Move Designer: Importance Of Buttons, Questions Competition
The PlayStation Move is now on the market, and thus far, it seems to be "moving" well.
But to dive into the nuts and bolts of Sony's new motion sensing technology during the first week of availability, we turn to Dr. Richard Marks, who recently spoke to Edge about Move's development and what he thinks of the competition. Marks studied avionics at MIT, received his PhD from Stanford, worked in underwater robotics, and is currently working in the PlayStation R&D department. He conceived and developed the EyeToy (released in 2003), was involved with the PlayStation Eye, and helped with Move. Happy with his resume? After talking about how they decided on the technical solutions (the camera is vital), Marks was asked what he thought about Microsoft's stance, which states that we no longer need controllers. Responded Marks:
"I don’t think that point of view is quite right. When we did EyeToy we wanted to create a new way to play games but we didn’t want to replace the existing way. I think that you can do some things really well with just a camera, or just a 3D camera, but there’s just some stuff you can’t do as well. And there’s a bunch of experiences you could never do as well. I think our system is really flexible because we still have a camera – we could still do all the stuff EyeToy did and more – but we also have this more high-fidelity controller which you hold in your hand and is tracked really accurately, and you have the buttons."
To follow, he was asked if he thought buttons could be "intimidating to certain types of potential players." Marks replied:
"Buttons are irreplaceable as an input device. Too many buttons are overwhelming, but one single action button is very powerful feeling. For core games you really do need a set of buttons to quickly choose things. Trying to replace buttons with gestures doesn’t work very well."
He went on to say that with Move, they wanted to insure they "had a wide enough range of experiences that it worked as a platform device." In this way, "no matter who you are, you'll really want this controller, even if you've never played a game or you've been playing the hardest core games of all." And to finish things off, Marks provided the following comments:
"I think Move is good for adding a spatial dimension to existing experiences. The thing people don’t quite realise yet is that it is a completely new way to interact. It is a 3D virtual reality kind of device, where if there’s a 3D scene you can reach directly into the screen, manipulate things and navigate around the space in a new way. That’s the part that I think hasn’t quite dawned on everyone yet. We don’t yet have enough experiences showing it, but we’re starting to get those."
Stay tuned for our hardware review of Move; in the meantime, feel free to check out our Sports Champions review. We're pretty satisfied thus far.
9/20/2010 9:30:24 PM Ben Dutka