The PlayStation Move is, despite only recently being released, is already available for free from many websites and stores either as the bare unit of as a bundle package.
About the PlayStation Move
The PlayStation Move is a motion-sensing game controller system developed by Sony Computer Entertainment for use with the PlayStation 3 games console. Designed to compete with the Nintendo Wii and the Microsoft Xbox Kinect (formally Project Natal), the PS3 Move is a cable free handheld controller using internal motion sensors in conjunction with the PlayStation Eye camera to track the players position in the room. In addition to the main motion controller, a supplementary navigation controller as well as a charging station is also available.
Despite being new technology, the Move is now available for free either on its own or with console bundle deals.
PlayStation Move Hardware Details
The Move system uses the existing PS3 Bluetooth 2.0 wireless radio communication used by the traditional Sixaxis and DualShock 3 wireless controllers. Both the standard PlayStation Move controller as well as the PlayStation Move navigation controller use internal lithium-ion batteries that are charged through a USB Mini-B port built into the controller. The PS3 console and software are able to support up to four Move controllers at once, with an equal mix of motion and navigation controllers being permissible.
PlayStation Move Motion Controller
The primary component of PlayStation Move, the PlayStation Move motion controller is a wand controller which allows the user to interact with the PlayStation 3 through motion and position in front of the PlayStation Eye webcam. The orb or sphere at the head of the controller contains LED’s that allow it to glow in a full range of colors. These colors allow the controller to be seen and tracked by the webcam. The sphere can also be used by the console to determine the distance the controller is from the webcam thus allowing the PS3 to recognise a full range of 3D movements.
A three-axis linear accelerometer and a three-axis angular rate sensor built into the motion controller allow the system to track rotational movements as well as overall motion. A magnetometer is also built into the device and is used to calibrate the controller’s orientation with the Earth’s magnetic field so as to act as a check against the accuracy of the onboard sensors.
When the motion controller looses line of sight contact with the webcam (such as when it is blocked by other people in the room), the internal sensors can briefly take over and relay information to the console so the location of the controller can still be determined by the software.
The physical buttons on the Move motion controller consist of a large ovoid primary button,a PS button, the standard PlayStation buttons (Triangle, Circle, Cross, and Square), a Select and Start button (on the left and right hand sides respectively), whilst an analogue trigger is located on the underside of the unit. Other features and connectors include the USB port, an extension port and a wrist strap attachment point.
Feedback provided by the motion controller comes in the form of vibration, similar to that in the standard DualShock controllers, whilst the light sphere can be used for visual feedback with hthe color changing to suit in game scenarios.
All processing work for the PlayStation Move is performed using the PS3’s existing Cell processor. Whilst the activity of dealing with the Move software will take up some of the consoles resources, there is still likely to be plenty of capacity left over to run the latest games.
PlayStation Move Navigation Controller
The navigation controller (originally called the PlayStation Move sub-controller) is a one-handed controller designed to be used in conjunction with the motion controller in certain games, in a similar manner to the Wii Nunchuk. Usually for use with games where both hands are required for control, the PS3 navigation control replicates the left side of a standard PlayStation controller and contains a left analog stick (with L3 button), a D-pad, the L1 and L2 triggers, the Cross and Circle buttons, as well as the PS button. In games that require the additional controller, a standard Sixaxis or DualShock 3 can be used instead of the navigation controller, although ease of use may be compromised due to the bulk of the standard unit.