PlayStation Move: What You Should Know

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The PlayStation Move – Sony’s (Stock Quote: SNE) belated answer to the Nintendo Wii – launched this morning at the stroke of midnight. Here’s what you should know about the hotly anticipated motion-sensing system.

What Is It?
The PlayStation Move is a motion-sensing game platform similar to the Nintendo Wii. Video games compatible with the PlayStation Move are controlled in part by moving and pointing the wireless controller at the television.

What Do I Need to Buy?
• A PlayStation 3 ($299.99 at Walmart.com) - If you already have the console, the Move setup will connect to it; otherwise you’ll need to purchase the console.
• The PlayStation Eye Camera ($32.82 at Amazon.com) - Again, you may already have this component, a webcam designed specifically for the PlayStation 3.
• At least one PlayStation Move controller ($49.50 at Walmart.com) This component is available for the first time today. Many gamers will wish to buy at least a second controller to make multiplayer possible.

How Much Does It Cost?
If you don’t want to buy these items piecemeal, various packages are available. Most PlayStation 3 owners will likely buy the PlayStation Move Bundle for $99.99, which includes the Eye Camera, one PlayStation Move controller and one game (Sports Champions). If you don’t already own a PS3, another package, the PS3 Sports Champions Move Bundle also includes the console, and sells for $399.99.

There are some extras that gamers may be interested in purchasing as well. While the controllers can be charged by plugging them in to the PS3 with a USB cable, Sony has also released a charging station that powers up two controllers at once and retails for $29.99. And if you need a PlayStation 3 console, it’s available in 120GB and 250GB editions for $299.99 and $349.99, respectively.

Which Games Are Available?
Only games that are labeled “PlayStation Move Compatible” or “PlayStation Move Required” can be played with PlayStation Move. The system is launching with five such titles, and many more are anticipated by the end of the year. The lineup will run the gamut from survival horror for mature audiences to children’s titles to sports games.

Is It Awesome?
It certainly looks awesome. Early reviews have generally praised the hardware while questioning the game selection. Gaming blog Kotaku noted that the precision of the controllers “goes beyond anything we've seen with the Wii Remote,” while video game site IGN concluded that “PlayStation Move has the potential to be the best motion control system on the current crop of consoles; but unfortunately, the games offered at the moment just don't do the technology justice.”

The bottom line: As more titles are added to the PlayStation Move’s lineup, look for it to become a hot item for the holiday season. And if your kid already has a PlayStation 3, you can buy what amounts to a new video game system for about $100.

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