I have decided to blog about this when I was reading Mark Lyndons Blog on it. His review was an initial review on the two consoles. I decided to post a reply commenting on the difference between the markets that Nintendo and Playstation inhabit. I was first expecting to be short and sweet but it ended up being a whole page rant, so I have decided to blog it.
The are many who think that the Playstation Move will be the end of Nintendo’s dominance of the casual gamer market. It is widely acknowledged that the Wii console has brought gaming out of the back room and in to the family room for all. The Wii is marketed at everyone from eight to eighty and they have designed it to make it easy to pick up and learn. This marketing strategy has worked well for Nintendo as sale of the Wii has out done both the PS3 and Xbox 360 combined in 2009. This is the reason that Sony and Microsoft have created their motion equivalents is to try to break in to this lucrative market.
I have had experience with the Nintendo Wii and have bought a Playstation Move last November so this will look at the difference between the two. This is by no means disregarding the Xbox Kenect but I have not had enough experience with it to comment on how it will compete with the market leader.
I am not sure that the Playstation Move is going to be the Wii Killer. I think the major problem that Playstation have is appealing to the mass market. Currently the Playstation is seen as the hardcore gamer product that is hidden away in a back room. So those who are going to but Move controllers are ‘families’ with Hardcore gamers in which case they will never get a chance to play it and those who are buying the console new with the intension of using for the Move. Now that the PS3 has come down in price and is now more comparable to the Wii but looking at the game offering it can be hard to distinguish which games are designed for the Move controller, whereas all of the Wii games are Wii controller compatible. I really think that Playstation need to rebrand their Move games, i.e. putting them on white boxes like the Wii games and put the message about there that “Yeah we do family entertainment too but we make it look better”
Case in point I bought a Move kit with two controllers and tried to get my girlfriend involved. She liked it but her main complaint was that it was not a Wii. I explained that this controller is more accurate and the graphics are better. But this was good enough she didn’t feel that she could engage with the hardware/software because it wasn’t designed for her in mind. I have brought it out subsequently when friends come over but otherwise it does not get much use. I know that this is a personal experience but I would suspect that this occurs for a lot for those who have a console and trying to get others involve who are not strictly speaking ‘gamers.’
Other contributing factors that Wii has that trumps the Move:
4 years of game releases. When you but a Wii you get Wii Sports for free a full game and arguably one of the best games that has been released on the console so, except for the sequel Wii Sports Resort. The Playstation Move comes with a demo disk in which you have to install the games individually, not very family friendly. To my knowledge they have about 30 games out on the Move but only a few of these are aimed at the family/party gaming experience.
The second one is the Mii one of the greatest creation of Nintendo for the Wii. This allows everyone in the house to have their own persona that goes into every game. Users can create this cartoon version of themselves that they can make look like them and all of the game data, such are scores and achievements are attributed to that character across all of the games that support the Mii. Sports champions, which is seen as the flagship product to the Move and has the most equivalent games, makes no attempt at this instead it has pre render characters but there is no way for multiple player to personalise each character and monitor their progress.
The Wii is truly multiplayer which engages all of the plays in the room. Bowling on Wii Sports will supports up to four players playing consecutively as they would do in a real bowling tournament. In fact all of the games support four players with the obvious exception of boxing. Sports champions tends to force you to play in teams of two for example bocce (lawn bowls).
Nintendo have a similar model to Apple in that they make their own hardware and software. One designed to fit onto the other. This is why such concepts like the Mii’s can work so well across a large number of games. A lot of third party publishers for the Wii have in fact criticised this say that only Nintendo game make any money on the Wii. But this doesn’t change the fact that this integration works and the customers like the results. Sony however rely on third party developers to create the games for this console so realistically online persona integration seems unrealistic.
I defiantly feel that the PS3 has a long way to go to attract a proportion of the market that the Wii has created. My recommendation is that if you do not have either console and you are looking for motion control fun then buy the Wii you will not be disappointed.