Motion Controls Head to Head – Nintendo Wii vs. Microsoft Kinect vs. Sony Move

You can almost hear it. The yell and shout of fans. The battle raging on and on. This battle, however, is between three motion-controlled video games all battling for the hearts of casual gamers and ultimately for your money. With the launch of Kinect by Microsoft, all three major console manufactuerers (Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo) each have a motion control system on the market. Nintendo has Wii and its MotionPlus controller, Sony has its Move motion control system for the PlayStation 3, and of course Microsoft has its new controller-free system called the Kinect for the Xbox 360.

The following is a quick look at the three devices, highlighting their pros and cons. All three are battling for a spot in your house. The question is, which one should win?

Wii and MotionPlus

In addition to the Wii gaming system, to get the most of your system you want to buy a MotionPlus add-on to the standard controller for $15. If you wish, you can purchase a new controller with the MotionPlus device built in for $40.

Nintendo’s Wii started the whole motion-controlled gaming craze in the first place, so they’ve had the most time to innovate and come up with the most games that take advantage of it. When the device first launched in 2006, many gamers, for obvious reasons, were skeptical. However, the Wii has become one of the best things that ever happened to gaming, pulling in so called “casual gamers” into the video game world that would have never otherwise touched a video game system. The MotionPlus controller makes the standard Wii remote far more accurate. The largest advantage with choosing a Wii is with its four year head start among the motion controlled gaming devices, it has the most games to offer by far. Furthermore, the Wii definitely has the most family-friendly games on the market and is designed to be a more family oriented device compared to the other two.

Nintendo Wii

However, the Wii is an aging system. New games for the Wii lag far behind graphically to those on the Playstation 3 and XBox 360. In addition, many of the best games on the market do not get released for the Wii due to it’s under performing graphics and it’s limited controller functionality. The Wii has also struggled with a reputation for being home to many lame, boring, kiddie games which means hardcore gamers often complain that the Wii has little to offer them.

Conclusion: The Wii with MotionPlus is a great platform for families with younger children or non-technically savvy gamers. For anyone wanting more cutting edge games and graphics, you may want to look at the alternatives.

Kinect for Xbox 360

The Kinect for the Xbox 360 costs $145. The Kinect makes a great gift for anyone. Out of the three moton controlled gaming devices, the Kinect is the newest. It allows you to control your games, movies, and music with hand gestures, voice commands, and body movements. Best of all, you hold no controller in your hand at all, the Kinect is an entirely hands free device.

Due to the fact that you control games with your whole body, many crazy gaming experiences tend to happen with the Kinect. In general, you also tend to get much more exercise, due to the fact that you’re jumping, running, and swinging your arms and legs almost constantly. It is a great gaming platform for non-hardcore gamers because, instead of fumbling with an unusual controller to play a puzzle game, for example, you can use voice commands and hand gestures instead. This is often a great advantage for non-gamers as the hand motions are usually much easier to learn than your standard hand held controller.

Microsoft Kinect

Unfortunately, the biggest negative for the Microsoft Kinect is that only games available for Kinect so far are largely casual games. No games like Halo, Gears of War, or Grand Theft Auto have been made for Kinect, so no one really knows how the Kinect controller-free system will work on hardcore games. There has also reportedly been a bit of a lag problem, which might make it difficult to use in games where every second counts (like Halo).

Conclusion: The Kinect is by far the most innovative of the 3 options. For casual gamers, it’s almost too easy to get used to the hands free control of the Kinect. Unfortunately, since the system is barely 6 months old, it can be difficult to find a wide range of games that support hands free control. Hopefully, that is fixed in the near future.

Move for the PlayStation 3

It costs $100 for a bundle with a motion controller and PlayStation Eye camera. It is $40,00 for a navigation controller.

Opposite of the Wii, the Move’s motion-control system has a reputation for being extremely accurate. This is because Sony combined the PlayStation Eye camera, a wand-like motion sensing controller, and a navigation controller all in one. With the camera and the motion controller working together, the images you make are displayed onto the screen with a high degree of accuracy. Opposite of Kinect, the Move has proven that it not only fits well with casual gamers, but works well with hardcore gamers as well. There are many advanced games out there for the move, and they all work superbly, even with the motion-control system. Since it works great with both casual and hardcore gamers, the Move will fit well in any household.

Playstation Move

Sony has been accused of playing copy cat with many other devices. The Move’s controller does look a lot like the Wii’s wand-shped controller. Move is following a lot closer in the footsteps of Nintendo than Microsoft’s Kinect. This may cause Move to suffer in the near future as it plays follow the leader rather than blazing a unique path of its own. This means that, unlike Kinect, unless Move changes, it is just not going to have many surprises for gamers.

Conclusion: Compared with the other two, the Sony Playstation Move is by far the most balanced. Good for both hardcore and casual gamers, the Move will fit well in most any home. Unfortunately, for anyone with a Wii, it’s basically the same thing. So, if you’re looking for something truly innovative that pushes the boundaries of gaming, the Move is definitely not what you want.

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May 30, 2011

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