Sony Move officially on sale Sunday, but retailers jumping the gun

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According to Sony, its new Move motion controller system for the PlayStation 3 isn’t supposed to be on sale until Sunday, September 19—but many retailers are jumping the gun, hoping to cash in on gamers’ enthusiasm. Some PlayStation 3 owners who pre-ordered the device have already begun receiving it, and reports have some retailers already offering Move units for sale in their stores. Just to make matters more confusing, online mega-retailer Amazon.com is offering the PlayStation Move for sale now…although, of course, customers will have to wait for it to be delivered.

The PlayStation Move is Sony’s response to the popularity of the Nintendo Wii’s motion sensing wireless controller—although both the Wii and the PlayStation 3 have been on the market for nearly four years, so Sony’s response can’t exactly be described as speedy. The PlayStation Move enables players to control games using wand-like handheld controllers that sense motion and velocity using the PlayStation Eye camera system, included with the controller. But where the Nintendo Wii has had a motion controller since its inception—and games have all been designed with it in mind—PlayStation 3 owners will only be able to use the Move controller with titles that support the technology.

Sony is offering the Move Starter Bundle for $100, which includes a Move controller, the PlayStation Eye camera, and the Move-savvy game title Sports Champions. Sony is also offering a Move controller on its own for $49.99, and the Move Navigation Controller separately for $29.99—the latter are mainly intended to enable PlayStation owners to support multiple Move players without having to buy entire bundles or redundant cameras. Sony is also offering a PlayStation 3 Sports Champion Move Bundle for $400, which rolls the full Move Starter Bundle with a 320 GB PlayStation 3 console along with a bonus game disc.

The Sony Move system will be competing this holiday season with Microsoft’s Kinect motion sensing system for the Xbox 360; unlike the Wii and the PlayStation Move, Kinect doesn’t require hand-held controllers, instead detecting a user’s body motion directly using optical and infrared sensors.

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