Mark D Green, senior designer behind PlayStation Move's software at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, explains what PS Move is all about.
Can you tell us exactly what PlayStation Move is?
PlayStation Move is a hand-held motion controller and is part of a system that marries our PlayStation Eye camera with its four way microphone system and PlayStation 3 to create a state of the art new way of playing games. What I love is the sophistication of the system, it really will open up new opportunities. It is incredibly accurate, ridiculously fast and means we can now track not only exactly what players are doing with the controller – but where they are doing it in the room.
When you say incredibly accurate – what do you mean?
Time to baffle you with science! The PlayStation Move system follows the movement of the controller in three dimensional space whilst the camera tracks the sphere for location - and the PS3 system processes and puts it all on screen. For games ranging from SOCOM to LittleBigPlanet 2, accuracy and ease is crucial.
So I can tell you that it is accurate to the nearest millimetre, precise in motion tracking and likewise in seeing where the controllers are in 3D space. Its reaction time, from movement to delivering to the screen, is just 22 milliseconds and on screen it is pixel precise. To put that in perspective the system is five times faster than that of a typical human's reflexes!
So how does this make a difference to PlayStation owners?
This level of speed and accuracy opens up a new way of playing games. It gets away from the frustrations we have all experienced with motion controllers and camera driven control, meaning that those seeking fun have a more in-depth and real experience. With PS Move playing tennis isn't just about hitting the ball, it is about the angle, the spin, the speed and acceleration of the stroke – and where you play the stroke from. You decide if you want to step forward from the baseline.
What does PS Move offer for serious gamers?
We believe we are offering serious gamers an alternative way of playing. So in SOCOM they have the option for their team's survival to be based on their body reflexes and their victory on pinpoint accuracy. It is innovative, fast, accurate, realistic and very exciting, giving you a real buzz. And of course the PlayStation Move navigation controller offers the buttons our gamers expect.
Is this a new departure for PlayStation?
Absolutely not. We've got ten years plus of experience in developing new ways to play games. This goes back to PlayStation 2 and EyeToy, which took us into camera driven, no-controller, motion driven play, and a whole range of really popular peripherals and games including Buzz! Buzzers and SingStar microphones.
Our motivation has always been to deliver for our fans and over that time we have learned a lot, that for example there are limits in accuracy with camera-only tracking and people naturally like something to hold in their hand. You see this if you look at videos of real people playing with EyeToy. PlayStation Move builds on what we have learned to provide a new gaming experience but also one we can apply to classic games titles and genres.
What have you got in the launch line-up?
With a number of titles already confirmed and integration into games like LittleBigPlanet 2 and SOCOM, everyone will have the chance to try their hand with PS Move! I have been loving The Fight, where every jab, punch, duck or roundhouse is perfectly delivered – and received! Start the Party! delivers for the whole family with the augmented reality putting the kids' faces into the game, it's a great laugh.
Which PS Move title is your favourite?
They are all great for different reasons. At the moment we are all hooked on the office-chair-martial-arts-mayhem that is Kung Fu Rider. This is a seriously fun game that you have to see to believe and it is guaranteed to transform the way you move around the office!
Finally, what are the plans for E3?
E3 is going to be really exciting and will give everyone a chance to play a range of games that show just what PlayStation Move is capable of. My mission is simple, to let everyone see how far this moves motion control interfaces on by trying it for themselves.