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Sony confirms autumn launch for PS3 motion control

Wed 20 Jan 2010 6:14am GMT / 1:14am EST / 10:14pm PST
HardwarePublishing

Peripheral delayed from original spring window; release much closer to Microsoft's Project Natal launch

Sony Computer Entertainment

Sony Computer Entertainment is a Japanese videogame company specialising in a variety of areas in the...

playstation.com

Sony has confirmed that the PlayStation 3 motion controller has been delayed from spring and will now be launched in the autumn this year.

The company promises an "extensive line-up" of software and a worldwide release in North America, Europe, Japan and the Asian regions.

"We have decided to release the Motion Controller in fall 2010 when we will be able to offer an exciting and varied line-up of software titles that will deliver the new entertainment experience to PS3 users," offered Kaz Hirai, president and group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment.

"We will continue to work to have a comprehensive portfolio of attractive and innovative games for the Motion Controller, not only from SCE Worldwide Studios but also from the third party developers and publishers, whom we have been working closely with.

He added: "We look forward to soon unveiling the exciting software line-up that further expand and define the PS3 platform as the ultimate entertainment system for the home."

A fall release puts the PlayStation 3 peripheral much closer to Microsoft's tentative release for Project Natal, due this "holiday".

The PS3 motion controller was originally due for release in spring when announced at E3. Rumours suggest that the device will go by the official name of Arc when released, but Sony has so far declined to comment.

The PS3 motion controller will require the PlayStation Eye camera peripheral to work.

9 Comments

Soeren Lund
Producer

42 1 0.0
Hmm... So the peripheral is only usable to a subset of PS3 owners who already own the Eye camera? Or will they sell it bundled with the Eye camera? At GBP 23 just for the camera it seems that it will be a big investment for the average consumer.

Posted:4 years ago

#1

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,270 2,439 1.1
Soren, I've always speculated they'll sell 2 SKU's. One standalone and one with the PS Eye.

This makes more sense than the previously planned spring launch given we know more about Natal than we do "Arc" and that a fall release enables it to steal thunder from MS (though that works both ways), grants more software development time and gives them the chance to properly unveil the "Arc" at either E3 or TGS.

Posted:4 years ago

#2

Rupert Loman
Founder & CEO

139 45 0.3
Jimmy: I think the 'Eye' is integral to the working of the controller?

Posted:4 years ago

#3

Alex Wright-Manning
Talent Acquisition Manager

172 2 0.0
Rupert: I think Jimmy means one SKU for those who own a PS Eye (can't be too many of those!) and one for those who don't.

I'm not really surprised that most of the industry are throwing their weight behind Natal. Seems to me that Sony's offering is a Wiimote with a nice glowy ball. But I'll of course reserve judgement till they're both sitting under my TV at home.

Posted:4 years ago

#4

Joseph Marlow
Blogger http://gamesburp.com

22 0 0.0
I expect Sony will release a couple of cheaper casual games bundled with a PS Eye in the time leading up to launch giving perceived value to an otherwise solo accessory.
It's a unique position Sony and Microsoft are facing with their products so similar in user experience yet fundamentally different in approach.
It's good that they will be pushing each other and stoking the flames.

Posted:4 years ago

#5

Soeren Lund
Producer

42 1 0.0
I think you're right Joseph. Sony will be trying to mimick the phenomenal success that was the Eyetoy Play series on the PS2. A series of small casual games using the new input methods. Low production costs and novel gimmick controller equals profit in their eyes. Microsoft seems to be going the high profuction value route. They may be hoping that bigger titles with mass exposure will create a bigger uptake for the add-on peripheral.

Seeing as the Eye camera has had limited success on the PS3 it will be interesting to find out which of the two approaches will be most successful and if any of them will prove to be worth the investment for first and third party developers.

Posted:4 years ago

#6

Joseph Marlow
Blogger http://gamesburp.com

22 0 0.0
I agree Soren. Sony are working within the limits of already defined tech, and must revive interest in the Eye. Microsoft have the advantage of brand new "do-all" hardware which alleges to make the need for things such as Sony's "Arc" redundant. I guess the limit to natal will prove in the games. For example how does one effectively point a gun sight without the point of orientation a controller provides?
I guess these answers are coming this year.
I could discuss this all day with you, Soren.

Posted:4 years ago

#7
Soren, if it is about the investment from third party developers (because MS will surely support it with all of its dev power) we heard that many big companies are currently working on those starting titles. I wouldn't worry about that.
What I'm curious about is how they will overcome those obvious usability obstacles that Joseph pointed out, like accuretely pointing a gun etc.

Posted:4 years ago

#8

Soeren Lund
Producer

42 1 0.0
Good discussion all. I'm not worried about the initial investment since, according to Microsoft, that is going well. What I'm currently unsure of is, whether the install base is going to be big enough for developers / publishers to be investing in games for the Natal.

If you are to create memorable games using the Natal system, you have to go beyond the "additional Natal features" that will surely be the initial approach by most. I'm not sure that traditional games and control methods that are designed for normal controllers will have much of an advantage by adding Natal specific features or input methods. Gesture based input methods are not, according to my experience (I was working with a third party company on some prototypes for their own camera system), directly compatible with traditional games. You will need to design gesture specific games and that is what I question the business sense in doing.

Posted:4 years ago

#9

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