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Sony's Richard Marks Talks PlayStation Move Capabilities

Sony's R&D manager has been demonstrating the PS3 motion peripheral to media outlets, showing off its capabilities in greater detail and hinting at future possibilities for developers and gamers.
Sony's R&D manager of special projects Richard Marks has been visiting to various media outlets to demonstrate Sony's PS3 motion peripheral to media outlets - including video game weblog Kotaku - showing off its capabilities in greater detail and hinting at future possibilities for developers and gamers. Kotaku deputy editor Stephen Totilo discussed his demo with Marks, and uncovered some interesting information about Sony's Move motion wand controller, which is set to launch later this year. The controller offers a mix of camera and wand control -- a hybridization of the solutions offered by Nintendo's Wii Remote and Microsoft's Project Natal, which also launches this fall. Marks says that this offers the "absolute best tracking." The PS3 tracks move's Z-axis movement both by the camera, via the colored LED bulb at the top of the controller, and by sensors within the Move controller itself. Players can use the Move anywhere from three to 10 feet away from the PlayStation Eye camera. "The kind of sweet spot everyone uses for the games is five to 10 feet," said Marks. At 10 feet, according to the report, the Eye can capture footage 12 feet across, and has a field of view of 75 degrees. The controller is significantly more sensitive than others on the market, said Marks. "You could spin it all the way around eight times in one second. You can't [physically] do that, but in a short time you could get a burst [that fast]," said Marks. The Eye captures at 60 frames per second; the rate of data transmitted from the Move handset is "much higher" than that. Interestingly, the controller has a proprietary connector on its bottom, of which Marks said "Our licensees can talk to us about it." It also has a USB port, like Sony's DualShock 3 controller, for charging when attached to the PlayStation 3 system. The controller also has an analogue "T-button" trigger on the back. "I still think that people underestimate the importance of this kind of controller where you're doing something and you squeeze," said Marks. Lighting is not much of a problem for the PlayStation Eye, said Marks. Totilo confirmed this using a light switch test. "For a typical little bit of clouds going past the sun and stuff, you wouldn't ever need to re-calibrate that. In a case where it's really strong sunlight versus not-sunlight, you probably would have to re-calibrate that," said Marks. Gamasutra spoke to Shuhei Yoshida, Sony's president of Worldwide Studios, about the possibilities of the PlayStation Move earlier this month. "We always wanted to provide something for everyone. That's why it's a very key target for the system development for PlayStation Move; we wanted to capture both core gamers and casual gamers," he said.

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