a slot, I will have three devices vying for two USB ports. Planning ahead was the primary reason I decided to pick up the AC powered Move Charging Station; need more cowbell.

So before we even get started on the games, the PlayStation Eye Camera cable has little room for maneuvering, the PS3 Slim is limited by two USB ports, you have to remember to “pair” your Move Controllers to your PS3 via a USB cable, and just to kick you in the nuts, Sony does not include a USB cable. Thanks for that.

Disc Golf
My boys and I quickly jumped into a free play round of Disc Golf. For some strange reason, if you are playing with four players, you have to share a single Move Controller. I would have expected that Player 1 and 2 could use one Move Controller, while Player 3 and 4 used the other. Or some other combination; no such luck. Everyone quickly got the hang of things, but my three year-old son needed a lot of help getting the timing down for the release of the trigger button.

First impressions? Wii with HD graphics, which may not be a horrible thing to some gamers. This is not really fair comparison, and I am really just going in that direction because many gamers will dismiss the Move as nothing more than a pretty version of casual Wii gaming. At first glance I think the Move Controller is way more precise than a Wii controller. You can control the angle that you hold the disc, the angle that you release the disc, and ultimately the speed and power of the disk.

We only played the first six holes, which contained an assorted array of hazards such as water, trees, and boulders. Attempting to curve your disc around an obstacle is pretty much just like real life frisbee throwing. I hope that Sony offers some DLC courses, because my only concern with the Disc Golf is that everyone will quickly bore of the same course.

I think Disc Golf has the possibility of reinvigorating real life Disc Golf. One of our local parks just got a small course setup. After last night’s Sports Champions Disc Golf session, my two oldest boys were asking to go play a round of real life Disc Golf.

Gladiator Dual
Jumped into a quick Gladiator game. It looks like this one will/may excel with two Move Controllers, which means you have to pony up some serious coin for solid two player action ($99 Start Bundle + $150 for an additional three Move Controllers). Using two Move Controllers allows you to use a weapon with one hand while the second Move Controller allows you full control over your off-hand shield. Single player mode (at least on the easy Bronze level is remarkable straightforward).

Table Tennis
Jumped into a quick solo game of Table Tennis. I struggled with this one. Goes back to my lost skillz I guess.

Archery
I spent a good amount of time with the various Archery modes. I think this one really demands two Move Controllers to get full enjoyment out of the game. One hand (Move Controller) holds the bow, while your other hand via the second Move Controller reaches over your shoulder to grab and arrow, notch it, pull back, and of course release the arrow. There are plenty of videos to get a better idea of the play mechanics.

Archery was good clean fun. I was able to quickly grab, notch, and fire arrows. Aiming was fairly straight forward, but I still need to work on my pull to get consistent power. An Archery mode or similar hunting expansion pack would be a blast; Cabela’s North American Adventures 2011 demands Move support.

Demo Disk
I have not looked at the Demo Disk; I focused on Sports Champions last night. In fact, I actually forgot that a Demo Disk was supposed to be included in the Move Starter Bundle. I remember it this morning and had to dig the disk out of the box. It is my understanding that all the demos have to be installed on the PS3 HDD, which is a head scratcher. For those of you that already have an Eye Toy, and just picked up a Move Controller, I believe that all the demos are going to be made available on PSN.

Quick Summary
Move setup is easy as long as you are not an old fart without a clue.

The Move Controller calibration process is simple; three quick actions and button presses (shoulder, side, and belt). I could play games sitting down or standing up. Precision seems very well implemented.

Sports Champions looks pretty with several different games that showed immediate gameplay potential (really enjoyed Disc Golf and Archery). I did not try Volley Ball or Bocce, and I did not give Table Tennis a fair go. It was getting late, so I will have to come back to these today.

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2 thoughts on “I Moved. Initial Move Impressions.”

  1. Well if your kids enjoy it, it may be worth it. A big part of the Wii’s appeal was that it enabled party gaming or socializing around some casual games.

    Maybe expecting precision for a game like Tiger Woods and playing it singleplayer, is besides the point when it comes to these motion devices.

    Thing I didn’t like about Wii Sports was how shallow it was and how you didn’t even have to try to do the proper form to get the onscreen animation to work right. That is, it didn’t matter if you put a good swing or not, as long as you got the accelerometer to detect the motion, it would turn on the canned animation.

    So you may have to go for some deeper games but those may not appeal to your kids as much or to casual gamers in a social scenario.

  2. Kids still really like the Move. More than the Wii? Hard to say at this point because they like playing a new game (who doesn’t) and they probably enjoy the HD graphics.

    Have not tried any of the demos yet – Tiger Woods and NBA2K 11 should be interesting.

    Just wrote that I was hardly impressed with HVB (bowling) Move support.

    Sports Champions – Not really sure if you have to follow all the motions or if you can cheat like the Wii. I can tell you that I enjoy following the real life motions … had to move the living-room around for volleyball for fear of breaking the chandelier on jumps and blocks!

    The big thing going for the Move right now is the precision factor. Less than a week in I think it is much more accurate than the Wii. Plus you can only imagine that the Eye Camera is going to be incorporated into all the party games for an extra element of fun.

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