Among the console makers, Sony and Microsoft have Nintendo beat when it comes to graphic and performance capabilities but Nintendo’s Wii is winning with playability. Month after month, the sales gap between the companies is clear in the retail data. But now, Sony may be nearing release on a new controller aimed at narrowing that gap; a product aimed at mixing playability (ease of use) with performance.
There are always rumors flying around. Some are about as likely as Tiger Woods quitting golf in order to pursue a new career as a professional wrestler. Others, like this one, are rational enough to be believable.
As the whisper goes, Sony is in the late stages of development on an accelerometer based controller that would bring motion-sensitive interactivity to the PS3. Plausible? True? Could be.
In late December 2006, Sony did file for a patent on a "hand-held controller having detectable elements for tracking purposes." It further read, “data can be used to calculate many physical aspects of the movement of the controller 110, such as for example its acceleration and velocity along any axis, its tilt, pitch, yaw, roll, as well as any telemetry points of the controller.”
18 months later, a commercial product could be nearing end stages of development; or at least in a stage where game developers could begin coding software titles for its eventual use.
Much of the speculation calls for the controller to take a similar shape to the current generation model. Unlike the existing units, however, they believe the motion sensing model will separate into two halves. A gamer using the product will be able to play using traditional six-axis controls or, in separating it to two pieces, in a manner similar to the two-handed control used with Nintendo’s Wii Remote and Wii Nunchuck combination.
The E3 gaming convention is coming up soon. A prototype unveiling is within the scope of possibility. Other gesture based controls could be forthcoming too. It is far from certain but this will be something to watch for.
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