Action News tests video game motion controllers

PHILADELPHIA - December 20, 2010

Long gone are the days when playing a video game meant having to push buttons and use a joystick! Motion-based gaming systems are now all the rage.

Even for people who don't normally get into video games - these new systems are addictive. They detect your movements, letting you be part of the action.

As you probably know by now, the newly-released Xbox system, Kinect, is totally hands-free. Two other popular gaming systems are close to it. We sized up all three to see which is right for the gamer on your list.

We caught with Ethan and Jack when they were using a Wii gaming console. Wii was the first to get into motion-based gaming. Consumer Reports just checked out the updated, enhanced controller option.

"Nintendo has created the Wii Motion Plus, which is an accessory that attaches to the Wii remote," said Matt Ferretti of Consumer Reports. "Basically (it) helps the Nintendo Wii detect the motion of the Wii remote controller."

But you still need a remote for games and a platform for activities like yoga. But at around $200, the Wii does cost at least a $100 less than its closest competitors. That often makes it a good choice for entry-level gamers. Plus, there's gamin selection.

"The Wii has a lot more games than the Sony Move because the Sony just came out," says Steve Capresecco of Best Buy. "There's about 10 games for the Sony. The Wii has over 100."

The Sony PlayStation Move package runs $400 at Best Buy, but Consumer Reports testers say it has much better graphics than the Wii. Plus, you only need hand controllers, no platform.

But if you're looking for the hottest gaming trend of the system, you should check out the $300 Xbox 360 Kinect.

"The Xbox Kinect totally revolutionized everything - you are the controller, you don't have to have anything on you. Your body's the controller," said Capresecco.

Whatever moves the player makes, the player's on-screen avatar does the same thing. Keep in mind, you'll need to be six feet from the TV set. If you've got the room, Consumer Reports and a lot of other folks Action News talked to says the Kinect is worth the money.

"Nothing to hold onto. You can just dance and have fun. Less things to worry about... I really like it. I think for kids, it's pretty nice," says Charmaine Harris of Frankford.

If you already have the Xbox, you can add on the Kinnect for $150.

If you already have the Sony Play Station, you can add on the Move camera and controller for about $100.

Now if you're getting full packages, all three motion-based gaming systems come bundled with at least one game. Additional games will run you about $50 each.

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