What Is the Difference Between Kinect & Move?

by David Weedmark Google

    Both the Xbox Kinect by Microsoft and Sony's PlayStation Move use motion-detection to give you more options for controlling and interacting with games than are possible with a basic gamepad. How each company has designed these features, however, is quite different. An understanding of these differences should help you decide which is the right choice for you. Both the Xbox Kinect and PlayStation Move are available as separate purchases for your existing game consoles or as part of a package deal when you buy an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 console.

    Differences in Technology

    The PlayStation 3 Move uses two pieces of technology: a wand controller and a camera. The camera detects the position and movement of the wand to determine what you're doing with it. Steering wheels, blasters and other controllers are available with built-in wands for specialized games like racing games and first-person shooters. By contrast, the Xbox 360 Kinect uses only one piece of technology. It's a motion and depth sensor that also responds to voice commands. It uses skeletal tracking and face recognition, essentially making your body the game controller. The quality in graphics and gameplay is determined by each individual game, not the controller.


    Both the Xbox Kinect and PlayStation Move support up to four players, assuming the game you select has a multi-player mode. To have two to four players playing simultaneously with the Move, you need a separate hand-held controller for each player. The Kinect, of course, doesn't require controllers. Most PlayStation Move packages include just a single controller. But the price for an additional controller, so two people can play, amounts to about the same price as the XBox Kinect. To have four controllers with the PlayStation Move, you will be paying a premium compared to the Kinect.

    Space Requirements

    The Kinect should be placed between two to six feet from the floor, centered with your TV screen. Microsoft recommends you stand six feet from the sensor if you're playing by yourself and eight feet away if you're playing with a friend. If you are using the PlayStation Move, Sony recommends that you position the camera at shoulder height. While using the PlayStation Move, you stand between five and nine feet from the camera.

    Available Games

    Games that are designed specifically for Xbox Kinect or PlayStation Move generally state this right on the front of the box. If there is a specific game you want to play, it would be wise to check its description to see if it's compatible before making a purchase. At the time of publication, Microsoft says there are about 140 games designed for the Xbox Kinect. The array of games for the PlayStation Move is somewhat less -- about 110 games at the time of publication, including those yet to be released. Some games are available for both the Xbox 360 with Kinect and the PlayStation 3 with Move. These include Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13, Just Dance 4 and Zumba Fitness.

    About the Author

    David Weedmark's articles have appeared in dozens of publications since 1989, including "The Windsor Star" and "The Ottawa Citizen." As well as being a technology consultant, he is the author of several books, including "The Tanglewood Murders." Weedmark studied English at the University of Toronto.

    Photo Credits

    • David Becker/Getty Images News/Getty Images