Sony’s just officially pulled the wrappers off its motion-control peripherals–the one’s we’re eagerly awaiting. They’re due in the Spring, which is probably before Microsoft’s Natal will arrive, and they’ll beat the next-gen Wii by a year.
Sony has not named the thing properly yet…it’s dubbed Motion Controller in the press release with the rider that its just a “tentative” title. In terms of hardware, it’s pretty much exactly like the prototype Sony’s been demonstrating at press events, just prettied-up to make it look very PlayStation-like.
The wand has two motion-sensors, a three-axis gyro and triple axis accelerometer–which is intriguing. (What are the other two motion sensors for?) It will only work in concert with the PlayStation eye camera/microphone unit, and come with a rumblepack for haptic feedback–imagine your sword hand jolting when you slice through someone’s armor. The glowing sensor ball’s color can be customized, and games can give visual feedback to the player by adjusting its “illuminating patterns.” It’s got a li-ion rechargeable power pack, of course, and uses Bluetooth 2.0 tech to hook up wirelessly to the PS3.
Obviously the success of the whole motion-control endeavor is dependent on excellent game support, so Sony’s also revealed some of the title’s that’ll be available with the controller next year:
- Ape Escape
- Echochrome 2
- Eccentric Slider
- Sing and Draw
- Champions of Time
- Motion Party
- The Shoot
- Hustle Kings
- High Velocity Bowling
Don’t expect to find games with these exact titles though. They’re mainly works-in-progress, and the last five titles on the list will get motion support added by network updates.
This is all welcome news–even though the most important data, the price, is still undecided. It’s just vague enough that it has us intrigued. Sony’s obviously keen to get as much industry hype a-whirling as possible before the product hits the shelves. And by making details available ahead of Microsoft’s unveiling, and at the same time as Nintendo’s Wii price drop is hitting the news, it’s obvious that Sony is trying really hard to regain its position in the race. Sony is hingeing much of the future of the PS3 on these peripherals. And coupled with news that the slimmed-down PS3 console has sold a million units in three weeks, Sony might just be able to get back on track.