Not content to be the only console system that doesn’t have people jumping around in front of it flailing their arms about like idiots risking potentially expensive television damage, Sony announced it’s own Wii-like motion controller for the PS3 today. Interestingly enough it appears to be taking cues from both Microsoft and Nintendo in that it’s a wand with positioning sensors in it that interacts with the PS3’s Playstation Eye webcam that’s already available. This setup means that the resulting controller is likely to be a lot less expensive than Microsoft’s Project Natal and it will offer a much greater degree of precision – true 1-to-1 sensing – than the Wii-mote. If you already own a Playstation Eye then you’re already halfway toward a new control scheme.
It appears Sony’s system makes use of a colored ball on the end of the wand which the camera locks in on as a control point. The color of the ball can be changed so that more than one wand can be used at the same time. All they had to show today was some tech demos that demonstrated the possible ways one or two wands could be used together. Here’s the first part of the demo with the second part after the jump:
In a way it’s a major compliment to Nintendo that both Microsoft and Sony have felt the need to add some form of Wii-like motion control mechanics to their systems as it’s a tacit acknowledgment of the impact the Wii has had on the industry. What’s interesting is how Microsoft appears to be trying to make their control system much more comprehensive where as Sony is taking the basic Wii functionality and improving it greatly. Ultimately it looks like you’re going to have the option for getting out of your chair and waggling about regardless of which system you own. Sony plans to have their new controller on the market early next year. Don’t forget to watch the second part after the jump.