Attending PR events for games' publishers can be an odd experience. Wherever the showcase is, the room is full of monitors playing the latest iteration of not yet released titles and now with the PlayStation Move and Xbox Kinect there are people swatting at thin air either with an ice cream cone in their hand or holding nothing at all. Frankly, I love it!
At Sega's Spring Showcase yesterday things were divided into more than one room which helped lessen the madness, but there were still people swinging their arms and flailing wildly, so that's where we started. We got to check out Virtua Tennis 4 both on the 360 with Kinect support and on the PS3 in 3D and with the Move.
There has been much debate above whether the Move or the Kinect is the better system – and no small part of that debate centers on whether it's better to be able to play without holding a remote in your hand. I think that there are certainly times when the ability to goes hands free is better, but if you're playing a sport where in real life you'd be holding a racquet or a club or a bat in your hand, it seems only natural that you'd want to do the same in a game. It is, hypothetically, possible to hold something in your hand while playing the Kinect to improve the simulation (we'd have to see how a game actually registered that to be convinced it was truly a possibility). With the Move you already have your controller in your hand and while it doesn't have the same weight as a racquet, bat, or club, it is a better simulation than having nothing.
Playing Virtua Tennis 4 on both systems, we can say unequivocally that we were better with the Move and found the title more appealing on the PS3. As opposed to getting a whole lot of hard fought losses as we did on the Kinect, with the Move we wiped the floor with our opponent. Hitting shots on the Kinect was a little harder to judge, and backhands nearly always resulted in horrifically weak shots which didn't make it back over the net. That was a problem we didn't experience with the Move, and with the Move it was also far easier to charge the net – just hold the controller in front of you and point it towards the screen and you were on your way. On the Kinect, charging the net required a step forward at just the right time and that too was harder to judge.