Sunday, October 17, 2010

Review: Playstation Move

In a continually regrettable quest to seek enjoyment out the PS3, I decided to pick up the Move bundle along with an extra controller.

Out of the box, the weight and shape of the controller is excellent. Immediately, the Wii Remote feels like a heavy outdated club compared to the lightweight smooth-curved Move Wand motion controller. The wrist straps were already installed as well, which is a minor plus.

Gusto gets shot in the foot from there however.

Continue reading...Synchronization seemed easy enough; turn the PS3 on and plug it in with a USB cable (which isn't included with the controller). The camera is a plug-and-play item, leaving initial setup fairly painless. On to gaming.

The bundle comes with Sports Champions and a demo disc. Natural thoughts chant "It's just Wii PS3 Sports" (even though it has different sports altogether), so I started with the demo disc.

In typical PS3 blundering, EVERY DEMO REQUIRES AN INSTALL. In regular-consumer mode, I could only experience irritation. Spending $100+ on a new toy and it can't even be played directly out of the box. Waiting...waiting...waiting. The system also warns of each game requiring calibration, which didn't sit well with my impatience. Experience showed these calibrations were quick and easy, however.

Most of the demos work well, but I have to pick on Tiger Woods 11. Jam on that Move "Start" button all you want, the game will stare at you blankly and go into self-play demo mode after while. For whatever reason, the game must be started with a regular controller, and then the Move can be selected just before hitting the Tee box.

My first attempt was a direct failure, as the game continually asked me to point the Move at the screen and press a button (I believe it was "Select"). It refused to be satisfied so I had to give up. The next attempt worked however, after quitting the game and sitting through the intro of golf clips AGAIN.

Random control problems continued from there, but when it did work, it was about the same experience as Tiger Woods 10 on the Wii (with better graphics of course).

All the other demos and Sports Champions controlled quite well. Within a few minutes, it is evident that the Move's accuracy and stability with motions trumps the Wii's setup. Movement was as expected, although in Time Crisis I had trouble finding my tiny reticule. Swatting, painting, shooting arrows, moving blocks, and all the other activities in the demos felt solid.

As for the games, Echochrome II, Tumble, and Kung Fu Riders stuck out, and offered fun moments. Sports Champions is an entertaining game, but it doesn't seem as versatile as Wii Sports' variations of individual activities. Regardless, I'm partial to the Disc Golf and Gladiator events even though they won't be usurping my Call of Duty or Halo time any time soon.

The price is questionable at this point. It feels similar to a Wii Remote with Wii Play...some simple games packed in with a controller. Sure, the Playstation Eye is in there, but these basic cameras are pretty cheap nowadays so $40 seems overkill. A little HD and a slightly improved experience isn't worth double the price to me. Sorry, Sony.

For now, I haven't seen a compelling reason to go pick the Move up. It certainly has potential, but out-of-the-box it fails to be the instant success the Wii was. The improvement on motion controls is there, but not in a way to distinguish itself from it's competitor that has systems in more households at this time.

3 pros:
-More accurate than the Wii
-Controller(s) are lightweight
-Motion control on HD games!

3 cons:
-No compelling software
-Camera is low-res and grainy
-Price - Two move controllers ($100) needed to get the most out of some games

Resembles/Feels like: The Wii Remote Experience
Rent or Buy: Borrow it or try the kiosks (no buy)
Personal Appraisal: $50 for the bundle (PSEye, 1 Move Controller, Sports Champion)*
MSRP: $49.99 for one Move Controller, $99.99 bundled with game and camera
Other Opinions:**

*Personal Appraisal at the time of the review
**Link to other sites' reviews

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Everyone's iPad Envy

"Humorous astonishment" is how I describe co-worker and passer-by envy at my not-so-new-to-me Apple toy.

"Which model is that?" "Do you like it?" "Tell me that work pays for that!"

All are comments that haven't left my memory yet. My answers respectively:

The cheapest one with 3G.

It's okay, but the lack of Flash support is extremely irritating.


Everyone should make their own decisions, but I firmly believe these toys not to be worth the money. I like it, but the price is ridiciulous, and the lack of a camera is disappointing. Apple will probably get it right on the next go-round. AT&T probably won't provide a data plan that would make me more comfortable using Netflix as desired without using up my limited 2GB of data plan.

A review that I agree with:

Up until last week, I did not have a data phone which was driving me nuts. With a company-provided phone, I didn't wish to carry two devices just to have one with data. It made sense, especially since I can cancel the data plan at my leisure with no contracts.

Now that I tote a Blackberry (droids and iphones are not offered), I am finding I don't use the iPad as much. For me, it was all about email and other types of short communication. The iPad is shining as an eBook reader for my ITIL study guide and still offers a more usable google reader, but I find myself sticking with the quickly accessible Cell phone.

How to infer this experience....guess I can't. Every user is different, and perception is never consistent between people. Mine is that Apple makes good UI's, but their lack of adaptability to mesh with the PC world is often a hinderance from a business user perspective.

As learned from the movie "Inception", ideas can get out of hand, especially when accompanied by great expectation.