Hot off a month that saw a surge in sales of PlayStation3 consoles, Sony is lashing out at rivals Nintendo and Microsoft with a sharp new advertisement for the PlayStation Move motion-sensing system. In the ad, the actor Jerry Lambert plays Kevin Butler, a fictional Sony employee, who greets viewers from "the future. That's right," Butler says. "all the way from November, 2010" – not long after the reported launch date of the PlayStation Move.
Butler explains that in the future, humans eat all their food through straws, the Kansas City Royals are the World Series champs, and the Move has been a startling success. "This thing is about as futuristic, or now-aristic as it gets," Lambert says of the Move. He then proceeds to tee off on the Nintendo Wii – the biggest motion-sensing video game system – and Microsoft's forthcoming Project Nadal.
Of course, Butler doesn't identify either competitor by name. But it doesn't take much to read between the lines. At one point, Butler says that the Move allows "total control over your gaming experience." He points out that the Move will process both side-to-side and forward-to-back motions, "because real boxers don't hit like this." He swings his hands meekly in the air. The implication is clear: The action of the Wii is limited compared to the PlayStation Move.
Next on the chopping block is Project Nadal, which will not require a controller – instead, a depth-sensor, a camera, and a microphone allow gamers to control onscreen action with full-body movements and voice commands. Here's Butler: [The Move has] what we in the future call buttons, which turn out to be pretty important to those handful of millions of people who enjoy playing shooters and platformers."
"I mean, come on," Butler adds, "who wants to pretend their hand is a gun? What is this, third grade?"
In a nod to the target audience for the PlayStation Move – serious gamers looking to use motion-control to play serious games – a man behind Butler steers an avatar through a fighting title and a third-person shooter, using the buttons on the Move controller to shoot blasts of gunfire or deliver swift roundhouse punches.
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