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Sony Computer Entertainment: Move in action
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Sony Computer Entertainment, which markets PlayStation2 (PS2), PlayStation Portable (PSP) and PlayStation3 (PS3), will launch PlayStation Move (PSMove), an upcoming motion-sensing game controller platform for the PS3, in India in September.

According to a study by research firm eTech Group, a unit of IMRB International, sale of console devices such as PlayStation, Microsoft’s XBox and Nintendo’s Wii has grown more than 50 per cent annually to reach Rs 575 crore in size this year. Sony Computer Entertainment Country Manager (India) Atindriya Bose says: “Sony accounts for 70 per cent share of the console gaming market in India. Initially, ten games will come to the market that will be compatible on the PSMove software. Going forward, there will be 30 to 40 games.”

However, motion-sensing game controller is not a new concept. Nintendo’s Wii has such a controller. At the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles in June this year, Microsoft made entertainment history when it launched Kinect for Xbox 360, a console-less gaming device. Sony also did a demo of PSMove at E3.

In the middle of 2008-09, Sony had come up with PS iToy, one of the first motion-capturing devices, that was compatible with PS2. It is priced at Rs 999 in the Indian market and comes with a game and an iToy (interactive toy) camera. PSMove is next in the line. “We have sold around 65,000 units of PS3 in India. More than half a million PS2s and 200,000 PSPs. Our installed base for PS3 will be 65,000 units for this financial year,” says Bose.

What’s the differentiator for PSMove? It is an external peripheral which can be connected to PS3 through the USB chord. It’s a separate controller that has an eye camera, a demo game pack and a starter CD. “There are three aspects. One, it offers pin-point accuracy. There are numerous censors at the PSMove controller and camera. Two, there is lack of latency. That means, its reaction is instantaneous like real-life gaming. Three, it’s both simple and complex. Thus it aims to capture a broader audience. It’s targeted at the whole family. It has no learning curve in it. It is for the family as well as hardcore gamers. It also comes with the trademark PlayStation button,” says Bose.

While the PSMove starter pack comes at a price of $99 internationally, for the Indian market, says Bose, “We are fixing it at Rs 4,500 to Rs 5,000.” However, Xbox Kinect is priced at $150 (Rs 7,000), which is also looking at an India launch anytime soon. And the parent console, XBox 360 Arcade, is now available at less than Rs 15,000. When Microsoft Xbox’s Kinect comes to India, what will be the scene like? Sony claims the Indianised content as well as its distribution network are strong factors that will help it in retain its leadership position. “The gaming market is on the rise in India. If Microsoft’s XBox Kinect comes with a competitive price, it is going to get more interesting. It will make the gaming category more active,” says Bose. It’s time for action.
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