In 2006, Nintendo introduced a motion based controller to its Wii. But console companies like Sony and Microsoft as well as some industry analysts thought that such development was unappealing for gamers.
They turned out to be wrong. Nintendo dominated the market in this area for four years until Sony and Microsoft changed their opinions about it and admitted that such technology is the next big thing. So these companies introduced their own line of motion based control technology in their products.
The one more familiar among the two recently released products is the one made by Sony, the Playstation Move. It appears similar to the Wii Remote and Nunchuk at first glance except that there is no cord that connects the controller pairs and there is this luminescent orb on top of the controllers.
In terms of ergonomics, the Playstation move has a better design than the Wii controller. Its buttons are easier to access than the Wii and one of its controllers has both an analog and digital controller.
On the other hand, the Xbox Kinect which is manufactured by Microsoft is not very familiar in design. The Kinect is not the specific controller and is an attachment to the Xbox 360 to act like a motion sensing device. The new Xbox 360 Slim has a designated USB port made specifically for the Kinect. The Kinect should be properly positioned in front of the Xbox 360 so that it can sense the full body motion of the game player. Its voice recognition technology also allows the Xbox 360 to be controlled by voice commands.
Since these two new products are really different, it would be hard to make an objective comparison. Apart from the similarity that they are both based on motion control technology in the gaming industry, they are different in terms of looks, design, cost, and control scheme. In terms of price, the Playstation Move is more expensive than the Wii at its price of $50.
The Kinect, however, is sold at $150 making it cost at half the cost of the Xbox 360 where it is attached into. In terms of capability, the Playstation Move can only detect hand motion whereas the Kinect can detect full body motion. Furthermore, the Kinect has this voice recognition technology which is not found in the other products that we have mentioned previously.
However, judging from the amount of time that these two companies spent in promoting these new technologies at their respective E3 press conferences, it can be deduced that these companies are rooting the importance of these new products in their game consoles.
Since the number of games that can be played using motion control technology is quite limited and incompatibility issues with their other games may arise, these new products may not make it easy. In addition with the high cost of these products and the recessing economy, only time can really tell how these products will pace in the market.