You have not played any game recently!

Remove ?

You are removing the game from your account and My Games . Depending on the developer, your game progress may be permanently deleted.

Note: may still retain some data you shared with them directly or during game play. Please visit () privacy policy for details about having your data deleted.

Plugged In

Going through the motions: Kinect vs. Move vs. Wii

Plugged In

Buzz's Words

Nintendo pioneered the motion gaming movement with the Wii. In September, Sony tried to better the experience with Move. And on Nov. 4, Microsoft will begin selling Kinect, which does away with controllers altogether. That's when the battle will really kick into overdrive.

As holiday shoppers prepare their lists this year, they'll be subjected to marketing blitzes and in-store kiosks for all three technologies, each hoping to separate people from their money. It's the new front line for gaming companies and no one wants to be left behind.

Trying to decide which, if any, of these motion gaming experiences is right for you? We've broken down the pros and cons of each to make it easier.

Kinect for Xbox 360

View gallery

.

Kinect - Microsoft

What is it?
A device equipped with a camera that can track your movements and accurately reflect them on screen. If you raise a hand or jump, your avatar will do the same. It also remembers who you are, so when a user steps in front of it, it will log them into their Xbox Live account. The device also includes a microphone that recognizes voice commands. Want to open the disc tray? Just say "Open tray" and Kinect will hook you up.

Cost:
$150 standalone, or 400 when bundled with the Xbox 360.

Hard to find?
It could be. Microsoft's planning a massive marketing campaign — plus Oprah Winfrey gave it her on-air blessing recently (and gave one to the entire audience, as well). That usually means a rush at retail, so Kinect could be hard to find this year.

How many games?
A dozen games will launch alongside the system, with another five coming out this holiday season.

Are they any good?
We've only played them for short segments, so we can't say conclusively yet, but based on what we've seen, the lineup is hit and miss. The games are specifically tailored to a casual audience. Kinect Adventures — bundled with the system — is probably one of the weaker offerings, but Dance Central from Rock Band creator Harmonix has all the earmarks of a major hit. And if you're looking to get in shape, Ubisoft's "Your Shape: Fitness Evolved could leave Wii Fit in the dust.

Extra benefits:
Lots! Kinect has a video chat functionality that will allow you to videoconference with friends via Xbox Live and Windows Live Messenger. You'll also be able to use the system to turn your Xbox on and off with audio commands, navigate the dashboard via gestures and pause films you're watching without ever touching a remote control.

Weaknesses:
While Kinect is a very cool technology, there has been a very noticeable lag with the system every time we've used it. For many games that won't be an issue, but on fast-paced titles, it's going to be hard to miss. Also, if you live in a cramped house or apartment, you could also be in trouble, as the device requires six to eight feet between users and the TV. At the very least, you're going to have to clean up, so the camera isn't obstructed. And you'll need a lot of light in the room as well.

PlayStation Move

View gallery

.

Playstation Move - Sony

What is it?
Using a combination of a camera, a handheld motion sensor and an auxiliary controller, Sony has taken the basic concepts of the Wii and greatly enhanced them. You'll wave a controller in the air, as you do with the Wii, but Move is incredibly accurate in reflecting your movements onscreen. It tracks you in 3D with the camera, so if you, say, step backwards, that's reflected in the game.

Cost:
It depends on what equipment you already have and the game you want to play: Some titles can be played with just the PlayStation Eye camera and a Move controller, which are bundled together with Sports Champions for $100. A secondary navigation controller, which is required for other titles, is sold separately for $30. A standalone Move controller, for people who already have a PlayStation Eye or need a second controller, runs $50. (Also, if you need a PS3 as well as the controller, that will run you $400.)

Hard to find?
Hit and miss. Sony says several retailers claim they are selling out quickly. But if you call around town, you can usually find someone who has it in stock.

How many games?
13, but dozens more will hit stores before the season is over

Are they any good?
Right now, they're nothing spectacular. The best, actually, is the one that's bundled with the controller and camera — Sports Champions. (And in many ways, that's lifting a page directly from Nintendo's playbook.) EyePet will charm kids, but can get old. Other titles, so far, are fairly forgettable. But other publishers are putting out new games at a fast pace, so the quality level is certain to go up. And with big upcoming games like Killzone 3 and SOCOM 4 planning Move support, it might find traction with core users.

Extra benefits:

Not many. You can capture video and stills with the PlayStation Eye camera and use the Move controller to navigate the PS3's dashboard, but that's not an organic experience and can be quite frustrating.

Weaknesses:

Having to calibrate the system before you play gets old fast — especially in Sports Champions, which requires you to do so every time you pick a different sport. And like Kinect, the launch lineup of games is rather weak, but Sony is ambitiously supporting the platform and that should self-correct over the next year.

Wii

View gallery

.

Wiimote - Nintendo

What is it?
It's what got this whole thing started! Wii was the first system to introduce players to motion gaming, ditching traditional controllers for a remote-control styled device that tracked your arm's movements.

Cost:
$200 (includes controller and console.)

Hard to find?
You will have no trouble whatsoever finding a Wii at retail.

How many games?
Well over 1,000 at this point.

Are they any good?
Like any system, the quality of the catalog varies, but there are some truly great games available for the Wii. In addition to old hits like Wii Sports, Wii Fit, Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros. and the two Super Mario Galaxy games, this year brings two more epic titles in the highly-rated Kirby's Epic Yarn and the upcoming Epic Mickey from Disney.

Extra benefits:

From the controller? Nothing, really, though the Wii itself has plenty of cool features. Of course, so does the Xbox 360 and PS3...

Weaknesses:
It's suddenly the oldest player in the category. Launched in 2006, the Wii controller has received an upgrade (dubbed MotionPlus) to make it more accurately capture users' movements, but it's still not as accurate as PlayStation Move or as fresh as Kinect.

Facebook

View Comments