Wireless Motion Controllers Buying Guide

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Wireless Motion Controllers Buying Guide

The home video game experience continues to change dramatically with every passing console generation. While the basic tenets of gaming stay similar over the years, the way in which users can interact with them is always evolving and improving. For example, today, many gaming systems offer a wireless motion controller option that would have been unheard of when video games were first introduced. These controllers allow gamers to more fully immerse themselves in the world of the games by jumping, punching, running, and otherwise moving their bodies in order to make the game work correctly. However, purchasing these controllers can be a bit overwhelming, particularly for someone with little gaming experience. Different controllers come at different price points and are compatible with different gaming systems. Buying a wireless motion controller for a home video game console can make the gaming experience more fun, but care should be taken when choosing which controller to purchase. No matter which one is ultimately chosen, there are many available for sale at local electronics retailers or online from eBay. Before purchasing a wireless video game motion controller, consumers should learn about the different types and the batteries they require.

Wireless Video Game Motion Controllers

Video game technology has come a long way since the first days of the joystick. This is particularly true of home video game consoles, which are now present in a large percentage of living rooms around the world. One of the more recent developments in home video gaming is the wireless motion controller. At one time, all video game controllers had to be directly connected to the console in order to work. When the first wireless controller was introduced, it was a big step unto itself. Building upon the trend of more freedom in video game controllers, Nintendo introduced their Wii console in 2006. The Wii controller was not only wireless, but also required the player to move the controller in order to play the game. This was the first mass marketed wireless motion controller. Since then, other major companies have also introduced these types of video game controllers and each has its own benefits and drawbacks.

Nintendo Wii

The Nintendo Wii was the first major platform to introduce wireless motion controllers. The controller for the Nintendo Wii is also referred to as the Wiimote. This controller works in conjunction with a sensor that is placed near the television. The sensor picks up the motion of the controller and translates the data into movements in the game. The Wii motion controller is the only option for controlling the console and, therefore, is sold standard with the Wii system. However, a Wii gamer may choose to purchase additional Wii motion controllers so that he or she can play with friends, or replace a controller that has been broken or damaged.

Other Nintendo Motion Control Peripherals

The Wiimote is the standard Wii controller, but there are also a number of other Wii peripherals that can be used in conjunction with the Wiimote while still taking advantage of the motion controller technology. For instance, a popular Wii game that takes advantage of team play is Wii Sports. While this game can be played with only the Wiimote, there is also a pack of Wii Sports peripherals that can be attached to the Wiimote. This particular package includes a tennis racket and a golf club. The Wiimote is placed inside of these implements to make the game and the movement of the controller more realistic and immersive. Additionally, there is a controller dock that mimics the movement of a steering wheel for popular driving games, like Mario Kart.

PlayStation Move

The Sony PlayStation gaming console comes standard with a wireless controller that features buttons as well as analogue sticks. However, there is also an additional PlayStation motion controller package available known as the PlayStation Move. This wireless motion controller is a handheld wand with a lighted orb on the end. The controller houses an accelerometer that transmits the location of the controller in space and translates that information into game play. It is possible to purchase a Sony PlayStation with a PlayStation Move package bundled with it, which can be a more affordable option overall. However, for those who already have a Sony PlayStation, the wireless motion controller can easily be purchased separately as well. Keep in mind that the PlayStation Move is not compatible with all generations of PlayStation consoles and may not work with older models.

PlayStation Eye

Originally introduced as a separate peripheral for the Sony PlayStation, the PlayStation Eye is a camera that captures the physical movements of gamers without the aid of a wireless motion controller. With the introduction of the PlayStation Move, the camera instead became an integral part of that system. The PlayStation Eye camera is used to capture the movements of the lighted ball on the Move motion controller, and therefore, comes packaged with the PlayStation Move. However, there are still games available that use the PlayStation Eye functionality.

Xbox Kinect

The Microsoft Xbox is another extremely popular gaming platform that has ventured into the world of wireless motion controllers with the introduction of the Xbox Kinect. Unlike the PlayStation Move or the Nintendo Wii, the Xbox motion controller does not actually include a physical controller. Rather, the Kinect device senses the movement of the player's body and uses that data as the control. In this way, it is really the player's body that becomes the wireless motion controller.

Third-Party Motion Controllers

When purchasing a wireless motion controller for any of the most popular gaming systems, including the PlayStation, the Xbox, or the Wii, there are a number of options as to exactly what to buy. When purchasing the controller bundled with the system, it is likely to be from the same company that makes the gaming system. However, when purchasing a controller separately, there are more options. Each manufacturer sells these wireless motion controllers as replacements or additions, but the branded accessories are likely to come at a higher price. There are also third-party options that are engineered to pair with their respective systems. These accessories are generally available for a lower price than the manufacturer's replacement controllers, but may not last as long. The decision of whether to buy an official controller from Sony, Microsoft, or Nintendo or to buy a controller from a third party, such as Nyko,, is ultimately up to the consumer's preference and budget.

Wireless Motion Controller Batteries

Aside from freedom to move further from the console, there is another interesting consideration when switching to a wireless controller, whether it is a motion controller or a classic controller. Wireless controllers are unable to draw power from the console because they are not plugged into it. The following table summarises which popular wireless motion controllers require which types of batteries.

Wireless Motion Controller

Type of Battery


PlayStation Move

Lithium ion


Xbox Kinect

USB connected

Not applicable




While the type of battery required by a wireless motion controller may not be the main concern when purchasing, it should be a consideration. For instance, a Wiimote may end up costing more in the long term because its batteries need to be replaced unlike those in the PlayStation Move or Xbox Kinect.

How to Buy Wireless Motion Controllers on eBay

Once you have decided upon the type of wireless motion controller that you want for your video gaming experience, you can begin to search for the perfect item on eBay. Because eBay lets you search items from sellers around the world, it is important to put in place good search practices to make your shopping more efficient. For instance, searching for "video game controller&" yields many results, but does not necessarily find what you are looking for. Instead, try searching for something more specific like "used Nintendo Wii&" to get a better sampling. You can always use the eBay filters to further narrow down your choices.

It is important to read item listings carefully before completing your purchase. Just because a wireless motion controller is pictured with a console does not mean that the items are being sold together. While the listing description should be very clear, if there are any remaining questions, be sure to take them up with the seller before you make your transaction. Simply send a message using the eBay interface and make sure that you know what you are buying so that there are no surprises.


More and more, gaming, and particularly playing video games at home, has become a popular pastime for many children, teenagers, and young adults. The advent of the wireless motion controller has opened up the world of gaming to even more people. However, not every wireless motion controller is the same. Before purchasing a console or a controller, it is important to understand its features as well as with what system or systems it is compatible. While the Xbox Kinect may sound like the perfect motion controller for a family, if that family already owns a PlayStation, it is a much larger investment to go with the Kinect. There is also the fact of different manufacturers to consider, since third-party options are more viable than ever before. No matter which type of wireless motion controller ends up on the shopping list, always be sure to shop around, compare systems and prices, and choose the one that works best for the situation at hand.

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