Sony Motion Controller vs. Natal

You might be aware of Project Natal, but another motion controller that is simply outstanding is Sony’s Motion Controller (Codename: Gem). Let’s compare Sony’s “Gem” controller with Natal.

Sony Motion Controller vs Natal

While Project Natal generated a lot more buzz than Sony’s motion controller, I personally was much more impressed by Sony’s Tech demo, but Natal has some great advantages.

Project Natal:


  • Color, depth and voice recognition
  • Infrared projector + monochrome CMOS sensor
  • Works at any lightning conditions
  • Recognises your face + facial expressions
  • Multi-array microphone can extract ambient noise
  • Creates virtual skeleton of you (1 time)

Release Date:

  • Not confirmed.

Project Natal Video: Ricochet Stage Demo

This ricochet demo is convincing and the motion tracking seems to be very exact and fast.

Project Natal Video: Painting Demo

The painting demo has some great features and shows that the voice recognition is already very advanced.

Project Natal Video: Product Vision

Keep in mind that this is just a promo video, a “product vision”. This is not a real tech demo:

Sony Motion Controller “Gem”:


  • Camera tracker
  • Sensor knows exact orientation/acceleration and position in real world
  • Motion tracking (not only color tracking)
  • No Voice tracking
  • Problematic with *strong* lights

Release Date:

  • Approx. Spring 2010

Sony Motion Controller Video (Tech Demo E3)

This is a real tech demo and for me it underlines that Sony’s controller is (at this stage of development) far more advanced, why else wouldn’t Microsoft show some more features of Natal at the E3?

Conclusion: Sony’s Gem vs. Microsoft’s Natal

I was pretty  impressed by Sony due to the fact that Sony actually presented a tech demo that was far better than the two tech demos of Project Natal combined (Painting + Ricochet). Sony aims for a release in spring 2010, while Microsoft still has to reveal a release date for Project Natal. Also, Sony already confirmed 15 games that will make use of their newest gem. It looks like Microsoft is a step behind Sony, what of course doesn’t mean that Sony’s controller will be better than Natal.

Microsoft has two features that could help Natal to become their biggest success:

  • Voice Recognition
  • Virtual creation of a skeleton

The voice recognition is a completely new feature that Nintendo’s Wii and Sony’s device lack. It might definitely come in handy when it comes to strategy games, controlling the device or maybe even next-generation RPG games. The fact that Microsoft’s Natal will create a virtual skeleton of you might be cool for sports games and will be one of the greatest advantages of Natal.

Sony Motion Controller Games

The following games will be updated to support “Gem”:

  • Pain
  • Flower
  • Hustler Kings
  • High Velocity Bowling
  • EyePet
  • Resident Evil 5

The following games are in development, temporary names below:

  • Ape Escape
  • Echochrome: Reality Theory
  • Eccentric Slider
  • Sing and Draw
  • Champions of Time
  • Motion Party
  • The Shoot
  • Tower
  • Under Siege

Sony Motion Controller Buttons

They are even thinking about some special buttons for the motion controller. Dual-Shock support is also a possibility to make it feel more realistic.

Sony Motion Controller Buttons

Published: Wednesday, December 30th, 2009 Last Modified: December 31, 2009

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