Page last updated at 03:57 GMT, Thursday, 11 March 2010

Sony shows off its motion controller PlayStation Move

By Maggie Shiels
Technology reporter, BBC News, GDC, San Francisco

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Sony shows off its motion controller and camera system

Sony has shown-off its contender to the market leading Nintendo Wii, known as the PlayStation Move.

The wand-like device uses motion controllers and the PlayStation eye camera to track body movements.

The audience at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco were given a chance to play with the system, first unveiled in June 2009.

"We'd like to think of this as the next generation of motion gaming," said Sony's marketing boss Peter Dille.

"We are confident that when we look back in five years time, this will be seen as a seminal moment for PlayStation."

While crediting the Wii with doing a "great job in introducing motion gaming to the masses", Mr Dille said the Move has the "potential to take gaming beyond where it is today".

'Second place'

After the announcement, the audience were given a chance to play around with the Move, which resembles Wii's wand with a coloured ball at the top.

Initial reactions were muted.

Dan Ackerman tries out the Playstaton Move
CNet's Dan Ackerman was less than impressed by the PlayStation Move

"I was disappointed with the amount of real innovation we saw. In terms of ideas, it is very similar to what we have seen with the Wii and if you are Sony, you can't help but want to ape that success," Guy Cocker, UK editor of gaming site GameSpot told BBC News.

The latest figures show that Sony has sold more than 33m of the PlayStation 3 (PS3) versus over 67.5m units for the Wii and more than 39m for Microsoft's Xbox 360.

Dan Ackerman, who is a senior editor with the review site CNet.com, said it is unlikely that the Move will present much of a challenge to Nintendo initially.

"Nintendo has such a lead in this market that both Sony and Microsoft are competing to be the number two choice in the living room.

"PlayStation Move isn't that innovative. It doesn't do anything that differently than the Wii but everyone feels they need to get into this space," said Mr Ackerman.

Microsoft plans to introduce a controller-free system known as Natal towards the end of 2010. It will let players operate Xbox games using gestures and body motions instead of pressing buttons or waving a device.

At the event, Sony unveiled a number of games that users will be able to play using the Move. They include Little Big Planet, Move Party and Sports Champions.

The entertainment giant has around 20 games in development and nearly 40 third-party publishers supporting the device.

The controller will go on sale in the autumn and will cost less than $100 (£47).



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