Sony Patents Reveal New Motion Controller Technologies

Could a new PlayStation Move be on the way?

Two new patents filed by Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) suggest that a new motion-controller could be on the way, specifically designed to boost the interactive nature of the company’s virtual reality (VR) platform, PlayStation VR. Not only does this potential revision of the existing PlayStation Move controller add an analog stick – a much requested feature of the PlayStation VR community – but also finger tracking technology.

PlayStation Move Controller patents January 2018

The first patent, filed by SIE in Japan and published earlier this month, shows the addition of an analog stick with several face-mounted buttons placed in the surrounding casing, as well as a trigger lying underneath. A handstrap sits alongside the controller opposed to being attached at the bottom as with existing PlayStation Move controllers.

A second patent which was filed in 2017 offers details on potential finger placement tracking, similar to Valve’s prototype Knuckles controllers. Important to note here is that this patent makes specific reference to the controller being tracked by the head-mounted display (HMD) opposed to an external camera, suggesting that a new HMD could include cameras for tracking of the controllers and thus potentially alleviating tracking issues with the current PlayStation Move controllers when they are occluded from the PlayStation Camera.

SIE’s VR initiative has seen significant growth in recent months, with the revised model, known as CUH-ZVR2, bringing a significant sales boost for PlayStation VR in Japan. Shortly thereafter, SIE announced that the HMD had surpassed two million unit sales worldwide, making PlayStation VR the current leading high-end VR platform.

PlayStation Move Controller patents January 2018PlayStation Move Controller patents January 2018

Whether or not these patents will lead to any new products in SIE’s VR line-up – whether that is in the form of new PlayStation Move controllers or a revised HMD – remains to be seen. However, the fact that SIE are paying attention to the demands of the existing PlayStation VR audience – at least in terms of research and development – will be a welcome reveal to early-adopters of the hardware.

SIE has patented many potential input devices for VR in the past with nothing yet having come from these innovations. As ever, VRFocus will continue to keep you updated with all the latest on VR input solutions for PlayStation VR and other formats.

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