PS3 vs XBox 360 vs Wii – Part 1: Motion Control

This is the first part of a series to look at and compare the Wii (including Motion Plus), the PS3 (including PlayStation Move) and the XBox 360 (including Kinect).

Motion control: in the beginning only the Wii had it. Now all have. Differently.

Wii – including Motion Plus

  • The motion control of the Wii was revolutionary when it launched. It was not as precise as people had hoped it would be but it was new. It reduced the entry barrier for non- or casual gamers to a video game console and the Wii was a big success.
  • Unfortunately there are a ton of bad games and games that unnecessary got motion control tugged onto them for the Wii.
  • There are also lots of good games. See for example my Top 5 – Wii Party (Multiplayer) Games.
  • The Motion Plus add-on does significantly improve the precision and finally sword fighting was possible (see Wii Sports Resort).

PlayStation Move (PS3)

  • PlayStation Move includes a camera (and a microphone), thus it can integrate you / your picture into the game or do augmented reality. For example you can see a sword in your hand while chopping vegetables.
  • The plastic ball on top of the Move controller glows to make it easier for the camera to ‘see’ the controller.
  • It’s much more precise than the Wii (even including Motion Plus) and in contrast to the Wii in has a built in rechargeable battery.

Kinect (XBox 360)

  • Basically it is a 3D Camera and a microphone. There are no additional controllers.
  • Kinect detects your body movements and essentially you become the controller.
  • There is a noticeable lag between your movement and action in the game, but it still works well.
    You’ll need a lot of space and a well lit room.
  • You cannot play Kinect sitting down, you need to stand. This makes it much more exhausting than the other two.
  • see also Impressions of Kinect

While Kinect is pretty precise, it is by far not as precise as the PlayStation Move. Kinect needs movement of the arm or the whole body, while Wii and PlayStation Move can work with small movements. Kinect is much better than the other two when you want to use real movement (like dancing, jumping) to integrate it into the game.

While PlayStation Move can do everything the Wii can (just better) and adds a camera, Kinect is significantly different.  I’m pretty confident that we will see different types of games for these two fundamentally different approaches to motion control.
At the end of the day, they all work fine.

This series will continue.

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