Video game enthusiasts will soon be able to play a host of games that are not only motion controlled but also displayed in eye-popping 3-D, Sony executives said during a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
As the annual video game extravaganza known as E3 got underway Tuesday, Sony executives revealed that games such as “Killzone 3,” “EyePet,” “Mortal Kombat” and “NBA 2K11” will take advantage of two of today’s most cutting edge gaming technologies — 3-D and Sony’s motion control system known as PlayStation Move.
“When you pair 3-D with PlayStation Move the experience is unlike anything you’ve seen before,” said Kaz Hirai, executive vice president of Sony. “It’s really the closest thing you will ever experience to being in the game itself.”
Sony has set out to champion 3-D gaming in homes and position the PlayStation 3 machine as the place to do it. The company has already released a firmware update to its PS3 game machines making them capable of playing 3-D games right now. They’ve also already provided four games that can be downloaded from the PlayStation network and played in 3-D (for those who happen to own a 3-D capable TV).
Executives announced that there would be more than 20 3-D capable games for the PS3 by next spring — among them “Gran Turismo 5.” Among the other 3-D games that will be available from partner publishers: “Crysis 2,” “Tron Evolution” and “Shaun White Skateboarding.”
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Sony executives announced that their motion control system Move will arrive in North American stores on Sept. 19, in Europe on Sept. 15 and in Japan on Oct. 21.
PlayStation Move is made up of three parts — a wand controller, a navigation controller and the PlayStation Eye camera. Sony said a single Move wand controller will cost $49.99 while the navigation controller will cost $29.99. For those who don’t have the PlayStation Eye camera (a previously released device), Sony will be selling a bundle that includes a wand controller, a camera and their “Sports Champions” game for $99.99.
Consumers who don’t yet own a PS3 will also be able to buy a bundle for $399.99 that includes the game machine, a wand controller and the camera.
At the press conference, Sony announced that between 15 and 20 Move-enabled games would available at the launch date, with some 40 motion-based games available by the holiday.
They also showed off a new game called “Sorcery” (available spring 2011) that allows players to wield a Move wand like a magic wand. The demonstration was designed to show just how precise their motion controls are — with the character’s wand on screen moving precisely with the controller in the player’s hand.
PlayStation Move will go head-to-head against Microsoft’s forthcoming motion control system known as Kinect as well as Nintendo’s own groundbreaking motion controls already on the market. (Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal.)
While Kinect uses a camera/microphone sensor device to detect body movements and voice commands for game control, PlayStation Move lets players control their games through the use of two wand-like devices and a camera.
At Microsoft’s press conference Monday, the company primarily introduced motion control games that seemed aimed at casual players. And some gamers and analysts criticized them for that.
Sony, on the other hand, demonstrated a variety of motion-controlled games aimed not just at casual players but also at hardcore players, showing footage of how gamers might hold their motion-control devices like a gun for a realistic first-person shooter.
“It’s no longer simply a question of how long you can be relevant in people’s lives, but how many ways you can be relevant in people’s lives,” said Jack Tretton, president of Sony Computer Entertainment America.
You can find Winda Benedetti tweeting in 4-D right here on Twitter.