Xbox 360 vs PlayStation 3: Motion Technology

360 vs PS3

Anybody who has heard ANYTHING about E3 has certainly heard about the new motion sensing technology presented by Microsoft and Sony, and there are several different opinions of which will be better.  With that spirit in mind, I would like to offer my own opinions…

First I’d like to say that both Microsoft’s Project Natal and Sony’s PlayStation Eye Tracking are amazing.  They both blew my mind when I saw the demonstrations and I honestly didn’t expect anything like that when I heard they’d been working on Motion Technology.  Now getting on to specifics…

Project Natal

Project Natal is Microsoft’s new experience in gaming.  It does a full body HD scan that can track people’s movements in a 3D environment which is pretty impressive.  They also boasted that it had speech recognition and showed off what seemed to be a very intelligent AI called Milo who responded to questions and interacted with the user.  This system uses no controller and solely relies on movement of the human body.

Although I think Project Natal was very impressive, I thought the lack of a live Demo really took away from its shock factor and I wish they would have had someone demonstrate its capabilities on stage.  Its ability to track movements of someones body is extremely impressive and although I did see what looked to be a little lag between movements in real life and the movements on screen, I think it can only get better from there.

That being said, it really seemed to be a beefed up version of the PlayStation Eye, and I think by eliminating the controller, they’ve made a crucial mistake.  I really hope they reevaluate that decision once they see that most gamers want something tangible to hold on to.  I also heard that Milo wasn’t as intelligent as he appeared to be in the presentation, and they may have some glitches to fix when dealing with the Z-Axis movement.  Other than that, it really is a revolutionary technology and I can’t wait to see what they can do with it once it comes out.


Sony’s Motion Controller paired with the PlayStation Eye was amazing to watch and the most impressive thing was that they did everything live on stage.  Because they were able to show the audience in real time what the controller could do, I think they made much more of an impact than Microsoft did with Project Natal.

The Motion Controller + PlayStation Eye tracks movement of the controller perfectly 1:1 and there is NO lag from real movement to on screen.  They were able to put items and weapons in the player’s hands on screen which then completely interacted with the environment they were placed in.  Even though the movement was very impressive, Microsoft’s Natal is a more powerful piece of technology when it comes to the camera.  This is something Sony is going to have to work on to compete with Microsoft.

The most impressive part of Sony’s demo was the very end when they demonstrated an archery simulator and a sword and shield simulator.  The preciseness of the bow and arrow combo was AMAZING and it’s hard to describe it perfectly.  Then in the sword and shield demonstration they put a skeleton warrior in front of the player and he was able to attack in any way imaginable and if would react seamlessly.  It was kind of ridiculous.

In conclusion, because Sony’s Playstation Eye is PAIRED with the controller, I think they have the advantage going into this new territory over Microsoft.  And to top it off, I think their demo was more impressive at E3 because it was a live demo on stage and they left nothing to question.

I can’t wait to see both of these in action, and I REALLY can’t wait to see what kind of technology stems from the competition of these two amazingly talented companies.

Want to form your own opinions?  Check out the E3 demos of both technologies below:

Project Natal

Sony Motion Control

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  • Jose Colmenares

    Clarification: When I said Project Natal had no Demo, I meant for the Milo portion. I realize they did demo painting and dodgeboll. Sorry for the confusion.

  • Alphathon

    I have to say I completelly agree with you there. Natal is a verry impressive piece of technology, but on it’s own, in a gaming context, it seems far less usefull than the sony controller. Maybe MS could somehow combine Natal with that 3rd party wiimote-alike (I forget who made it)

  • Natal(inho)

    To me Natal was the most suprising and most mindblowing announcement of this years E3. But now a few days after, it lost a lot of its “magic” to me.
    The paint thing was funny but makes no sense (who wants to draw pictures with a console). It just captures gestures in a rudimentary way. The same with the dodgeball. She doesnt seems to have control of the balls. I would like to see this tech demo with just one ball and a larger room. i bet the player will not be able to control, where the ball is gonna go or even to accelerate the ball in a sensible way.
    And Milo seems to be lightyears away to be implementet in a videogame.
    Maybe im all wrong and this technologie will change the way we play videogames in the near future.
    Sonys technologie seems not that far away and it looked like its already working in a more prezise way.
    Besides the launch date and launch titles i´m really interestet what the price tag will be for the two.

  • CrimsonFox13

    I agree. Sony’s actually seems more plausible and usable to me… I can see good uses for it in games I’d like to play. I can’t for Natal.

  • Rob

    While I agree that it’s very limiting not having a controller as well, it should be noted that the Natal setup doesn’t prevent you from holding a controller of some kind as well. It wont necessarily be tracked by the camera, but if it’s tracking the hand(s) you’re holding it with then that may not be relevant.

  • Daniel

    Yeah, the PS3 motion controller is no doubt the better motion technology, as it works for a wider variety of games, and it is more precise, with the combination of the controller, and body tracking, it is also true what rick said at E3, certain things are only possible with a trigger.

  • Drue

    I don’t agree, right now Project Natal is definately the stand out. The PS wand is cool, however it limits because you “need” the wand to make it work. It’s already been announced that the Natal technology can work in conjunction with a controller which makes the uses almost limitless. Most articles that have come out reviewing actually having played with it (with the exception of Milo – but if you listened to that demonstration it was about a vision of what could be done) are very good reviews..also it already works with retail gmes (Burnout). I think both technologies are great and way better than Nintendo’s, but I think as far as limitless vision the ball is in Microsoft’s court.

  • dcbronco

    I couldn’t disagree more. Natal has far more potential for gaming than the PS3 controller. The PS3 controller is a Wii-mote in reverse. Motion plus will make the Wii-mote 1:1, so they are actually exactly the same. You already have a two part controller with the Wii so there is no need to buy a second controller for things like a sword and shield. Microsoft’s controller can act as both with out the need for the controller in your hand. Everyone is assuming you need the controllers as a reference point when companies like image Metric and ATI are doing things without it. They don’t use dots or orbs for mo-cap.

    3DV Systems is a company Microsoft bought earlier this year. They used their fingers as buttons in their demonstrations. Unlike what Nintendo and Sony did, Microsoft did show on stage that their camera could track legs. That alone puts them ahead of both. They also showed in private that they could make it work on older games with a patch.

    Natal would be good for far more games than the others. You could use hand signals in GRAW and Rainbow to direct your team. You could turn your head slightly to check mirrors in racing games. you could crouch without holding a controller lower. Ubisoft showed what could be done with voice in End War when there are a few choices for the computer to work with. natal does the same with motion. It scans the body, the software knows what a body can do and it uses that information in connection with what is happening in the game. Nintendo and Sony just follow reference points and gets signals from buttons. Microsoft is doing so much more.