Wii still “smarter” than PlayStation Move?


PlayStation-Move-with-sub-controllerOn a Wired post criticizing the initial round of PlayStation Move games, commenter memebag pointed out a distinct difference between Move and Wii, which seemingly plays into the latter’s favor.

“Instead of a camera on the TV looking for lights on the remotes, each Wiimote has a camera that looks for the light bar on the TV,” he explains. “It’s a smarter solution, since the Wii can tell where the Wiimote is pointed, not just where it is in the room.”

There. Now you can feel better about the four year-old motion technology you already own.


  1. Technically speaking, you don’t need a camera or the sensor bar with the WiiRemote. You only need it if you need to use the pointer, even the original WiiSports didn’t need the sensor bar.

  2. The fact that a four years of extra development doesn’t yield a large difference says a lot about this device. Also when you factor in the cliche that technology is moving so fast month after month its a little shameful. Hopefully they will have a triple AAA release like Zelda Wii will be to showcase it. lol that was a good one

  3. This product isn’t meant to create new gamers, or even siphon off existing ones that own a Wii. It’s meant to stifle Nintendo’s growth. With no killer app at launch (also from the Wired article: No killer apps), I don’t even see that happening.

  4. In the press conference, there was a video clip of what looked like a pointer on the screen, so I wouldn’t worry about that.

  5. When speaking of pointing, although not on the technical side, I imagine that it will feel less intuitive to point at the TV using the Move controller than with the Wiimote because of two reasons…

    a) It’s difficult to estimate where at the ball it actually points at the TV because of its globe shape.
    b) It’s a friggin big ball in the way!

    I mean, can you imagine an accessory make the Move controller look like a gun? And if you can, would you prefer that gun over a Wiimote with a plastic gun accessory? Although we may not like them or use them but the wide range of peripherals for the Wiimote tells us something about its simplistic design and flexibility that I think the Move controller will have a hard time to achieve.

  6. Phew. Thank God!

  7. The ‘Move’ controller (terrible name imo, as it awkwardly forces a verb in the place of a noun) is actually a surprisingly technically restricted device. The ball allows the camera to position the controller in 3d space (determining depth via a combination of ball size and optical intensity), but no positionally referenced system for determining orientation. It’s a little mentioned fact that Sony’s had to augment the unit with an internal 3 axis gyro that can sense rotations, but without a directional reference it’s all guess work, marginally improved by kinematic models of arm movement, similar in many ways to Wii motion+… BUT, the Wii remote has highly sensitive orientation sensing capability thanks to the pointer functionality. Crucially this means that when using the two devices to point at specific things on the screen the wii fares much better – pointing can be done by a very small rotation of the control in situ that’s natural(ish) to the fine hand movements we’re accustomed to. Equivalently pointing with ‘move’ requires either wide movements of the unit (unnatural) or small movements (inaccurate depending on the pixel density the camera gets at the distance), or estimation form the gyros (inaccurate and rapidly loses tracking).

    This is primarily why early reports of the shooter type games (demanding pointing) aren’t fairing well on ‘move’. On top of that the general purpose sensor in the motion eye means the much more complex DSP work has to be done in software introducing lag (if not a big CPU cycle hit) even though the sensing is done by wire. Despite being wireless, the wiimote avoids a fair bit of latency both by physically filtering the light sources (making computing the location of infra red sources in an infra red ‘dark’ environment much easier than coloured balls in a colourful environment), and by using a dedicated hardware DSP processor in each wiimote.

  8. I think it’s safe to say that I’m more interested in the Move than I am excited by it. If we see more titles utilizing the 1:1 that Sony showed off (and most hands-ons have confirmed) this might be a contender to the Wii. Eventually. It’ll be interesting to see how all of this pans out.

  9. This is a bad move(no pun intended). Sony is competing for a market which is already taken.

    X-Box360 on the other hand looks pretty innovative with Project Natal. I think X-Box will go far.

  10. @elmer
    Does it has gyroscopes? The last I heard it only had accelerometers…

  11. Just checked out Matt Casamassina’s post on the PS Move and Natal and the latest rumblings are that the PS Move is nothing to write home about, a lesser version of the Wii. In terms of Project Natal word in the development community is that it sucks!


  12. the light bulb looks stupid

  13. Yea, I’m not sure where they are going with this. The controller isn’t really innovative or creative. Actually, I do remember seeing a wand remake that someone suggested and did in photoshop it looks like. Honestly, this fan made controller is better and more creative. Here is the link:


  14. Wonder if nerds are gona bash it calling it impercise waggle or say that its brilliant because its on system thats not plagued by babies, soccer moms and the elderly?

  15. @Mr.cranky – also HD!

  16. @ Fabio

    Yeah, a lot of people have been referring to it as an accelerometer (since they’ve gotten all popular in the Wiimote, phones etc.) but I heard it’s a 3 axis mems gyroscope – same as motion plus. Besides, while an accelerometer could compute both pitch and roll as the wiimote does (using gravity as a reference, with acceleration from the user cancelled out by computing positional changes over time by the camera), it takes a gyro to track yaw. And even then it can only work out the changes – not the absolute cardinal orientation (maybe that’s why apple put a magnetometer in the iphone).

  17. i can see it already… hand held wii! called m!!

  18. this article has more bias than any Nintendo fanboy is capable of, although PlayStation move tracks movement in 3d, and it way more precise than the wii motion plus they still managed to say “Wii still “smarter” than PlayStation Move…

  19. @elmer
    Yes, a gyroscope would give it better precision, but it would require constant calibration (as it is being reported, so it must be right). When Sony first announced it, they referred to accelerometers, but since Nintendo adopted a gyroscope, they must have followed their lead (otherwise they would face the same problems as the Wiimote without the motionPlus).

  20. @ Fabio

    According to a press release (http://scei.co.jp/corporate/release/100311e.html) I was wrong. It contains not only a three axis accelerometer, AND a three axis gyroscope, but a magnetometer as well! They really did pull an Apple! Bloody hell, it may go some way to explain the $100 price tag. With all three it amy be able to provide some (pretty shaky) positional and rotational dead reckoning after an initial reference.