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GDC Day 2: Sony Press Event

Find out what happened at Sony's GDC Press Conference!

PlayStation Move

The focus of this year’s Sony Press Event is on its new motion controller titled “Move.”  The name may not ring a bell, but the trademark “glowing orbs” atop its black plastic remotes may bring the image to mind from it’s prior announcements during CES.

Sony has announced it has the support of 30 different studios that will be working on titles that will be compatible with the peripheral.  These companies include Activision, Capcom, Square Enix, Sega, Ubisoft, and more.  Sony also promised that, “In fiscal year 2010, SCE Worldwide Studios will also release more than 20 games that are either dedicated to or supported with the PlayStation Move platform.”  They had the newest SOCOM title on hand, as well as Little Big Planet to showcase its connectivity with the titles.  Functionality was supposedly added with small effort and in a short amount of time.

After showcasing some gameplay on stage they announced a launch starter pack for under a hundred dollars.  The pack includes an EyeToy, a Move controller, and a game.  With almost every major journalist on the premises (Adam Sessler, Geoff Keighley, Jessica Chobot, N’gai Kroal, and more), they finally allowed every one to get hands on for the first time.

Games available included bowling, fighting, archery, ping-pong, EyePet, the latest build of Socom 4, and more.  What can I tell you after getting some hands on time of my own after the doors opened?  Not a huge lot, but here’s my initial opinion.

After going through the tutorial of the gladiator combat game and defeating my first opponent I walked around and tried a couple more game types, including bowling and a movie based arcade shooter.  The accuracy and precision of the Move are in line with what you’ve come to expect with the already released Wii Motion Plus controller.

In the gladiator game I noticed that my shields direction wasn’t really that accurately mapped, and my sword’s movement was similar to that of the sparring game in Wii Sports Resort.   For bowling, movement was clunky and the ball was often dropped in the wrong direction, and the proper sense of speed was not there.  Lastly, the movie arcade shooter felt like I was playing on an Area 51 arcade cabinet that wasn’t calibrated correctly.

Is the Move bad?  No, most definitely not, but it’s not exciting either.  I feel like we’ve already seen it all before.  It is a nice addition to the PS3 Empire, but by no means is it revolutionary.  Where traditional game design archetypes become more and more common it would be nice to see this energy focused elsewhere than on adding gimmicky motion control.  I’m not a big Wii gamer because the games lack the meat that’s present in XBOX and PS3 games.  I don’t want to see PS3 fall into this trap.

After everyone had their fair share of waving around the Move, Sony opened the doors up to the God of War III room.  The room was already filled with some new attendees, woman walking on stilts, loud music, trippy lighting, and concept art being projected on three of the walls.  It was certainly a fantastic looking room.  I got my hands on God of War III for about 5 minutes, and it felt as snappy and fun as all the previous titles in the series.

After about an hour of the room being open, the stage lit up, and out walked indie electro-rock band, Metric.  They played a fantastic six-song set as people still sat and played the game.  Half the crowed milled around the stage, and the others stayed holed up by their TVs.  Metric played a fantastic show that was followed up by belly dancers, and a DJ.

All in all the Sony press event was quite the night.  It’s too bad I’m not as excited about Move as I was about the event in general.  I look forward to seeing more on what Sony hopes to accomplish with their new peripheral, and towards the launch of GoW III.