New PC motion controller shows Sony’s missed chance for Playstation Move


Sixense unveiled its Razer Hydra at CES this year, which is a motion controller for the PC platform. This is good news for the industry as motion gaming will meet even broader audience.

Razar Hydra uses an electromagnetic field within a radius of 6 feet to detect the positions of the controllers in both hands, with millimeter accuracy. It also supports an analogue stick on each of the controllers. I had earlier written an article about how having an analogue stick on the Platstation Move controller would have been the right thing (in hopes of getting things right for PS4, of course, as there’s no way Move specs can change). Comments around the web concentrated on the fact that using analogue on the motion controller would be awkward, something which was repeated by Anton Mikhailov himself, and he also mentioned that it would come with added costs.

It is no surprise that they will defend their design choice, but I don’t think those points are valid because:

  • You don’t waggle the controller all the time, most games can get away with a single move controller for basic freedom of motion: Go to a spot, start waggling.
  • You wouldn’t need a navigation controller, reducing overall cost for a standardized move experience
  • Core games would utilize dual Motion controllers, allowing greater gameplay opportunities with both hands perfectly tracked
  • Especially for shooter games, the motion required is minimal
  • Killzone’s official weapon attachment includes the navigation controller on the weapon itself, so you actually do swing the thing around while using the analogue stick, thereby proving that controlling using the analogue stick is feasible with the minimal motion required by pointing and shooting
  • Razer Hydra proves that analogue on the motion controller is effective, having double analouge sticks are even more effective.

While I don’t think Razer Hydra will be as widely accepted or succesful as the Move, it proves that having dual analogue control, while retaining freedom of motion unlike the tech demos for move so far that uses dual wielding, opens up more gaming possibilities than not having it. Since the left hand controller is also motion enabled, gestures that can break the aiming can most easily be done using the left hand controller as seen in the linked video. This is certainly better than having to give all gestures to the aiming hand, as people who oppose using analogue while moving the controller will have to agree by default.

The no camera approach of Razer Hydra obviously doesn’t allow for augmented reality type games, but it does not get affected by room lighting and would probably be resistant to obstruction. I don’t know details on whether it could be affected by / affect existing magnetic fields, but it does seem to work well on the show floor.

My hope is that the next iteration of Move can emrace the ideas proven effective by innovations of competing products.


Written by: Emrah - News Contributor


  1. #1 by Dean147 on January 10th, 2011 [ 359 Points ]

    meh, I like Move the way it is.

  2. #2 by Baba0Booey on January 10th, 2011 [ 5938 Points ]

    Yeah I like move the way it is as well, besides motion controlling on the PC is overkill i think.

  3. #3 by Luke on January 10th, 2011

    Not to jump on the band wagon but I seriously think that the way the move is now is fine. Plus you can get a lot further away than 6 feet if you wanted too.

  4. #4 by Emrah on January 10th, 2011 [ 7319 Points ]

    Don’t concentrate on technicalities, concentrate on having more options :) I like Move too, it surely works as advertised. You surely are not missing it in the games that are currently provided. But we could have more options in gaming, such as the dual wielding seen on Tech demos:
    http://blog.us.playstation.com/2010/08/27/playstation-move-new-tech-demo-video-tour/comment-page-2/
    But you’d also have freedom of motion, which all such demos fail to demonstrate. e.g. Imagine the game sorcery, where you could use both your hands to cast magic. etc etc.

    Also please watch how they use the same principals in the Move User Interface Tech demo as in the Portal 2 game (scaling the blocks intuitively with both hands to solve puzzles).. These are barely the tip of the iceberg for dual wielded / not-on-rails motion gaming.

  5. #5 by Luke on January 10th, 2011

    You have a point there Emrah.

  6. #6 by topthis on January 10th, 2011 [ 985 Points ]

    I will get this most likely and I don’t have the move but I tried it and it was pretty cool. I also tried kinect and they both have their cons. The thing is sixense has more potential in my opinion with all the games for pc and graphics, mods, etc..

  7. #7 by topthis on January 10th, 2011 [ 985 Points ]

    BTW anyone scared about the magnetic fields don’t worry at all the magnetic fields are weak and electronics has EIM protectors which means they are protected from the magnetic fields anyways.

  8. #8 by Rye on January 11th, 2011

    If you try using your thumb in that position and rotate it. You will have some serious joint problems. The way they show the diagram for “there idea” for the move would cause alot of pain for most. Now When first saw the idea, I was in fact liking it. but after picking up a move, and seeing what it would feel like. I can easily say that, it’s an epic FAIL! having your thumb in that position and being forced to move it in all 360 degree direction, cause’s serious discomfort. Now imagine using your thumb like that for an hour…. In conclusion, if the move button and their idea of the analog were to switch places, it might work. But as for now that design above(not the PC RAZOR, there move idea) is extremely dangerous!

  9. #9 by GTA 5 on January 11th, 2011

    It looks awesome! I would love to try it :D

  10. #10 by Emrah on January 11th, 2011 [ 7319 Points ]

    Rye, that was just a 15 minutes photoshop job. Of course the design would need to change somewhat to have those buttons :)

  11. #11 by anonymoose on January 11th, 2011

    ashame PS3 will not have this :(


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