Say what you will about the PlayStation Move controller, but it’s debut on the PS3 wasn’t too impressive. That could be blamed for less-than-stellar games released that use the PS Move, or it could be the device itself simply ready wasn’t for ‘primetime’ so to speak. Whatever the reasoning, the PS Move was a bit of a flop, yet Sony hasn’t counted it out just yet. If a recent patent is to be believed, Sony is not only rethinking the PS Move, but is aiming to revolutionize the motion-controlled niche and become its forerunner.
Move over Kinect and Wiimote, because Sony may be developing a controller that feels ‘alive.’
Engadget reports that Sony has filed a US Patent for a ‘modular controller’ that behaves a lot like the PS Move that can actually transform from one shape to another. According to the patent description, players can attach various parts to the modular controller that would not only change how the controller feels, but also how it behaves within the game. A controller that can bend to the will of the game? It’s an awesome idea without question, but how would it work?
The patent provides a few examples. One ‘block’ could be used to extend the controller and make it function as a sword, and when the player switched to a shotgun in-game? The handle of the sword could transition upward to simulate the feeling of a shotgun. If the player then decides to pick up an assault rifle? Players could pick up another ‘block’ to simulate the stock of an assault rifle, thus giving the player the feeling that they are actually aiming and firing an assault rifle.
In other words, real-time morphing of one object to another as you play the game.
Think about the possibilities: one moment, you’re holding the controller like a whip as you swing the controller and ‘whip’ enemies on-screen, and the moment you pick up a sniper rifle? The controller morphs in your hands, bending and shaping itself in a way that simulates a sniper rifle, thus causing the player to hold a sniper rifle in their hand, aim, and pull a trigger on the controller (yes, the trigger morphed into the controller itself) to kill an enemy.
And if you jump behind the wheel of a vehicle? The controller morphs into a steering wheel. Prefer a motorcycle? No problem. The controller could morph into handlebars, forcing players to steer the controller as they drive around the game. I wonder how in-depth the simulations could go as well – for instance, if the player had to lockpick a door. Could the controller morph and shrink itself down a bit to simulate a lockpick set? Again, this is all speculation. Yet by judging from Sony’s patent, this is exactly how they are thinking about this new breed of controller.
This type of controller sounds so ridiculous that it seems impossible, and even a few years ago, it probably would be. Yet, flexible electronics are here, and when you look at the technology behind Samsung’s flexible smartphone display and flexible television shown off at this year’s Consumer Electronic’s Show (CES), one thing becomes clear: Sony could definitely pull something like this off. The technology is here – they simply need to know how to harness it correctly.
In the end, this is only a patent and nothing more. There is a decent chance this controller will never become an actual product (remember Sony’s patent for degradeable video game demos a few years ago?), but then again, there is also a chance it will become a real product. It’s a matter of waiting and seeing what happens.
What do you guys think? Would you use a product like this? What games would you want to play with a ‘transforming PS Move’ controller? Let us know in the comments below!
Article by Dusty W.
Insert Date: 1/28/2014