Four years after the release of the Wii, the PS3 and Xbox 360 are entering into the motion control fray. This holiday season will see the coming of the PlayStation Move and Xbox 360’s Kinect. Move will release on September 17, and Kinect comes out on November 4. While there are some similarities in the systems, there are differences as well. Before deciding if Move or Kinect will be under your Christmas tree, it’s important to understand what the pros and cons are.
Comparing the Prices of Move and Kinect
I got to admit, the cost of Move is a bit complicated. The wand cost $49.99, the navigation controller is $29.99, and the Eye camera is $39.99. A bundle for $99.99 includes one wand, the Eye, and the game Sports Champions. Another bundle for $399.99 includes a PS3. Some games require two wands or just one wand. Other games require the navigation controller. The best bet is getting a bundle and looking on Move’s game cases to see if you need an extra wand. Games exclusive to Move cost $39.99.
The price of Kinect is simpler. For $149.99, you get the sensor device and the game Kinect Adventures. A bundle including an Xbox 360 is $299.99. Exclusive Kinect games are $49.99.
Verdict: Move might seem cheaper than Kinect at first, but you may need to buy additional controllers in order to play the games you want. Although, Move exclusive games are cheaper.
Comparing the Hardware of Move and Kinect
Move is more like the Wii in terms of having two controllers. The wand is shaped almost like the Wii remote, except it has an LED orb on top that can glow in a range of colors. The color it glows is detected by the Eye and acts as a marker. The navigation controller is similar to the Wii’s nunchuk. Even though you can use a regular PS3 control in place of it, the navigation is streamlined and will be more comfortable to handle. The Eye camera recognizes and tracks movement and voices in three dimensional space.
All you need with Kinect is the sensor. The sensor does a full body scan, track movements, and recognizes different voices and faces. Kinect can track up to six people at a time and pivots to keep the players in frame. There are no controllers. You control action in the games and even the menus through body movements.
Verdict: I’m leaning toward Move. While Kinect has no controllers to lose or recharge, I’m not convinced that Kinect’s interface and control system will please hardcore gamers. If a shooter game uses Kinect, will we have to use our thumbs and index fingers to make “guns”?
Comparing the Games of Move and Kinect
Exclusive Move games include Sports Champions, EyePet, and The Fight Lights Out. These game will be available before the holiday season and are featured here. The most talked about Move games, Sorcery and Heroes on the Move will be released in 2011. Move will also be compatible with games that are part of popular series. Killzone 3, LittleBigPlanet 2, and SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs 4 can use Move’s motion controls. Most of these games don’t release until 2011.
Kinect games feature 15 titles that will be available at launch. They include Kinectimals, a virtual pet game similar to Move’s EyePet, a racing game called Kinect Joy Ride, and Kinect Sports. There will also be four fitness games and other “party” types. Upcoming Xbox 360 games like Fable III and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow Part 1 are able to be used with Kinect. LucasArts is also working on a Star Wars Kinect exclusive game slated to release in 2011.
Verdict: For both Move and Kinect, the initial focus seems to be on party type games geared toward easing players into their controls. I think Move has a stronger number of well established game titles that will be compatible. Hopefully, Kinect will release more information about existing series soon.
With any new video game accessory, there’s questions about how well it will work. For both Move and Kinect, I think there is potential. But, I feel Move will be ultimately geared towards hardcore gamers more then Kinect. For the type of game Kinect is releasing at launch, they are catering towards younger children and casual gamers. If that’s the motion control system you’re looking for, Kinect will be the best bet. If you’re a seasoned gamer looking to experience video games in a familiar, but different way, Move is for you.