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 first 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 colors."

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 [VG247]
Sony motion controller is 'true interaction' [Develop]