Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) has confirmed that it has ‘mocked up’ a version of its PlayStation Move motion controller, adding analog sticks for use with the Project Morpheus PlayStation 4 virtual reality (VR) headset. SCE World Wide Studios Immersive Technology Group Director Simon Benson revealed as much speaking at a recent panel hosted by Develop, attended by VRFocus, suggesting that the company had tested a range of input methods for VR.
“Obviously we’ve prototyped an awful lot of things internally,” Benson replied when asked about input and if the PlayStation Move might be adapted for VR. “This project is still a prototype project.”
He continued, reasoning that the company still wasn’t sure analog input was the best form of control for VR. “We have actually mocked up Move controllers with analog sticks on them and all that kind of thing. So I think at the moment I think there’s actually so much to learn that we think, y’know that just getting the basic things right first is the important aspect.”
Project Morpheus was revealed at the Game Developers Conference 2014, where one demo, named The Castle, ran using two PlayStation Moves. Other software used the traditional DualShock 4 controller, which is also capable of motion control. Despite the variety of options, Benson suggested that analog sticks might not be the way to go for VR.
“What we need is to understand what our, if you like, de facto controlscape actually is,” he explained. “At the moment we don’t know enough about that aspect even, so we don’t know if analogue sticks are the right method. They’re certainly something we’re used to but it’s not necessarily the right thing, so I think we’ve got so much to learn that it’s almost too early to start locking down on those specific things.”
Many PC VR titles feature support for gamepad controllers right now, though new input methods such as the Prio VR motion control suit and Virtuix Omni multi-directional platform are on the horizon. Benson didn’t make mention of these methods, but did speak to the advantages of the PlayStation Move controller.
“I think that the Move controller already provides a great suite of options for us like when we plug the Move controller into the gun holder and put a virtual gun in the world you’ve got that tactile sensation of the gun grip then maybe use a Move controller without and you’ve just got the tactile sensation of maybe something that could be like a torch or a sword. Those things make a huge difference to the game.
“I think it’s all about making sure the controller is the right thing for the right purpose and wherever somebody’s going to settle on the more generic or whether it is that we just continue augmenting the controller to help it have that connection to the game is still to be decided I think,” Benson concluded.
Could we see a new version of the PlayStation Move with analog sticks attached? Or will SCE discover an entirely new way to play with Project Morpheus? VRFocus will continue to follow the headset’s development closely and report back with all the latest.