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Non-biased article on Move vs. Kinect

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Initial post: Jul 26, 2010 4:08:54 PM PDT

We match the PlayStation Move vs. the Microsoft Kinect to find out which gesture-based controller will reign this holiday season.

This holiday season, the hot item in the video gaming world won't be a new console, or even a hot title, but a piece of hardware that will change the way you play game on the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. That's not rhetoric, that is a fact. Whether or not people buy into it - that is the question.

The PlayStation Move and the Microsoft Kinect are both due out this holiday season, and both will offer gamers a gesture-based controller for their respective systems. While the Nintendo Wii might have a place in the conversation, the new controllers are add-ons to their respective systems, while the Wii nunchucks are a standard piece of the hardware and thus in a different class.

So behind the hype, and beyond the advertisements, which of the new controllers is better? After having some time with each at E3 and a few other events, we put them head to head to find out which of the two should end up on your list this holiday season.


Winner: Kinect

Under the hood, both controllers offer some remarkable technical features. The Move utilizes a three-axis linear accelerometer and a three-axis rate sensor to track motion with an internal magnetometer, as well as vibration-based haptic technology. The Kinect uses a horizontal bar with an RGB camera, depth sensors, multi-array microphones and an infrared projector that combines with a CMOS sensor to see 3D under any lighting conditions.

Got all that? Yeah, few people will. Basically, the Move is fancy. The Kinect is fancier. Both are fairly remarkable, but the Move advances current technology, while the Kinect invented new technology. Not that it is a huge deal, but the Move also needs batteries to play, while the Kinect doesn't. In terms of physical hardware, the Kinect's sensor bar is larger than the Move's Eye Cam. Not really an issue, but worth mentioning. The slight edge goes to the Kinect.

Interface Design

Winner: Move

In terms of "coolness", it is definitely a plus that you can turn on the Kinect, and simply wave your hand to scroll through menus. The hands-free design also gives developers a whole new field to explore. But in video games, buttons are your friend. Buttons allow you to interact with the environments in ways that you simply cannot do with the hands-free system. Buttons are useful.

There is a very good reason that controllers that began with two buttons as far back as the Atari now have at least eight, not even counting D-pads and pushable thumb sticks. If developers could easily fit more buttons on the controllers, they would. The hands-free nature of the Kinect might be cool, but if your interactions are severely limited by the design, that is kind of a problem. Sure, you could argue that the Kinect could offer new styles of games that no one has even thought of, but you would need to tell that to developers, and convince them that they don't need to program any button commands into their games. When they stop laughing, you can tell them that you are serious. Buttons equal good. That could change as developers come up with new ideas for the Kinect, but that is still and "if".


Winner: Kinect

Probably the easiest call to make. The Move is taking the idea that Nintendo had and making it prettier. In terms of technology, the Move clowns the Wii's nunchucks, but not matter how many bells and whistles Sony added, the Move will always be compared to the Wii's controllers - even if that isn't entirely fair (but it kinda is). The Kinect is a different animal altogether.

Kinect competes in the same market, and should target the same type of buyers as the Move and the Wii, but it's original, and its applications could go beyond just the gaming world. The Move is an incredibly advanced evolution of the gaming controller. The Kinect is a new type of technology. It is likely to appeal to families with younger kids and casual gamers who are interested in the novelty of it - just like the Wii. The Kinect wins this category hands down.


Winner: Move

And right here is where the Move crushes the Kinect. With backwards compatibility on several existing games promised via patches, plus the ability to play any upcoming game, the Move is the clear, hands-down winner. No pun intended.

As for launch titles, the Kinect is still trying to decide what it wants to be, and what it can do. There are a few fun, and interesting games coming out for the Kinect, but they all just seem to be variations of moving left or right, dancing, jumping, and the occasional punching stuff coming at the screen. There are a few exceptions, like the bizarre and interesting-looking Children of Eden, but with the ability to play any game with or without the Move, the possibilities are endless. If given the choice of using the Move to mimic a rifle in a action game, or using the controllers to play a virtual game of archery, or hooking up the Kinect so you can jump over a digital stick, which sounds like more fun? Great, you can turn left. Odds are the action game will sell better.

The nature of the Kinect will limit the number of games drastically: Developers working on Kinect games will have to develop for only the Kinect, while Move developers can develop games for both platforms as usual, then add Move compatibility later. That means not only will you see more games that the Move can work with, you will see bigger budgets for those games, too. Developers can recoup their costs by selling their games to more than just a niche market, which will discourage many from giving the Kinect a go. Maybe that will mean that the Kinect's games will be more original than the Move's, but that is still a maybe for now. The Move is the easy winner in this category.


Winner: Kinect

This is the most obscure of all the categories, but it might also be the most interesting. With the Move, you know what you are getting. Sure, there will be some developers that create games no one has ever considered, but it will just be varying degrees of what we have already seen. The Wii might not have the hardware to keep up with the Move, but developers for it have displayed the creativity that Move developers will be forced to follow.

The Kinect is a different story.

Whether or not the technology catches on in games remains to be seen, but don't expect this hardware to disappear. The genie is out of the bottle, so to speak, and it would be shocking if this technology doesn't someday make its way into other types of hardware. Imagine sorting through the music on your computer with the wave of a hand, or typing on a virtual keyboard. Kinect is the first stage of what may very easily become the future of computing, and with Microsoft holding the patents, it would be insane for it not to already be planning to introduce the technology to other electronics. Count on it. While this might not help sell units now, the Kinect is the clear winner here.


Winner: Draw

At first glance, this might be an easy win for the Move. After all, the bundle costs $99, while the Kinect costs $149. Seems simple enough, right? Not so fast.

The Kinect has two major factors working for it in terms of price. First, the games will on average be $10 less than regular (and Move) games. That might not be a huge deal, especially since the Move will work with the games you would probably buy at the regular price anyway, but for casual gamers looking at both systems head to head, Kinect titles will look cheaper. The second, and more important factor, is the system bundles. If you own both systems and are shopping based on price, the Move is your baby. But for casual gamers looking to get started from scratch with either one, the Kinect is cheaper.

In terms of system pricing, the Microsoft will offer a bundle with its newly redesigned Xbox 360 and a 4GB hard drive, plus the Kinect for $299. The hard drive size might put some people off, but that can be upgraded at anytime, and 4GB is plenty to save games. Sony will also offer a bundle that includes the PS3 and the Move for $399.

Now, you may wonder what hard drive that will include. Keep wondering. Even though the Move ships in September, and this bundle will ship with it, Sony still has yet to announce what hard drive will be included. It seems likely that the 120GB hard drive will be the one, as it is in line with current pricing ($299 + $99 for the Move), but there might be a movement to replace those with 320GB. Sounds great, but whatever the size, it will still cost the beginning gamer $100 to get started. You could also argue that the built-in Blu-ray player makes the extra money worth it, but again, you would have to argue that to someone who simply sees a $100 price difference. So that makes this category a draw.

Number of Players

Winner: Move

This was a tough one to call, because you're trading off one thing for another. In theory, the Move should dominate this category for the simple fact that you can have up to four players at one time, while the Kinect is limited to two. In the real world, the Kinect will allow two players out of the box without additional purchases, while you would need to buy three more sets of Move controllers - not a cheap prospect - to max out the number of gamers. But in the end, the Move accommodates more players. You can always wait and buy Move controllers on sale if you need, or have other people bring their own. So the edge goes to the Move.

Overall Winner: Move

The Kinect is all about potential, but potential won't sell units. Just ask Sony, who has learned its lesson over and over again. The Sony Mini disc had potential, potential that you can now examine to your heart's content at a garage sale for around $2. The Kinect could be awesome. Someday. Maybe. But it will need the support of clever and inventive developers willing to dedicate the time, money and resources to developing exclusively to a niche market. It is a bit of a catch-22. In order for the Kinect to sell units, it needs original games, but in order for developers to create original games, they will need to know that enough people have bought the Kinect to justify the expenditure.

In the end, the games are what it is all about. No matter how fancy the technology is, no matter how great the pricing is, if it isn't fun, no one will care. Right now the Move has the clear advantage in terms of games, both with upcoming titles and compatibility with non-Move specific games, while the Kinect is limited to the launch titles. In time that could change, and the Kinect will blow us away and redefine gaming. Or not. But for now, the Move is the clear winner.

Posted on Jul 26, 2010 4:24:59 PM PDT
I. Flores says:
'nuff said

Posted on Jul 26, 2010 4:26:11 PM PDT
Kyle says:
*Xbox fanboys begin to cry*

Posted on Jul 26, 2010 4:29:59 PM PDT
I. Flores says:
>>Not that it is a huge deal, but the Move also needs batteries to play, while the Kinect doesn't.<<

Um, Rechargeable batteries?

Posted on Jul 26, 2010 4:33:13 PM PDT
This guy's article is full of holes.

I love how he gives the "originality" category to the Kinect. If anything, it should have been a draw. Move is basically a high-end version of the Wiimote and Kinect is a high-end version of the EyeToy/PS Eye. He also points out that the Kinect is actually bigger than the PS Eye, like that has anything to do with anything!

He did get the Overall category right, though. Everywhere I've looked (with the exception of pro 360 sites) bloggers and game critics have said that the Move will ultimately be the winner.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2010 4:33:40 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 26, 2010 4:34:26 PM PDT
Kyle says:
Good solution Flores, I would have never thought of that! Lolol. Some of the authors of these articles nit pick for everything.

Posted on Jul 26, 2010 4:34:22 PM PDT
Interesting and logical take on it I think. Let's see which sells better, it should be interesting.

Posted on Jul 26, 2010 4:38:58 PM PDT
I can pretty much guarantee that the Kinect is going to sell better than the Move out of the gate. It's the staying power of Sony that will help Move ultimately win this battle. Sony is running a marathon, Microsoft is running a sprint (see: in it for a quick buck).

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2010 4:44:03 PM PDT
S. H. Wells says:
A good article! I tend to agree with the author that Move is a known quantity, and as such will have a much greater selection of games (Sony has already snagged the Dead Space Wii release to add to their line up).

There are probably quite a few Wii games that sony can bring over to the PS3 plus they ones they design exclusively for the ps3.

I will probably PLAY Move games more than the Kinect games.

But here is why Im more excited about the Kinect: much like the headset, it can be ADDED to existing games. So I keep my buttons (I will not be flopping around like a fool trying to do Call of Duty) and I get additional functionality: tilt my head to look around or just peak over cover -- perhaps some of the precision that PC players have can be added throught a Kinect.

the Kinect-only games look terrible (I can see, maybe, the star wars one being a lark) and I think MS made a huge mistake by saying you will not need controllers for games. I like controllers for games. But I would love to see the function of the controller extended.

Ultimately, I have a wait and see approach to both the Move and the Kinect. But if i were to get one of them on release day, it would be the Move because I think there will be a lot more to DO with it when I get home. A year or so from that may be completely different.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2010 4:46:47 PM PDT
"I get additional functionality: tilt my head to look around or just peak over cover --"

The Move/PS Eye can track a player's head as well.

Posted on Jul 26, 2010 4:47:54 PM PDT
I like regular video games better where you don't have to move anything but your thumbs. Whats the point of having a good gaming chair if you are jumping and punching instead of sitting in it??

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2010 4:49:51 PM PDT
I. Flores says:
>>Good solution Flores, I would have never thought of that! Lolol. Some of the authors of these articles nit pick for everything. <<

No, they DO have built-in rechargeable batteries just like the regular PS3 controller

Posted on Jul 26, 2010 4:50:02 PM PDT
Aku says:
Neither one will reach the casual piggy bank they're hoping for. Nintendo stole it from them three years ago and is making both companies look a little slow on the draw.

"3DHDTVs are the future! The expensive, glasses required future!"

"Our top-selling handheld is going to be glasses-free 3D out of the box and at a fraction of the cost. We take cash, check and credit card."

"Hey guys, check out our new camera controller! You can play a boxing game with just 100ms lag!"

Posted on Jul 26, 2010 4:50:56 PM PDT
Fat Jesus, I am in no way saying people should have to give up playing their normal, "core" games. I just think Move gives people better options when those "core" games get old. Best of both worlds. Fun, multi-player games to play with the family/friends, and core games you can still play either by yourself or online without the aid of motion control.

Posted on Jul 26, 2010 4:59:08 PM PDT
This is a solid article. Glad to see it came from a neutral source and not from some fanboy site.

Posted on Jul 26, 2010 4:59:49 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 26, 2010 5:00:14 PM PDT
I understand. So essentially with Move you are looking at a pimped Wii with way cooler games & graphics?

Posted on Jul 26, 2010 5:01:19 PM PDT
The Move is going to make the Wii look really, really bad. Unfortunately, since all the other soccer moms are buying Wiis, then the Wii-less soccer moms must follow suit.

Very unfortunate.

Posted on Jul 26, 2010 5:03:05 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jul 26, 2010 5:03:21 PM PDT]

Posted on Jul 26, 2010 6:12:05 PM PDT
I find this article very intriguing.

Regardless of whether the Move comes replaceable or built in batteries, in the end there will still be companies coming up with charging systems for it. While this will cost extra money in the end it will still work regardless.

Since this is only the second time I've heard about the Crash Box's Kinect, it sounds like a glorified Eye Toy which Sony started after their first couple years of the PS2. Come on, I bet the first time I tried to play a game (granted the game had any kind of explosions) I would make those mics they put in there virtually useless.

My friends have a Wii and I love playing that as well as my PS3. The processor in the Wii, as well as the graphics can't match PS3.
So at this point, if it came down to now going back and buying a Wii or picking up a couple extra controllers, I might as well go with the controllers right?
Or I could choose to buy a system that may or may not work out of the box with a sophisticated camera that will allow me to dodge objects and possible punch things. Hmm, I could probably just buy a used eye toy for the PS2 and all the games for it for a lot less money. Good job Microsoft, keep up the outstanding work.

Posted on Jul 26, 2010 6:24:34 PM PDT
This is what I wrote last night in another thread:

Mark my words on this. Either Microsoft or Sony is heading towards a 32X kind of debacle. The Wii can offer games with either motion controls or traditional controls without drastically splitting its user base. That can't be said for all three of the current gaming companies. Back in the days of the 16-Bit wars a great game could be developed and distributed for under $100,000. Nowadays a Wii game costs $5 to $10 million to develop and an Xbox 360/PS3 game costs anywhere from $20 million to $100 million (GTAIV).

I just don't see too many developers that sling that kind of cash around for each and every title they develop for Kinect and then do it again for every Move title. That's especially true when you consider that these titles would be developed for peripherals that not every console owner has (unlike the Wiimote.)

One device may succeed but not both. You'll see both devices start with decent sales in the first few months and then there will be a decline for at least one of them. While Sony and Microsoft are large enough to absorb losses from a failing title, they would be smart to pursue indie developers to make Move/Kinect games for PSN/Xbox Live. (Assuming Sony and Microsoft bothered to put together some decent development kits.)

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2010 6:26:32 PM PDT
Red alert red alert ps3 fanboy on board.

Posted on Jul 26, 2010 6:31:42 PM PDT
I. Flores says:
>>Regardless of whether the Move comes replaceable or built in batteries, in the end there will still be companies coming up with charging systems for it. While this will cost extra money in the end it will still work regardless.<<

I fail to see how said companies are going to force you into buying their charging systems.
I own 3 Dualshock3 controllers and the only thing I use to charge them is the mini USB cable that was in the box.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2010 6:32:06 PM PDT
Red alert red alert, Jose Martinez just crapped his pants....again.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2010 6:35:10 PM PDT
I use a charging station for my four DS3 controllers. Got it for cheap, and have been happy with it ever since. I just don't want to have to turn my PS3 on to charge my controllers. I'll probably end up buying this for my Move controllers as well:

PS3 Move Charge Station Quad Port Charging Dock

Posted on Jul 26, 2010 6:36:39 PM PDT
What do you know a fanboy answers just not the one I was talking about. Idiot. You're so blind in your quest to protect sony that you don't care of I mean you.
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Initial post:  Jul 26, 2010
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