PlayStation Move is an upcoming motion-sensing game controller platform for the PlayStation 3 (PS3) video game console by Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE). It was tentatively known as the PlayStation Motion Controller. Based on handheld motion controller wand, PlayStation Move uses the PlayStation Eye webcam to track the wand's position, and inertial sensors in the wand to detect its motion. First revealed on June 2, 2009, PlayStation Move is slated for worldwide launch in Q3/Q4 2010. Hardware available at launch includes the main PlayStation Move motion controller, and an optional PlayStation Move navigation controller. It will compete with the Project Natal and Wii Remote motion control systems for the Xbox 360 and Wii home consoles, respectively.
Although PlayStation Move is implemented on the existing PlayStation 3 console, Sony states that it is treating Move's debut as its own major "platform launch," planning an aggressive marketing campaign to support it. In addition to selling the controllers individually, Sony also plans to provide several different bundle options for PlayStation Move hardware, such as a starter kit with a PS Eye, a Move motion controller, and motion-control enabled software, priced under US$100. In North America, a starter kit bundle will be available with a Move version of EyePet. Other planned bundle options include a full console pack with a PS3 console, DualShock 3 gamepad, PS Eye, and Move motion controller; and bundles of a Move motion controller with select games. Specific pricing has not been decided.
As with the PlayStation Wireless Controllers (Sixaxis, DualShock 3), both the main PlayStation Move motion controller and the PlayStation Move navigation controller use Bluetooth 2.0 wireless radio communication, and an internal lithium-ion battery which is charged via a USB Mini-B port on the controller. Up to four Move controllers can be used at once (four Move motion controllers, or two Move motion controllers and two Move navigation controllers).
The PlayStation Move motion controller features an orb at the head which can glow in any of a full range of colors using RGB light-emitting diodes (LEDs) The colored light serves as an active marker, the position of which can be tracked along the image plane by the PlayStation Eye. The uniform spherical shape and known size of the light also allows the system to simply determine the controller's distance from the PlayStation Eye through the light's image size, thus enabling the controller's position to be tracked in three dimensions with high precision and accuracy. The sphere-based distance calculation allows the controller to operate with minimal processing lag, as opposed to other camera-based control techniques on the PlayStation 3.
A pair of inertial sensors inside the controller, a three-axis linear accelerometer and a three-axis angular rate sensor, are used to track rotation as well as overall motion. An internal magnetometer is also used for calibrating the controller's orientation against the Earth's magnetic field to help correct against cumulative error (drift) in the inertial sensors. The inertial sensors can be used for dead reckoning in cases which the camera tracking is insufficient, such as when the controller is obscured behind the player's back.
The controller face features a large ovoid primary button (Move), small action buttons (, , , ), and a regular-sized PS button, arranged in a similar configuration as on the Blu-Ray Disc Remote Control. On the left and right side of the controller is a Select and Start button, respectively. On the underside is an analog trigger (T). On the tail end of the controller is the wrist strap, USB port, and extension port.
The motion controller features vibration-based haptic technology. In addition to providing a tracking reference, the controller's orb light can be used to provide visual feedback,simulating aesthetic effects such as the muzzle flash of a gun, or the paint on a brush.
Using different orb colors for each controller, up to four motion controllers can be tracked at once with the PlayStation Eye. Demonstrations for the controller have featured activities using a single motion controller, as well as those in which the user wields two motion controllers, with one in each hand. To minimize the cost of entry, Sony has stated that all launch titles for PlayStation Move will be playable with one motion controller, with enhanced options available for multiple motion controllers.
All image processing for PlayStation Move is performed in the PlayStation 3's Cell microprocessor. According to Sony, use of the motion-tracking library entails some Synergistic Processing Unit (SPU) overhead as well an impact on memory, though the company states that the effects will be minimized. According to Move motion controller co-designer Anton Mikhailov, the library uses 1-2 megabytes of system memory.
The PlayStation Move navigation controller (originally referred to as the PlayStation Move sub-controller) is a one-handed supplementary controller designed for use in conjunction with the PlayStation Move motion controller for certain types of gameplay. Replicating the major functionality of the left side of a standard PlayStation Wireless Controller, the PlayStation Move navigation controller features a left analog stick (with L3 button function), a D-pad, and L1 and L2 analog triggers. The navigation controller also features  and  action buttons, as well as a PS button. Since all controls correspond to those of a standard Wireless Controller, a Sixaxis or DualShock 3 controller can be used in place of the navigation controller in PlayStation Move applications.
A prototype of the PlayStation Move shown September 2009 at the Tokyo Game ShowPlayStation Move stems from early work on the EyeToy in which developers experimented with color-based 3D controller tracking, including prototypes using spheres. In 2008 Sony began work on developing a commercial product, integrating inertial sensors into the motion controller, and refining the device from an engineering and a design perspective.
The motion controller was revealed at Sony's E3 2009 press conference on June 2, 2009, with a live demonstration using an engineering prototype. Tentatively referred to as the PlayStation Motion Controller, the device was originally stated to be available in Q1/Q2 2010. As of August 2009, the controller features and design had not been finalized.
Soon after revealing the motion controller to developers, Sony indicated that it was exploring the possibility of using the motion controller in combination with a standard PlayStation Wireless Controller, such as having the player use "the motion controller as a sword and use DualShock 3 as a shield." A combination control scheme was demonstrated in September 2009 at the Tokyo Game Show for Biohazard 5: Alternative Edition, making particular use of the DualShock 3's analog stick. Although users found the setup to work well, some found holding a DualShock in one hand to be somewhat awkward. At the time Sony was already rumored to be in the design phase of a supplementary controller akin to that of the Nunchuk controller for the Wii Remote.
In January 2010, Sony announced a revised release target, stating instead that the motion controller would launch in Q3/Q4 of 2010. On March 10, Sony revealed the official name and logo at the Game Developers Conference, showcasing the final motion controller design, and unveiling the PlayStation Move navigation controller (then referred to as the PlayStation Move sub-controller), to be launched concurrently with the motion controller. The logo is a colored squiggle-like shape, representing a light trail from the sphere of a PlayStation Move motion controller being waved. Newly revealed in the final motion controller was the inclusion of an internal magnetometer.
Prior to the Game Developers Conference 2010, the PlayStation Move motion controller was known by several names. Initially given little guidance on what to call the device when it was unveiled in June 2009, many in the video game press informally referred to the controller as the "magic wand" or simply "Wand" due to the controller's wand design and glowing orb. Sony had used the term "PlayStation Motion Controller" from the motion controller's introduction, but many perceived it to be used merely as a description. Sony gradually clarified "Motion Controller" as the tentative name, but by this time media attention had shifted to rumored final names. In September 2009, statements in two unconnected interviews at the Tokyo Game Show led to speculation that the controller may be referred to by developers as the "Sphere". In December, a brief reference to the motion controller as "Gem" by Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello during a media industry conference presentation prompted an admission by Sony that "Gem" was an early code name for the controller.
In January 2010, video game blog VG247 reported that Sony had named its PS3 motion control platform "Arc". The name was observed to liken the controller's glowing orb to the charged sphere of a Tesla coil or a plasma globe electrode. The report was supported by evidence emerging in the following weeks, including a registration of the playstationarc.com domain name to SCE dated October 2009 (shortly after the Tokyo Game Show) and numerous references to "Arc" by president Brian Farrell of video game publisher THQ during the company's February earnings conference call. Responding to speculation that Farrell's statements effectively confirmed the name, SCEA senior director of corporate communications Patrick Seybold stated that they did not, and that Farrell was referring to "Arc" as a "rumored code name."
On March 1, it was reported that Sony submitted Japanese trademark application filing for "PlayStation Arc". A week later on March 8, Sony was reportedly considering a hasty renaming due to a trademark held by competitor Microsoft for its Arc-brand PC accessories, which could present trademark conflicts. On March 9, Sony submitted a European trademark filing for "PlayStation Move", which was announced as the official name the next day at Sony's press conference at the Game Developers Conference. Video gaming blog Joystiq reports several anonymous Sony sources claiming that the PlayStation Move logo presented at the conference resembles a letter "A" because it is the same design for when the name was "PlayStation Arc", in which the "A" would stand for "Arc".