How PlayStation Move Works

PlayStation Move vs. Microsoft Kinect

Microsoft's Kinect, an add-on for the Xbox 360 console, is a bit like Move -- but without the controller. Microsoft opted to completely eliminate any kind of direct input device and instead base gameplay completely on body movements. Think of Kinect as a camera like the PlayStation Eye, only with no controller (or glowing ball) to track.

The Kinect's camera uses an entirely different technology from the PlayStation Eye. Kinect actually houses two cameras. One, a typical color camera, is used for face tracking and taking pictures, while the other, a CMOS camera, works with a device that beams invisible infrared light into the room. The camera picks up and analyzes the infrared light to detect objects, and can accurately judge where those objects (like people!) are in 3-D space. The Kinect has also been programmed with a wide variety of human gestures and knows our bone structure. It performs skeletal tracking to follow our every arm wave and awkward hop [source: Miller].

While the Move remote can be used the navigate menus on the PlayStation 3's dashboard, Kinect offers a hands-free gesture system to control the Xbox user interface. It's a neat touch, but some gamers are worried about the gaming experiences Kinect can offer with no joysticks or buttons in sight.

In the end, controlling a console's user interface is merely a side benefit. Making fun, interactive games is the real goal, regardless of the control method. Sony's PlayStation Move tries to offer the best of both worlds: buttons and accurate motion tracking for the hardcore gamers, and appealing software for newcomers. With Move and Kinect as challengers, Nintendo no longer has solitary control of the motion-gaming market -- but it's up to game developers to tap into the potential each platform has to offer.

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