Tag Archives | Playstation Move

We Dare: The Brilliance of Horrible Marketing

I don’t know if my Twitter feed is a good indicator of something going viral, but right now it’s lit up with people talking about We Dare, a Wii and Playstation Move party game that Ubisoft describes as “fun and flirty” and “sometimes kinky.”

A trailer for the game lives up to the creepy concept: Two guys and two girls huddle in front of the TV and play a bunch of mini-games with a sexual bent. In one instance, two partners gnaw at the base of a dangling controller to mimic waterless bobbing for apples. In another, one of the girls bends over her partner’s lap for a spanking, Wii Remote tucked into the backside of her skirts. All the while, the actors giggle with convincing awkwardness. (The trailer is embedded after the jump to protect the innocent.)

But here’s the rub: We Dare was announced a month ago, and the Internet barely noticed. Ubisoft’s disaster of a trailer has brought far more attention to the game than the concept itself.

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Sony's Playstation Move Rifle Literally Changes the Game

With 3D glasses around my head and a big, plastic, fake assault rifle in my hand, I did something that seasoned gamers might consider sacrilege: I played Killzone 3.

Understand, Killzone is the Playstation 3’s answer to Halo. It’s a loud, violent shoot-em-up against enemies with gas masks and glow-in-the-dark eyes, and a multiplayer mode with all the classics, like capture the flag and team deathmatch. And with the Playstation Move stuffed inside a $40 gun-shaped accessory, Killzone 3 is also Sony’s attempt to prove that motion control is for serious gamers, too.

But really, it’s not. Playing Killzone 3 with the assault rifle peripheral was a blast, but it was also an entirely different game than the one you play with plain old thumbsticks. Continue Reading →


Eating Words: Kinect and Move are Looking Like Hits

In the past, I’ve been a skeptic of Kinect for Xbox 360 and the Playstation Move, Microsoft’s and Sony’s respective motion controllers. The prospect of selling the public another Wii, I thought, was hopeless without killer software. So far, it looks like I’m wrong.

Microsoft has raised its sales expectations for Kinect from 3 million to 5 million, Bloomberg reports. That’s based on pre-sales, retail orders and consumer interest for the motion-sensing camera, which launches November 4. To put this in perspective, Microsoft has sold 44.6 million Xbox 360s since the console launched in 2005.

The Playstation Move, a Wii-like wand tracked by a set-top camera, is also doing well so far. The controller officially launched on September 19, and Sony sold 2.5 million of them between the United States and Europe in one month. Lifetime Playstation 3 sales are at 41.6 million.

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320 GB Playstation 3 is the Classic Upsell

Sony’s getting creative with its Playstation 3 bundles, adding a 320 GB console for $350.

That’s $50 less than a console with the same size hard drive and the Playstation Move starter kit, which includes the camera, the motion controller wand and Sports Champions. It’s $50 more than Sony’s basic PS3 with 160 GB hard drive.

I’ve read the opinion that the $350 price point shows Sony’s willingness to subsidize the Playstation Move. On its own, the Move starter kit costs $100, so in essence, Sony is cutting the Move price in half when bundled with a $400 console. I think of it in a different, admittedly unsubstantiated way: Sony’s putting out the sans Move bundle mainly to lure people towards its new motion controller.

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Surprise! Playstation Move is Out Today

It’s not uncommon for game retailers to get new products a day or two early and keep them stored away until launch. That makes Sony’s approach with the Playstation Move motion controller all the more refreshing.

With retailers getting the Move ahead of the official September 19 launch date, Sony gave the green light to start sales today. This may not make for the cleanest launch — Sony spokesman Al De Leon told MSNBC that the Move should be in stock at retailers nationwide, “for the most part” — but at least people who are anxious to get a Move can spend the whole weekend with it.

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Sony Cheers for Buttons Ahead of Playstation Move Launch

The Playstation Move, Sony’s answer to the Wii, launches in nine days, and the marketing is getting predictably louder.

As PC World’s Matt Peckham points out, Sony has created a few websites to convince people that they need a Playstation Move, including a skewed product comparison chart and a silly video creation tool. But my favorite of these efforts is Yaybuttons.com, which, as the name suggests, defends the virtue of buttons against a faceless foe.

It’s clearly a takedown of Microsoft’s Kinect for Xbox 360, which uses only a camera to track real-world motion, and no actual controllers to hold. “It turns out that buttons are pretty important,” says a dialog box that appears when you click an image of the Move controller. “Not like ‘save the whales’ important. More like ‘not play games that suck’ important.”

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PS3 Bundle Speaks Volumes About Playstation Move

I’m not in Germany for GamesCom, but Sony’s big announcement from the video game trade show was a Playstation 3 bundle that includes the Playstation Move camera and motion control wand, one game and a 320 GB hard drive, for $400.

Interesting strategy. By opting for a motion control bundle with a bigger hard drive and price tag than the standard PS3 model, Sony is sending a clear message: This is motion control for the devoted gamer. Come for the roomier hard drive, stay for the fancy new peripheral that lets you play real-time strategy games on a console.

At least I hope that’s the message. After all, a $400 console is twice the price of Nintendo’s Wii, and $100 more than the Kinect Xbox 360 bundle Microsoft announced last month. Sony’s kidding itself if it thinks the occasional gamer is going to sink $400 into a game console, especially now that so many cheaper options exist.

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Kinect for Xbox 360 vs. Playstation Move

The more time I spent with Playstation Move and Kinect for Xbox 360, the more I’m convinced that they’re both hitting the market about six months too early.

Not that there’s anything wrong with the hardware. Kinect, a special camera that tracks motion, worked fine — if not a tad laggy — in the games I played on the show floor. Same goes for the Move, which behaves a lot like a Wii remote, but also with a camera that traces the positioning of the controller in 3D space, and of course the benefit of better graphics. But before the show, I vowed to be skeptical without killer software, and neither the Move nor Kinect have it — yet.

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Sony Playstation: The Kitchen Sink Approach Continues

Marketing taglines usually serve as little more than memory triggers, but there’s actually some truth to Sony’s claim that the Playstation “only does everything.” Today’s press conference showed a company desperate to make its console the jack of all trades, adding 3D gaming and motion controls to the Playstation 3.

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Playstation Move: Motion Control for Whom?

For too long this morning, I’ve been trying to think of something pithy to write about the Playstation Move, Sony’s newly-unveiled motion controller for the PS3. But aside from the facts — it’ll be out later this year, for $100 including one controller and a camera that tracks the controller’s movement — all I can spit out are conflicted opinions.

I’m somewhat excited for the Move, if only because it’s a more sophisticated version of Nintendo’s Wii, with its wand-shaped, button-laden controllers. The difference is that the Move uses an existing product, the Playstation Eye, to track the controller’s motion along three dimensions. This allows you to step closer or farther from the table in virtual ping pong, or make 360-degree turns in real space.

Cool technology, for sure, but is it a cohesive vision for motion control, or a half-hearted attempt to capture the so-called casual gamer? I can’t tell yet.

Take the games, for example. There’s the requisite Wii Sports Resort clone, but with more realistic graphics. There’s an on-rails shooter, but with a playful, arcade look and feel. There’s a pet-training game for children, but there’s also the military shooter SOCOM 4. Instead of showing off a killer app, Sony’s throwing pasta at the wall, hoping to find a target audience that sticks.

The Move has a controller issue as well. Some games will require you to wield two motion controller wands, while others will use a Wii Nunchuk-like secondary controller, with an analog stick. That means even if you’re playing solo, you’ll need three controllers for every possible scenario. It’s confusing, and it escalates the cost well beyond $100. Can this kind of set-up compete with the $200 Wii? Doubtful.

I think the issue is that Sony’s still in tech demo mode. I’m sold on the technology, but not on the product. This early look at the Move suggests that Sony wants to create both a Wii Sports killer and a Halo killer with motion control, but so far we’ve seen a controller that does neither.