Sony's New Motion Controller Tracks "True 3D"

Today in Brighton, UK at conference Develop 2009, Sony has shown off its new PS3 motion controller, which was debuted at this year's E3 in Los Angeles (pictured).

Sony promised to display "a lot more of the new controller" and give "several real-world examples of such techniques as used in recent and soon to be released PS3 and PSP titles from both Sony Computer Entertainment first party and external developers." During the event, Sony did not allow the filming of the controller in action as the company stated it was "prototype hardware" — photography was allowed during designated times.

The controller actually consists of two wands, which the user holds in their hands, while the PS3 camera tracks the movement and translates it into on-screen movement. In conjuction with the camera, the motion controllers can be replaced with other items, such as guns, displaying the player on the screen holding all sorts of items.

According to website VG247, one of the wands has a purple light on top, and the other has a red light. "It doesn't resemble the final unit as such," said Kish Hirani, the head of developer services at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. Hirani played through the E3 demo and called the controller "very, very responsive."

"It can track true 3D, wherever I move it will fully track on every axis," explained SCEE developer services boss Kish Hirani. SCEE's Colin Hughes added, "We're not getting any lag, which we had with the camera-based stuff on PS3 before."

The PS Eye camera ensures that vision is always on, and provides accurate 3D location and orientation. Hirani called it "true 3D position" thanks to the camera and internal sensor.

"There's a whole spectrum of things you can do with this controller," Hirani explained. "It picks up all the pitch and movement. It's precise and responsive — the sphere on [the front]is what the controller is tracking — it uses the full RGB spectrum for the colours."

The controllers are available to studios, but developers have to "make a case" to get them. Remember these are prototypes and, as Hirani, pointed out at the presentation, "extremely limited."

A good chunk of the presentation was tech heavy and directed at game developers. That's why they call this conference Develop 2009, you know.

VG247 » Blog Archive » Liveblog - Sony motion controller session, Develop 2009 [VG247] Sony motion controller is 'true interaction' [Develop]


    The technology sounds good and all.Though I'm assuming that Sony will make 5000 different peripherals that are required for specific games, Like what the Wii has going on.

      If it tracks different objects like they claim, they wouldn't need other addons. You can just pick up a toy of that shape and use it. (Or use real tennis racket, etc)

    I understand this is a prototype (even though it looks very responsive and quite ahead in development of this technology) but what they need to be doing is giving a certain type of time-frame for its release.

    Maybe like a year, 2010 (most likely late) or 2011. Not only that, types of games it will be used for. Whether older games are able to (Like Burnout with the Natal) or games developed with the technology.

    That way it is talked amongst the gaming community. Natal looks like it will be released before Sony's unnamed device, so we are obviously got a lot more info on the Natal - games, a name etc... but neither a release date. At least SOME sort of time frame would really help potential buyers!

    I cant remember when it is, but last i heard Sony's Wand actually is going to be out before natal hits.

      Really? Wow.
      Thats odd though with no announcement on games working on it, games that could work on it or even a name. They even said the wands used won't be the official ones when its released.

      Considering Natal has everything but a release date (and games in development centered around Natal) - i thought Natal would have a better chance on being release before!

      But then again, they also said Natal MIGHT not be the official name - but why name it then. Usually a OS's codename isn't actually ANNOUNCED whilst being developed or shown under its codename at a high profile event!

      You'd think it would be better endorsement on Sony's behalf.

    OK. It's responsive. But what's the speed limit that it can track, out of curiosity. Like say if you swing a golf club, will it pick that up (considering the headspeed can reach 100kph)

    Personally I think natal looks way more awesome which really sucks cos i just sold my 360 to get a ps3 :'(

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