At last, Sony's new motion controller has a name. And it's not Arc or Gem, as you'll know if you read our live text blog or the rumours floating around the internet before the press conference even kicked off. As soon as it was over the audience flocked to the room next door, where Sony had set up 30 demo stations to show off the first batch of PlayStation Move games.
Eurogamer reporters Ellie Gibson and Oli Welsh were first in line. They were pushed out of the way by a lot of excitable Americans, but eventually they got to play all the games on the show floor. Oli had a go at the butcher titles (SOCOM 4, Sports Champions, Motion Fighter, The Shoot) while Ellie, obviously, was in charge of Women's Things (EyePet, Move Party, TV SuperStars and Brunswick Pro Bowling). Here's what they made of it all.
No motion controller software line-up would be complete without a mini-game compilation, and Move Party is Sony's offering. This EyeToy-alike title was demonstrated during the GDC press conference by studio communications manager Nancy Carter, who's also presenting the playable demo.
She tells me there are currently five mini-games in Move Party, and that she can't discuss whether more will feature in the finished game. At least I get to play all five of those today, beginning with the butterfly swatting game. I see myself on the screen holding a virtual tennis racket and set about thwacking my fluttery friends to death. There's no noticeable lag between my movements and the on-screen action, and I'm impressed by how realistically I can tilt and twist the racket.
Next up is the painting game, where you use a virtual brush to paint shapes as directed. I'm instructed to draw a boomerang shape, then a circle and a swirly letter E. I manage to paint the lot without too much trouble. The Move controller is indeed pretty precise, though it feels like a Wii remote would do the job just as well here.
The third game I get to play involves using the controller like a pair of clippers to cut hair. When I get too close to the character's scalp the controller vibrates intensely, demonstrating the impressive level of rumble Sony has integrated into the Move wand.
And finally there's a balloon popping game. The screen fills with balloons and my mission is to pop different colours according to the on-screen instructions, using a virtual harpoon. It's quite hard to see what I'm doing and real force required to burst the balloons, but the game is pretty good fun.
As are all of the above, but Sony may need to stick some more mini-games in this compilation to provide long-term value. Some more challenging ones might also be in order if Move Party is to appeal to the post-pub crowd as well as families. And while we're writing a wishlist, all these games are turn-based - how about some you can play simultaneously with other people?
Brunswick Pro Bowling
Not technically a women's game, what with male arms being more suited to lifting and throwing heavy objects. But having reviewed the Wii version of the game (oh dear), I took it upon myself to have a go.
As you'd expect, BPB looks a lot better on PS3. But it's played in the same way - you hold the trigger button while pointing it down to line up your throw, then raise your arm to a vertical position and tilt it to adjust the angle. You make a bowling motion and release the button to chuck the ball.
Just like in the Wii game, you have to keep up with the on-screen throwing animation - the character doesn't copy your moves, but you must copy theirs. "If you start the animation at the same time as you release the button, it'll look seamless," says producer Reed Livingstone. I can't and it doesn't. Plus, disappointingly, the ball appears to float rather than roll down the alley, just like in the Wii game. Livingstone points out this is only a pre-alpha build, however.
What's more, he's confident Sony's new technology will make for a much better game than the previous effort. "Besides the graphics, the physics are going to be much improved. There's much more realism in this game as opposed to the one we did in '07," he says.
"Back then we were dealing with the Nintendo Wii, and the abilities of the PlayStation Move controller - I mean, night and day, they're different. We're going to be able to do so much more with this controller as opposed to the Wii remote. Not to put Nintendo down - it's a great controller, and it was a great game back then - but this game is head and shoulders above that one." It's impossible to confirm that at this stage, but here's hoping.