Los Angeles, California (CNN) -- "Move," Sony's motion-sensor system for the PlayStation 3, will hit stores in September, entering an increasingly competitive gaming space that, until now, had only one resident -- the Nintendo Wii.
At the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, Sony announced that Move will go on sale September 19 in North America.
At a glitzy, nearly two-hour presentation, Sony's top brass showed off the system as they finessed golf shots on "Tiger Woods PGA Tour" and waved a magic wand to zap, freeze or fry goblins in a new third-person adventure game called "Sorcery."
Throughout, they emphasized what they say is a superior sensor system, letting in-game items mimic more closely what the player is really doing with the game controller.
"It will be the closest thing you've ever experienced to physically being in the game itself," said Kazuo Hirai, president of Sony Computer Entertainment.
The September release date would put Move on the market before another chief competitor. Microsoft's Kinect, which requires no controller, is due out November 4.
Several times during the Move presentation, Sony speakers noted the presence of buttons on the wand. Informative? Sure. But also a clear poke at the Wii.
"We're really not trying to stir the pot here," said Sony spokesman Peter Dille. "We think it's an important distinction."
The swipe spoke to a tricky move Sony hopes to pull off -- pumping up its leap into the Wii-like space of motion control without alienating die-hard gamers who have little use for casual, social gaming.
So far, the heavily social motion-sensor games are a long way from the intricate, detailed worlds some games create.
"I think it will be a little while before we see a hard-core game that's really complicated for motion control," said Dan Hsu, co-founder of gaming-news site Bitmob. "When you're a developer putting money into a new platform, you want to keep it simple, and cheap, at first."
But there were also nods to the die-hards from Sony on Tuesday.
A revived "Twisted Metal" an old-school gamer favorite that had not yet made it onto the PS3, highlighted new software announcements. "Portal 2," "Gran Turismo 5" and "Tron: Evolution" were other highlights.
"Killzone 3" will be one of the PlayStation 3's first major titles available in 3-D and it got an extended preview at the event.