Halfway through a game of table tennis with the PlayStation Move, I realize that I play better if I stop treating the wand-shaped controller in my hand like a controller. I’m currently playing with cautious restraint, flicking the controller tentatively every time the ball approaches my player’s side of the court. I’m losing more points than I’m winning, but the second I start treating it like an actual racquet, things begin to look up.

Move is Sony PlayStation’s answer to the Nintendo Wii, and soon, I’m delivering smashes, top-spin backhands and looping serves with none of the vague approximation one gets with the latter. Armed to the teeth with accelerometers, gyroscopes and a glowing orb that’s tracked by a camera placed on top of your PlayStation 3, Move detects tilts and slants with pleasing accuracy and in spite of my constant movement, doesn’t seem to require frequent recalibration.

Motion-based controllers are the Farmvilles of console gaming. Nintendo is the Zynga of this space, having successfully pitted the Nintendo Wii in 2007 against Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360. Now Sony and Microsoft are playing catch-up—Sony with Move, Microsoft with Kinect.

While the Kinect is attempting a dramatic science-fiction upheaval of how people play games, Move is a gentle, safe bet—a quietly efficient piece of engineering that delivers an evolution of what the Wii made possible.

In motion:(top) Sports Champions; a still from EyePet

It helps that the PlayStation 3 is a graphical power horse—the visuals for Move-enabled games are top-notch, and the sense of immersion is stronger than Wii. Sony’s promised a much wider variety of Move games by the end of the year, including patches that will make existing PlayStation 3 titles such as Heavy Rain playable with Move.

Those who have a Nintendo Wii (with the MotionPlus add-on) should probably wait to see what kind of eclecticism Sony will bring to the Move library. But for those who’ve never jumped on to the casual gaming, motion-controlled bandwagon, Move is an excellent place to start.

The basic PlayStation Move controller costs Rs2,499, with the add-on controller at Rs1,899. A “starter pack" with a basic controller, PlayStation Eye camera and a disc of demos for Sports Champions, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11and EyePet is priced at Rs3,650.

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