Sony’s PlayStation Move has been tipped to be a more popular motion control device than Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect, according to a national video games retailer and a games distributor.
Sony and Microsoft have both invested in a new motion control device to take on the casual gaming market dominated by the Nintendo Wii console. The Move uses motion-sensing gaming controllers that resemble the Wii-Motes while Kinect takes a different approach with a peripheral that detects body movement without a controller.
Move will debut this month while the Kinect is slated for a November release.
National video games retailer, Gametraders, said that, based on feedback from its 35 stores across Australia, the Move will be more coveted than the Kinect.
“We ran a Facebook survey three weeks ago and it came back with some interesting results,” Gametraders national marketing manager, Rob Jenkins, said. “Generally, the Facebook fans on our page are hardcore gamers and they are saying they don’t like either of the two because real gamers use controllers.
“But based on store feedback, the Move is going to be bigger than the Kinect.”
Move has worked better in media demonstrations and is more similar to the popular Wii motion controller, which is already widely accepted, according to Jenkins.
“I think the Kinect is a bit clunky and I don’t think it will work properly so I think the Move will have a better initial push and will be received better,” he said.
The PlayStation 3 being a newer and – what many consider - more robust system also doesn’t help the case for the Kinect, with more multimedia features such as a Blu-Ray player, Jenkins said.
“I could be wrong, but in some people’s eyes, the 360 is seen as an older technology in some ways,” he said. “We are finding the PlayStation 3 is starting to pick up in sales because Blu-Rays are cheaper and more accepted now.
“I think there is almost this psychological feel the PlayStation 3 is newer technology and I think that is part of [why the Move will be more popular].”
Games distributor, AFA Interactive, shares the same opinion. It sub-distributes for Sony and has an indirect distribution arrangement with Microsoft.
AFA will be distributing the Move and the Kinect to its network of 500 independent retailers.
“The feeling we are getting from a lot of our customers is the Move will be more successful than the Kinect,” AFA product and marketing manager, Karl Vosgerau, said.
There are obvious similarities between the Move and the Wii, but the enhanced graphics on the PlayStation 3 will be a drawcard, he said.
“With the Move, it’s kind of like the Wii controls but it will be much more realistic and responsive whereas the Kinect is completely driven by your body,” he said. “We get the feeling that – from what we’re told – it sounds like this can really limit what the possibilities are [for gameplay].”
Compounding matters is the price. Vosgerau cited the Kinect being more expensive than the Move as a key issue. The Kinect will retail for $199 while the Move Starter pack will sell for $99.95, albeit the latter requires the purchase of additional equipment with certain games.
Gametraders and AFA have both noticed rising sales for the PlayStation 3.
“Over the past year, if a game is coming out on both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 comes out as the stronger platform,” Vosgerau said. “That was different from when I started here four years ago when the PlayStation 3 just came out where you would sell more games on the Xbox 360. Now it’s the other way around.”
While the Wii is still experiencing strong sales, Jenkins said the reality is the console doesn’t drive software sales as Wii owners tend to stick with a select number of games. PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 are the traditional software drivers.
“We’ve put big [hopes] on the Move because we think it will stimulate some hardware sales and probably some software sales,” Jenkins said.
Consumer electronics chain store, JB Hi-Fi, had a different take on the Move versus Kinect battle.
JB Hi-Fi CEO, Terry Smart, was optimistic the two devices are going to have an impact on the gaming market and said it was hard to pick a possible winner.
“However, the Kinect is significantly different in the sense it doesn’t require a controller and is motion activated by sensing body movements,” he said. “So it’s definitely the biggest difference or change in gaming that is coming along.”
Smart dismissed the notion the Kinect’s unique control system will deter consumers from buying the product.
“Australians love new technology and are extremely good at adopting the latest products and will therefore be drawn to the Kinect,” he said. “Having said that, there is an established base of PlayStation 3 users that will want to upgrade.
“If I was to put a bet down, I would say the Kinect [will win] for its uniqueness and will do extremely well.”