Can PlayStation Move Survive?

Can PlayStation Move Survive?

A year or so before the Wii controller was unveiled, I had the chance to sit down with Satoru Iwata, president and CEO of Nintendo. As I expect every other reporter did that day, I bobbed and weaved with him about what was so “revolutionary” about the company’s next product – and why they were guarding that secret so closely instead of getting consumers excited about it. His answer always stuck with me. Competitors, he said, tend to copy the company’s moves – and they wanted to own this market for as long as possible.

Sure enough, the year after the Wii controller made its debut, Sony announced that the Sixaxis controller would include motion sensing – and demonstrated it with WarHawk. Later Lair would try to incorporate motion controls as well. Both games failed – and Sony went back to the drawing board. Now we’ve got the PlayStation Move hitting shelves and I have to wonder if it’s déjà vu all over again.

The Move is certainly more precise than either the Wii or the Sixaxis controllers, but it’s hardly intuitive. And the aesthetic design of the controller is, well, questionable – just check out my wife’s reaction the first time she saw it in this Gamasutra column. Those are key factors in attracting the mainstream world. And with Sony stumbling on both, it sets off warning bells.

After being caught off guard by the overwhelming success of things like Wii Fit, I’m nowhere near foolish enough to predict or believe that PlayStation Move is going to be a failure. Sony stays focused on the long-term and has achieved great success by doing so. But I suspect the launch of the Move is going to be a difficult one due to a combination of the controller’s price, the hesitancy of the casual gamer to be an early adopter and the indifference the core gaming community has shown so far.

I’m also curious how Nintendo will react if Move does begin to gain traction, and how the system will compare to Microsoft’s Kinect. One well-timed price cut could be enough to take the wind out of Sony’s sails once more.

About Chris Morris
Chris Morris has covered video games for 15+ years for outlets including CNN, Variety, CNBC, Yahoo! and Official Xbox Magazine. He is a frequent on-air authority for national news outlets and has been referred to as “one of the most game-savvy reporters in the mainstream media.”

3 Comments

  1. I know it will do well if there is a good enough infrastructure for it. Just have a big library of great games for it and give it a slight price drop and it’ll be good to go. Nowadays, it’s about getting a great bang for your buck.

  2. I work in a computer store and we have the move on display. I have tried it a few times and i must say that i was pleasantly surprised by it and would like to see what the future holds for it. I don’t own a ps3 and would unfortunately not buy one in the near future shearly because of the astronomical cost of the console.

  3. Its a combination of price-to-entry and product line that is a challenge for Move. Sony is trying to apply its product formula to a control mechanism that is built for a polar opposite audience. The sooner they grasp that concept and begin offering Wii-like products to go with their Wii-like control scheme, the better they stand to recoup on the Move investment.

    I suspect it will take substantial loss to garner this notion, though I doubt it will come to mind at all and rather the product will move to the wayside. I certailny hope not as I would like to see Sony succeed with Move.

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