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The Future of PlayStation Move

Sony tech demos reveal rich potential for motion control gaming.

During E3 2010, Digital Foundry had the chance to sit down and talk in-depth with Dr Richard Marks, one of the creative minds behind EyeToy and the new PlayStation Move. It was a great opportunity to learn more about Move and the creation process behind the project, and the conversation left us hugely enthused about the potential of the new controller.

This week Marks was in the UK to talk in more depth about PlayStation Move and to showcase some of the superb technical demos his team has created. These demonstrations are used by Sony itself to give game-makers some idea of the sheer diversity and flexibility of the new controller - and it's fair to say that the scale and scope of what we saw here far eclipses anything we have seen in any of the launch titles.

Thanks to a superb assist from Eurogamer TV, we're able to bring you Richard Marks' entire presentation, complete with direct feed video of the demos in action. Put simply, this is brilliant stuff.

Witness Sony's behind-the-scenes Move tech demos.

First impressions of Move - especially from the initial GDC showing - revealed a gameplay experience not a million miles away from what you see on Wii: with a range mostly consisting of fun, bite-sized, mini-game style titles, designed to appeal to a certain type of audience. Titles like Move: Start the Party, Sports Champions and TV Superstar are clearly targeted at the same sort of audience that has lapped up the Wii style of gaming.

But what Richard Marks' presentation shows is that clearly, obviously, Move offers so much more - and the games we've seen to date only hint at the potential. Sure, the utilisation of PlayStation Eye does make its way into the launch titles, working best in Move: Start the Party. Here, the 60FPS camera feed is used in-game, with 3D rendered objects convincingly added into the video in a technique Sony calls "augmented reality" - a unique selling point in the battle of the motion controllers.

But in terms of the gameplay experience itself in these launch titles, the ultra-precision of Move isn't really a major factor in how these games actually play. What Marks' presentation focuses on is how that precision can be factored directly into producing control systems and gameplay we've never experienced before, and how PlayStation Move is capable of things that neither Wii nor Kinect are physically able to replicate.

The tech is there, the libraries are there, the broad concepts are there and the raw potential shown in these demos is startling. The question remains whether the will is there amongst developers and publishers to create Move-exclusive titles that fully utilise the outstanding potential of the technology...

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About the Author
Richard Leadbetter avatar

Richard Leadbetter

Technology Editor, Digital Foundry

Rich has been a games journalist since the days of 16-bit and specialises in technical analysis. He's commonly known around Eurogamer as the Blacksmith of the Future.