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Talking Point: Can Move Conquer Kinect in the Long Run?

Posted by James Newton

Who will emerge on top of the HD motion wars?

PlayStation Move has been around for a week now and, if user feedback and technological reviews are anything to go by, has impressed a great deal of people with its versatility and accuracy, if perhaps not its software line-up. The response from the majority of users is the fidelity of motion is far in advance of Wii, but there's another motion control monster on the horizon: Microsoft Kinect. Which system will rise to the top and which will be crushed underfoot?

The Case For

Accuracy

You only have to play Tumble to experience the precision of Move as it tracks your movements in 3D, with 1:1 control even demonstrated in Start the Party! and EyePet: Move Edition. The controller's ability to detect small changes in its orientation, as well as movement in all directions, make it a potent device for plenty of different genres. Kinect's body-tracking sounds fantastic in principle, but it remains to be seen if it can track a human being as accurately as Move can track its glowing orbs.

Buttons

The controller-free gaming in Kinect has been trialled in the past with EyeToy, and Sony decided there was something missing: buttons. It's more than just triggers or face buttons, it's directional controls too – the analogue stick on the Navigation or DualShock 3 makes an enormous range of games possible, something Kinect is unlikely to surpass.

The Case Against

Ambition

Move is great technology that really works: our week spent with the controller is testament to this. So far, however, it hasn't captured the imagination of the non-gaming world the same way that Kinect has. Here's a quick test: explain the Move to any non-gamer and count the seconds until they say "oh, it's like the Wii, then."

Kinect may not offer the same pinpoint accuracy as Move, but its hands-free interface resembles most people's idea of what the future looks like. Even though Move also features gesture-based menu navigation, as Tom Cruise didn't hold a Move wand in Minority Report that's a potential deal-breaker for the mass market.

Price

The decision to sell Move in parts was a double-edged sword. On the one hand it gives gamers the option to purchase only the pads they need on a game-by-game basis, but others just see the price of wanting a two-player bout on The Fight: Lights Out. Kinect might be pricey for an accessory, but there are far fewer (if any) hidden costs – purchase the camera, set it up and you're golden for multiplayer gaming, with no need to check controller requirements or buy extra add-ons. For the Christmas present-seeking parent, that's going to go a long way.

You Decide

Have your experiences with Move so far convinced you that it's going to be gaming's greatest motion controller? Does its pricetag for a multiplayer experience leave you looking enviously at Kinect? Let us know in the comments section, or tweet it via Twitter.

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User Comments (9)

Slapshot

#1

Slapshot said:

High tech gaming comes at a high cost. You get what you pay for!

As for Move/Kinect, I seriously see them both neck and neck. I think Kinect will bring out a controller for one hand at least to solve some major control limitations and they will both find there markets.

PatrickElliotStaff

#2

PatrickElliot said:

I could see Kinect doing some major things in the casual market, though I just heard their major casual release, Project Milo, might be canceled. I worry mostly about how well Kinect will differentiate between movements. In the demo for "Fighters Uncaged" guys were doing knee kicks and uppercuts, and it seemed kind of jumbled. Also, many of the demos for Kinect Adventures make the thing seem like its still in its beta phase, as sometimes it doesn't register anything. Kinect definitely offers something more than the Wii 2.0 experience given by Move, but that Wii 2.0 experience works...

Paranoimia

#3

Paranoimia said:

I don't see myself being envious of Kinect at all, as I've yet to see it do anything particularly impressive.

Gesture recognition has already been done on the PS Eye in EyePet, with you able to stroke the pet, and certain menus being navigable by waving your hand and 'knocking' them around.

But besides that, navigating menus by waving your arms is a gimmick which soon wears thin. It becomes tiresome, and before long, you'll be back to pressing a button on a controller. It may look cool for a few seconds in a movie. It may even feel cool for a few minutes doing it yourself. But before long, you'll realise a button is far simpler and much quicker. Much like they've done with Move, Sony could easily implement gesture navigation of the XMB using the PS Eye.

I'm also baffled by the amazement people seem to be experiencing over the speech recognition. Speech recognition is nothing new, and could be implemented on the PS Eye, or in fact any system with a microphone. It's getting touted almost as an exclusive 'feature' of Kinect when in fact it's software drive, and has nothing to do with the hardware at all, aside from the fact that the camera has a microphone attached.

As for games, I've yet to see Kinect do anything spectacular. In fact, I've yet to see it do even the basics at an average level. Every video or demonstration I've seen which wasn't faked/staged has shown the system to be fairly deficient in many areas, often failing to recognise anything from simplest gestures, right up to the largest movements. It certainly appears to be nothing like as capable as the glitzy "product vision" video Microsoft showed at E3 2009.

The simple fact is that without buttons, and with Kinect not precise enough to recognise small gestures, the input for games is going to be quite limited - there's just no getting away from that. For anything but basic game control, it's about as much use as a chocolate fireguard.

Having said all that, I'm sure it'll sell well - perhaps even better than Move. Why? Because Microsoft will throw a huge advertising budget at it to convince people it's way better than it is, and - well - the target audience of 'casual' gamers are more than a little gullible.

SuperMarioFan96

#4

SuperMarioFan96 said:

I used to say Move no question. But now I'm not so sure. None of Move's games have really been that great so far. Though Eyepet has yet to be reviewed on here (and I doubt that could manage a nine anyway, although I haven't played it so maybe I'm wrong), nothing has managed better than an 8. Tumble sounds fun. Resident Evil is Resident Evil, although it's already been done on Wii. Tiger Woods should be pretty good, but again, same as RE. Sports Champions is decent, but nothing spectacular and without the same amount of content that Wii Sports Resort managed. Most of the rest appears OK to bad.

It's still almost impossible to know how accurate Kinect will be, although let's just say that it turns out to be pretty darn acurate, though not perfect. First: Kinect has Dance Central, which, if Kinect itself can take off, will be a monstorous hit. Second, Kinect has more potential for something NEW that we haven't seen really done before, al la Dance Central. We've seen Resident Evil (with motion controls), we've seen Tiger Woods, we've seen a sports minigame compilation (with more Sports to boot), and even Tumble has been drawing comparisons to Boom Blox (although there's a chance that I'm completely wrong in saying that). Point is, Kinect has the potential to do something different, whereas Move has a lot less of a chance.

Only time will tell.

Unca_LzStaff

#5

Unca_Lz said:

With Nintendo's strong hold on the casual market, it's too early to say who will be on top

CanisWolfred

#6

CanisWolfred said:

Bit early for this talk ain't it? Kinect ain't even out yet, very few games have been announced for both, and Move's initial sales figures still aren't available. Anything said now would just be pointless conjuncture with little to back it up.

James

#7

James said:

That's why it's a talking point :) Move's out now, people know what it can do but they can't help but look to Kinect and wonder which will emerge victorious.

For what it's worth, a friend of mine used Kinect the other day and says it's absolutely unbelievable. It's never too early to discuss anything in my opinion!

Mendoza

#8

Mendoza said:

I can give the answer in 1 word: Software. So yes, Move will outsell and outdo Kinect with ease

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