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Sony PlayStation Move hands on at E3: these lollypops don't lie

Tim Stevens

Sony's PlayStation Move was hardly the surprise of the show, after all we've been seeing it waved around in various forms for years. Likewise the price ($99 for a bundle with an Eye Toy camera and a game) wasn't exactly a shocker. Still, the release date of September 19th is earlier than anticipated, and the wealth of titles supporting the gadgets was a little unexpected too. We had a chance to sit down (and stand up) with a few of the best, and we're generally pleased. Move on after the break for our full impressions.

Gallery: Sony PlayStation Move at E3 | 18 Photos

In your hand both halves of the Move controller (the Move and the analog-stick endowed Navigator) have the same sort of light, almost empty feel as the PS3's Dual Shock controller. But, they certainly don't feel flimsy, giving a solid, durable feel in the hand. Triggers and the primary button on the Move fall to hand quickly, but the PlayStation's four iconic face buttons are a little too small for our tastes. That said, we're guessing after an hour or so they'll fall to hand (or, rather, to thumb) just as naturally as they do now.

Sony seems to be making an attempt at getting ahead of the third-party accessory crazy that Nintendo kicked off by offering its own charging stand (pictured above) and even that goofy looking ray gun. (Though that isn't stopping Nyko from trying.) These we didn't get a chance to play with, but we get hands-on with a number of games, including:

  • SOCOM 4 is probably the most eagerly anticipated of the Move games, and it's easy to see why. SOCOM is one of Sony's most popular franchises, and the Move does legitimately add some extra immersion to the experience. Control is exactly like any of the various Wii shooters and honestly we didn't notice anything amazing about the fidelity compared to the Wiimote, but unlike most of those Wii shooters this one won't be lame. And it'll have multiplayer. That's always good, too.
  • Fight 3D was not as fluid as we were hoping. With a Move controller in each hand (no navigation peripherals here), we stretched our arms all the way out, and then back in to chin, for calibration. The lag wasn't too bad, but what the precision and fluidity was a bit off in this build. That said, points for good 3D implementation.
  • We got a chance to check out EyePet last year, but now it has Move support, which lets you more precisely shower your little... thing with water, shampoo, swing toys around, and probably not beat it with a stick. Honestly Move support here feels a little less necessary than with other titles, but the game is still hugely cute and fun... and a little weird.
  • Sony has announced that popular apartment exploration simulator Heavy Rain is getting updated for Move support. We didn't get to spend much time here, but from what we could tell the controller simply allows you to control the on-screen cursor more precisely.
  • Two golf games will give duffers a change to get their mulligan on minus the greens fees. Tiger Woods 2011 is obviously the premier title in this space, but we only got a chance to try out another competitor: John Daly's ProStroke Golf. It's a cross-platform game featuring the former most controversial figure in golf, and though the game is very early (only allowing hitting drives at this point) changes in aligning the face of the club were reflected accurately and instantly, meaning fades and draws were executed just as you'd like. The game will even change your swing type based on how close you stand to the virtual ball.

Overall PlayStation Move is hardly a reinvention of gaming and is flirting dangerously with gimmick status. But, for certain games (golf, SOCOM) Move makes a heck of a lot of sense. Right now, for others, it's rather less compelling, but we're guessing the true beauty of this won't be realized until sometime next year. The technology is certainly solid, the accuracy impressive, and the responsiveness, while not perfect, is good enough (and better than we're seeing on Natal right now). We're definitely looking forward to downing some tangos in SOCOM this fall when Move gets moving, and if we can reduce our golfing handicap while we're at it that won't be a bad bonus. Oh, and for more details on these games, check out Joystiq's coverage of the Move.

Ross Miller contributed to this article.

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