Sony’s Plan to Capture the Hardcore with Move

April 17, 2010Written by Steven Garcia

Every so often, consumers are blessed by a revolutionary product that serves as a catalyst for an industry’s transformation into something greater. These products offer intuitive features that change the way we interact with our devices. In much the same way Apple’s iPhone altered our perception of smart phones and made us realize we needed larger touchscreens and fewer buttons, Nintendo’s Wii popularized motion control gaming and reminded a global community of non-gamers of the joys they’ve been missing. However, unlike Apple’s bread and butter which only adds to the companies piggy bank, the Wii has failed to retain it’s hardcore demographic; a feat, that despite the number of skeptics, Sony’s confident they know how to achieve.

Regardless of who developed what first, it’s no secret Nintendo is responsible for bringing the notion of physically active gaming to the masses. It’s also even less of a secret that a majority of hardcore gamers have promoted their Wii’s to the position of “Dust Collector” as a result of losing interest in a console they once couldn’t be more hyped for. Sony believes the problem lies in short comings inherent to software limitations designed to increase the consoles appeal and accelerate its adoption. While great for the increased base of casual gamers, this has left a sour taste of betrayal in the mouths of Nintendo’s once legion of hardcore fans. Speaking to MSNBC, Sony R&D’s Anton Mikhailov said,

“I think it’s not that hardcore gamers are against motion, I think they don’t want easy games and they don’t want games where somebody who’s played for five minutes can beat somebody who’s played for a year.”

Even Sony’s Social Media Manager, Jeff Rubenstein, weighed in on the subject, proclaiming the Wii’s obvious lack of accuracy and the inability to improve on your skills within a game as the main culprit.

“It removes your skill from the game, [while the PlayStation Move] is something you can not only pick up and play, it’s something you can get better at.”

Giving an example of the doors opened by the Move’s true 1:1 motion recognition, Zipper Interactive’s SOCOM 4 lead designer, Travis Steiner, revealed two ways in which they’ve implemented the Move’s unique functionality into a hardcore game. One feature allows the player to “draw out customized tactical plays for your fellow soldiers” while the other gives gamers the ability to “rifle-butt an enemy” by swinging the controller through the air.

Pretty cool stuff, if you ask us. The PlayStation Move is slated for release this November, and given the diverse selection of games set to support it, we have little doubt in our minds Sony will be unable to cater to it’s wide range of gamers. Even those who plan on using the device in other “hardcore” ways not found in the manual. Sickos.