Is the Playstation Move everything it’s cracked up to be?

Playstation Move with players.The world’s had a little time to digest Sony’s Playstation Move and the speculation is in full swing. Some are saying that this will do again for gaming what the Wii did. Others think it’s just another Wii and because of that no one will buy it. I fall heavily in that second camp. Really, from everything I’ve seen this is Wii HD. The only reason it might succeed is that developers will actually make some content that can be marketed at hardcore players.

There’s a problem with that success model, though; it doesn’t grow. There’s no plan for bringing more people to gaming than ever before. That’s been done. Nintendo did it. If you think the grandmas and the grandpas and the sorority girls and the little kids Nintendo shows in its commercials want a Move and a Wii I think you’re crazy.

A lot of the demos have harped on the accuracy of the Move, but we haven’t really seen that pinpoint accuracy is a big deal to motion gaming’s primary market. It’s more about the fun of the game and whether it basically feels like you’re swinging a golf club or not. The whole appeal of the Wii is that the learning curve is minimal because it’s simple. It gives everyone a chance to play, even if they aren’t gamers. The Move’s level of accuracy might appeal to the hardcore fans, but serious titles scare away the Wii Tennis addicts.

The biggest problem I have with Move is that I have yet to see a truly ingenious “killer app.” As soon as someone can tell me what makes the Move more than a Wii with good graphics I’ll consider taking a sip of the kool-aid. Until then, color me skeptical.


Proof that 3D gaming is a long way off

XpanD shutter glasses.The other day, Sony said it would rely on motion control, 3D gaming, and the PlayStation Network to drive sales in 2010. To me, 3D gaming is a pipe dream, at least for the next five years or so, and today I’ve got a little proof.

XpanD, the company that produced the glasses for Avatar has said a pair of their shutter glasses will start at $70 a pair and run up to $150. That’s on top of the premiums you’ll pay for the TV, though some sets will likely ship with glasses included.

For a family of four, you’re looking at about $300 just for the glasses. Granted, your average family of four won’t be gaming in 3D together, but think about having your friends over. The expense of the hardware is going to dictate that you enjoy your 3D games alone, a trend the industry has been moving away from for the last decade.

Until costs come down, there’s no way Sony can expect real revenue from 3D next year. It’s just too expensive.


Sony to rely on motion control, 3D, and PSN in 2010

Sony taking a swing.When you consider the NPD data for 2009, it’s hard to imagine why Sony thinks it will have such a great 2010. John Koller, Sony’s director of hardware marketing, talked with Gamepro about what’s in store for for Sony fans next year, a plan that hopes to stand on the “three big pillars” of motion control, 3D gaming, and the PlayStation Network.

You’ll have to excuse my sarcasm, because I do think Sony has a big year ahead. The biggest its had in a while, anyway. The PS3 Slim is selling like mad and there are some great games out for the system. The only “pillar” I see working in 2010, though, is PSN. Motion gaming already exists on another system, one that is much more family friendly than a console like the PS3. And 3D gaming? That’s a pipe dream for 2010. Hell, I’d call that a pipe dream for 2015. There just won’t be enough 3D TVs to drive any kind of reasonable business for a game system.

That doesn’t keep Koller from claiming that Sony just might hit the “Holy Grail of gaming,” by “placing you as a consumer into the game physically.” I think he’s nuts. Read the full interview at Gamepro.


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