Sony brought out a myriad of games to play on the Comic Con floor, many of which utilized the upcoming PlayStation Move peripherals. Wanting to get my time on anything that was showed off at E3, I took the time to get familiar with the optional motion controls with Socom 4.
Having been a Nintendo Wii owner since release date, the Move Motion Controller and Navigation Controller felt familiar, but did not feel like a direct copy of Nintendo’s version of the concept. First off, the Move controllers felt more comfortable than the Wii counterparts and provided curves that feel much more ergonomic than the boxy edges that we’re used to. The Navigation Controller is Sony’s version of the Wii Nunchuck but is almost the same size as the primary Motion Controller and includes more buttons than the Nintendo equivalent. Both felt rather easy to use, but once I began playing the game I realized something that can make Move amazing, but at the same time difficult beyond general standards for motion control.
When the loading screen for the game popped up, that’s when a feeling of worry and anxiety hit me. On the display was the button configuration for the game which was a bit overwhelming in comparison to the simple button layout of the Wii. The Motion Controller has all four face buttons, a trigger, and a “Move Button” which is a larger button that is placed between the face buttons. The Navigation Controller has a d-pad, analog stick (which also features the L3 “button press” feature), and a double leveled trigger that mimics the feel of pressing L1 and L2. OK, stop and think about how many buttons that is…done? Good. A game like Socom can be immensely involving and fun using Move, but there will definitely be a steep learning curve as a result of all the buttons in an unfamiliar setup. With proper hands-on time, it can easily be seen how the Move setup can be adapted to games with complex controller configurations and actually be functional. Reloading, crouching, dashing, and using grenades were handled with ease once my fingers got a grasp (pun intended) of the button layout.
My only serious gripe was the sensitivity when looking around with the Motion Controller. More than often I had to move my arm further than I expected to rotate my point of view, although I will dismiss this because I assume that there will be sensitivity options in the actual game. Other than having to put an extra effort to rotating my body, the Motion Control was more than adequate for aiming bad guys with precision shots and probably would have been even more fun had I been given the option to sit comfortably on a couch while playing.
In the end, I was able to see Sony’s vision and the possibility that they may succeed in bridging the motion control gap between the casual and hardcore audiences. Despite what passersby on the floor where saying, the PlayStation Move is not just Sony’s version of the Wii, it is much much more.