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Models demonstrate Microsoft's Kinect during the Tokyo Game Show held at Makuhari Messe. To be released in November, Kinect is a peripheral for Xbox 360 console that uses no controller but detects motion and spoken commands.
Models demonstrate Microsoft's Kinect during the Tokyo Game Show held at Makuhari Messe. To be released in November, Kinect is a peripheral for Xbox 360 console that uses no controller but detects motion and spoken commands. (Hana Kusumoto/Stars and Stripes)
Models demonstrate Microsoft's Kinect during the Tokyo Game Show held at Makuhari Messe. To be released in November, Kinect is a peripheral for Xbox 360 console that uses no controller but detects motion and spoken commands.
Models demonstrate Microsoft's Kinect during the Tokyo Game Show held at Makuhari Messe. To be released in November, Kinect is a peripheral for Xbox 360 console that uses no controller but detects motion and spoken commands. (Hana Kusumoto/Stars and Stripes)
A gamer tries his hand at figure skating with the X-Box 360 Kinect controller Saturday at the Tokyo Game Show 2010.
A gamer tries his hand at figure skating with the X-Box 360 Kinect controller Saturday at the Tokyo Game Show 2010. (Grant Okubo/Stars and Stripes)

Stars and Stripes reporter Grant Okubo and checked out the two motion-based controllers coming out later this year. Here’s his take:

PlayStation Move

Publisher: Sony

Platform: PlayStation 3

Price: $49.99 for the basic Move controller, but also requires PlayStation Eye, which costs $40

Release: Available now

The new Move is PlayStation’s entry into the motion-based controller race. It uses a combination of a wand similar to Nintendo’s Wii remote. The Move works by using the PlayStation Eye camera, which tracks the wand’s position.

Naturally, the first thing I did was compare it to the Wii Remote. The overall feel of holding the controller is not that different. Ergonomically the Move’s wand is a little more comfortable to hold. As I was playing a first-person shooter with the Move, I found firing a simulated rifle to be somewhat disorienting at first. Since I’m used to taking aim with a regular controller, it took a little while to get used to aiming with the Move. Once I adjusted to it, I found that the new controller is very responsive and doesn’t lag at all. The sensors tracking your movements are very accurate. It seems superior to Wii remote in every way. In addition, the game looks to be a huge step up for fans of motion control, who have only had graphically challenged Wii games to play. It’s hands down the most accurate motion controller out there, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s $100 less than its nearest competitor. Sony may have just taken the lead in the motion controller wars.

Kinect

Publisher: Microsoft

Platform: Xbox 360

Estimated price: $149.99

Release: Nov. 4

Microsoft tosses its hat into the motion-control race by doing away with the controller all together. This controller-free technology is based on a web cam accessory for the Xbox 360, which allows users to interact with the game console without a controller. The Kinect uses cameras to read movements and gestures and a microphone to receive the player’s spoken commands.

Standing in line for a good three hours to get a chance to try out the Kinect, I watched countless video of the upcoming titles for the Kinect. The overall idea behind the Kinect is amazing.

Standing in line I also watched those if front of me try out Kinect. I observed a few glitches. Whether it was the game or the new controller, I noticed the screen freeze up or players get stuck a few times. I also noticed those running the exhibit had to occasionally fiddle with white blank paper taped to the Kinect camera so players could be properly detected. So I had to wonder, is the white paper and tape included? When I finally got to play, I tried out the upcoming “Sonic Free Riders.” Like many of the Kinect games, it will have you out of breath and sweating, which for many of us isn’t a bad thing.

It did take a lot more work to adjust to the sensitivity, or seemingly lack thereof, especially in menus.

On the bright side, taking away the controller really opens a huge window of possibilities of what can be done. With that said, there seems to be a lot of bugs that still need to be worked out until this new controller reaches the potential that many of us hope for.

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