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3/11/2010
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GDC: Sony Unveils PS3 Motion Controller

Nearly 40 developers and game publishers are building software for the PlayStation Move, said Sony.

Sony Move PS3 Motion Controller
(click image for larger view)
Sony Move PS3 Motion Controller

Sony has unveiled a motion controller for the PlayStation 3, offering gamers its answer to the Nintendo Wii.

The consumer electronics company formally introduced the PlayStation Move Tuesday at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Sony first announced its plans for a controller last June, but did not offer many details.

The Move is a rectangular device curved on the sides to fit comfortably in the hand. It also has a glowing ball at the end that contains technology used in tracking a player's motions.

The Move is scheduled to be available in the fall in a starter kit that will sell for less than $100. The kit includes the controller, an "eye" camera required for the PS 3 to track motion. Sony also plans to offer a premium bundle, but details were not disclosed.

Sony plans to release a sub-controller at the same time as the Move to enhance game play. The device "pairs with the motion controller and comes with an analog stick and directional buttons that allow users to easily control the game when moving characters or choosing a direction," the company said. Exactly how the two devices will be used together is not clear.

Sony, however, did announce that 36 third-party developers and game publishers plan to build software for the Move platform. Companies include Electronic Arts, Disney Interactive Studios, Activision Publishing, SEGA, and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. In addition, Sony plans to release more than 20 games of its own.

Sony's Move will compete against Nintendo's fully outfitted Wiimote, which includes the company's MotionPlus add-on and Nunchuk controller attachment. The ensemble brings one-to-one control to games on the Wii console, but costs an additional $80.

Nintendo's success with the Wii, released in November 2006 as the first console to offer motion-sensing technology, has brought the gaming technology to the mainstream.

Microsoft is expected to join the trend in offering a motion-sensing device for the Xbox 360 in time for this year's holiday shopping season.Unveiled in June 2009 as "Project Natal," the Xbox system relies on sensors that track players' body movements to allow them to interactively play sports and other games without having to hold any hardware.

InformationWeek's GDC Coverage:

GDC: OnLive Takes Gaming To The Cloud

GDC: Microsoft Surface Plays Dungeons & Dragons

GDC: iPhone Developers Face Hidden Risks

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