Yesterday we had our first opportunity to go hands-on with the Move controller, and our feelings were mixed about the experience.
Navigating the PS3's CrossMediaBar menu with the Move is intuitive and very pleasing: the controller picks up sweeps and swipes to pass through the menu very quickly, whilst also recognising smaller movements for impressive precision. Gamers who don't want the hassle of swapping between Move and Dualshock should be pleased that the console's entire menu system can be navigated with just a Move controller.
Playing table tennis in Sports Champions showed off the controller's tracking ability to impressive effect: you're able to hold Move upside down in order to look extra cool and even hit the ball with the very edges of the bat. Even small rotations and adjustments are picked up, and the detection of forehand, backhand, spin and slice shots is as precise as you'd want it to be.
Calibrating the Move can be a hassle. Unlike the Wii MotionPlus enhancement that asks you to lay your controller flat for a few seconds, the Move requires you to stand within a certain area in front of the TV to allow the Eye to read your movements in 3D more accurately. Taking three "snapshots" of you holding the Move in various positions – your side, shoulder and belt buckle height – allows the camera to track its position more accurately, and although it's a hassle in bright lighting in ideal conditions this shouldn't be much of a problem.
Our set-up was rather close to a large window on a bright afternoon, making the light level too bright for Move to cope with reliably. For those intending to play Move under industrial strip lighting or by bay windows on a late summer's day, you might want to invest in some decent curtains to dim the light a bit. We found that placing Move in front of dark fabric helped the camera track it more easily too, so even wearing dark clothes may help.
Although the lighting conditions were far from ideal, the sensitivity of Move and its precision really shone through: even using the XMB was simple and intuitive, and using it in Sports Champions to land a deft backhand shot or smash the ball into the far corner was straightforward and a lot of fun.
We'll be bringing you more hands-on coverage of PlayStation Move in the weeks before launch, so stay tuned for more honest opinions covering a range of games.