During the 2010 Game Developers Conference, Sony held a press event to unveil the PlayStation 3's forthcoming motion system, the PlayStation Move. During the proceedings, Sony Computer Entertainment America vice president of marketing Peter Dille surprised many by graciously admitting that rival Nintendo helped turn the public on to motion control when it released the Wii in 2006.
The public goodwill didn't last long, however. This week, Sony released a new PS3 television spot as part of its "It Only Does Everything" ad campaign. In it, fictional Sony vice president Kevin Butler (played by stage actor Jerry Lambert) shows off the functionality of the PlayStation Move system, which uses controllers topped by colored LEDs in conjunction with the already available PlayStation Eye camera.
Without mentioning names, Butler also ruthlessly mocks the functionality of both the Wii and Project Natal, Microsoft's camera-based, controller-free motion-sensing system. After dismissing a two-dimensional waggle control scheme similar to that of Wii Sports, Butler says that "real boxers don't hit like this" and then pretends to be engaged in a slap fight. No mention was made of the Wii MotionPlus, which added a third dimension and one-to-one tracking when it was introduced last year with such games as Wii Sports Resort, Grand Slam Tennis, and Tiger Woods PGA Tour.
Later Butler says, "It's also got what we in the future call 'buttons,' which turn out to be pretty important to those handfuls of millions who enjoy playing shooters, platformers, and pretty much anything that doesn't include catching a big red ball." The statement is a not-so-subtle swipe at Microsoft's demo of Project Natal at last year's Electronic Entertainment Expo, during which it showed off a dodgeball game called Ricochet.
Butler continued, "I mean, who wants to pretend their hand is a gun? What is this, third grade?" He then made "Pew! Pew! Pew!" noises while holding his finger out like a pistol. In the background, SOCOM 4 is being played with an LED-capped PlayStation Move controller and an LED-less PlayStation Move Subcontroller--a name that itself has been the butt of jokes.
Mockery aside, the PS3 ad also confirms the fairly obvious fact that the PlayStation Move will be on the market by November. (The system currently has only a "fall" release window.) The month marks the beginning of the all-important holiday season, which Microsoft is also hoping to exploit with a fall launch for Project Natal.