The battle for hearts and minds Down Under

While many industry experts elsewhere are willing to admit that the jury is still out on which of the new motion control formats - Sony's Move and Microsoft's Kinect - will emerge victorious during the upcoming holiday season, Australian video games retailer Gametraders has declared that it is backing the former to clean up at Christmas.

“Based on store feedback, the Move is going to be bigger than the Kinect,” said Rob Jenkins, national marketing manager at Gametraders. He went on to explain that Microsoft's platform had proved to be something of a turn-off during test demonstrations, with Move getting a more positive response. “I think the Kinect is a bit clunky and I don’t think it will work properly so I think the Move will have a better initial push and will be received better."

He also added that public perception in Australia seems to favour Sony's machine right now: "I could be wrong, but in some people’s eyes, the 360 is seen as an older technology in some ways. We are finding the PlayStation 3 is starting to pick up in sales because Blu-rays are cheaper and more accepted now. I think there is almost this psychological feel the PlayStation 3 is newer technology and I think that is part of [why the Move will be more popular].”

Gametraders is a popular Australian retalier

The good news for Sony didn't end there, however. Aussie Games distributor AFA Interactive - which has distribution agreements with both Sony and Microsoft - also backed Move.

“The feeling we are getting from a lot of our customers is the Move will be more successful than the Kinect,” commented AFA product and marketing manager, Karl Vosgerau. "With the Move, it’s kind of like the Wii controls but it will be much more realistic and responsive whereas the Kinect is completely driven by your body. We get the feeling that – from what we’re told – it sounds like this can really limit what the possibilities are [for gameplay].”

According to both Gametraders and AFA, the PlayStation 3 is selling very well Down Under, eclipsing the retail performance of Microsoft's console. “Over the past year, if a game is coming out on both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 comes out as the stronger platform,” adds Vosgerau. “That was different from when I started here four years ago when the PlayStation 3 just came out where you would sell more games on the Xbox 360. Now it’s the other way around.”

Such robust commercial performance certainly bodes well for Move, which will launch in the region on September 16th.