Thoughts on the Kinect and Playstation Move
Laying aside the question of whether these are merely in response to the amount of money being made by the Wii, and whether the technology will be as lasting as history suggests 3D televisions will be, I've been thinking about the Kinect and Move recently. Here are my thoughts.
How well will they work?
This is the biggest question. Ever since they were first shown on television there's been the question of what environments will support the Kinect. For the Move, with it's big glowing ball, there hasn't been much of a question, since everything suggests that it'll be easier to track (especially after learning that the ball consists of LEDs which can change based on the environment).
In this regard, unless I can see Kinect working in a Best Buy or GameStop, or at someone's house, there's almost no reason I'd pick one of these up. The last thing I need after paying $150 is to find out that it won't work in my home.
Price doesn't just mean how much you pay out of the gate, but also what you get for hardware.
In the case of the Kinect you currently pay $150 for the sensor and a game, with no other costs.
The Playstation Move costs $100 for a Playstation Eye, main move controller, and game. The navigation controller costs $30, but a Playstation 3 controller can be used instead.
Where the Kinect wins out is that with the one sensor you can seemingly support up to two people, while to do the same with the Move you have to purchase another $50 Move controller. (At that price it might be easier to purchase another Starter Bundle and sell the game and Eye.)
On the other hand, if you already have an Eye and don't care about the starter game you can just purchase the Move controller. Which of course suggests another benefit, in that the Playstation Eye is hardly new technology, and is already used by a handful of existing games.
The complexity of the Microsoft solution is also a little disarming.
For software we have a couple aspects.
Less obvious at first is the pricing of the games. Sony seems to be sticking to a lower price of $40 for their games, while Microsoft is sticking to a higher $50 price. Both are less than the $60 games normally go for, and since Wii game prices range from $40 to $50, are on par with Wii games.
Microsoft seems to be going more for a playful look with their avatars, in line with the Wii, while Sony is sticking with their hardware abilities and leaning towards realism.
We also have a larger number of Move games being announced for release.
The Playstation Move is set to release in the middle of September, with the Kinect launching in the beginning of November. Necessarily we have to think about holiday sales. I personally think Microsoft is cutting it a little close in case issues come up. On the other hand, if the Move has issues out of the gate it may result in sales of the Kinect.
Honestly, I can't help but think that the Kinect won't be able to outsell the Playstation Move now, for more than a month or two at a time, because of that month and a half delay.
As was recently pointed out to me, the Playstation Move doesn't seem to be the main focus of Sony marketing, while the same cannot be said on the Microsoft front, who seem to be betting fairly heavy. With Microsoft generally seen as more hardcore/shooter focused, getting a chunk of the casual players would move a good deal of hardware, and a $300 price for their Kinect+console bundle certainly isn't that bad.
On the other hand, Sony is stressing the games, with really only the Move controller the truly new hardware.
How they both trump the Wii
Both the Kinect and Playstation Move trump the Wii, in my opinion.
Both consoles support better graphics, but more importantly, both do away with the waste of having to purchase batteries to power the controller. This is obvious for the Kinect, and in the case of the Playstation Move, like their other controllers, it can be charged via USB.
If I had to pick one I'd pick the Playstation Move, without a doubt, because of the above. And if no other reason than that Heavy Rain looks pretty playable with Move controllers, I may actually do so.
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