But having got hands-on time with the compilation's table tennis game, we're not sure it matters. That's because PlayStation Move works; this is not a device playing on empty promises and faked lifestyle commercials - it does what Sony have always said it will: track your movements 1:1.
Sports Champions is Sony's attempt at creating a Wii Sports-esque compilation package for their upcoming motion controller, PlayStation Move. It includes a range of activities including volleyball, disc golf and archery. Our hands-on time was limited to table tennis, but we came away from the game suitably impressed.
As already touched upon, Sports Champions is not an artistic master-piece. While the game looks sharp and colourful, the graphical style is weak, opting for a more realistic design compared to other titles of its kind. It ends up looking drab and predictable, despite the cheerful colouring.
Going into the demo we were quite concerned with the way the game looks, but our issues seemed to fade away as we sank into the gameplay. There's a short calibration period before the game begins, in which you'll need to hold the Move controller in three positions. This syncs your standing position and arm length to the PlayStation Eye. You're then dropped into the game.
The first thing we tested was just how well the PlayStation Move could track our paddle. The game adopts a first-person viewpoint when you're serving or rallying, so the only thing you'll see in your area of the screen is the bat you'll use to hit the ball. It's almost startling how well the PlayStation Move is able to track movements. We twisted, lunged and waved our arms around; every action was perfectly mapped to the screen without any distinguishable lag.
That accuracy transcends into the gameplay. Playing the game feels like real table tennis. We tried a number of shot-types (performing them with similar movements to real-life) — top-spin, slice, and lofted shots could all be applied with intuitive actions. What's more, there was never the impression that the PlayStation Move was losing sync. As we entered a lengthy deuce with our opponent, the PlayStation Move was still tracking our movements with the same life-like accuracy we had experienced at the start of the demo.
There's some spoofing applied to the ball, but we assumed this was due to the "Bronze" difficulty level we played on. While we were unable to try for ourselves, we're presuming the "Gold" difficulty level gives you absolute control over the physics of the ball.
Based on what we played, we'd buy Sports Champions for the table tennis mode alone. Assuming the other games on the compilation are as accurate, we think this is going to be the Move's must-have title. It's disappointing that the art-style doesn't live up to the gameplay - but honestly, your connection with the design fades away as soon as the game begins.