Sony Motion Controller: Handheld controls greatly increase precision

Friday, 31 July 2009 16:39 GMT By Stephany Nunneley


PS3 special projects manager Dr. Richard Marks has been talking up Sony’s new motion controller to PC World.

While the company has yet to make an official announcement for the peripheral, Marks did provide information as to why it’s important that you hold something in your hand.

“We learned that while people definitely enjoy physical interaction and movement, they also want precise control and a simple, fast, reliable way to trigger actions. We designed our new control system to accomplish all of this,” he told the site. “We believe the path we have chosen is an ideal combination of both spatial and action/button input, and of course we can combine that with voice and video data from the PlayStation Eye mic array and camera.

“Having a hand-held controller greatly increases the precision that is possible, since we have designed it specifically for that purpose. The new controller’s high-precision embedded sensors detect the sensitive movements of the hands, and the PlayStation Eye tracks the sphere on the controller to precisely detect the position in real-life 3D space.

“Another huge benefit of having a controller comes from being able to trigger abstract actions with a simple button press. This is very important, because this event triggering capability is complementary to the spatial input provided by the tracking, and some experiences need both.

“No matter how good our visual tracking might become, the feeling you get from actually squeezing something physical is a better simulation than just positioning your finger. This relates to an interface phenomenon I call “somatic gratification”. The feeling of the interaction can be just as important as the effectiveness.

Marks went on to say that Sony is looking into the possibility of incorporating familiar characters and franchises with the peripheral, and while the new controller will be out sometime during spring 2010, further details, along with a name, will be provided an official announcement is made.