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Sony files patent for Vive-style PSVR tracking device

It looks like PSVR could become even more immersive.
Tom Regan, @grapedosmil
02.15.17 in AV
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Sony is experimenting with its own Vive-style VR tracking device, according to a patent filing from June. The document hints at a tracker working similarly to HTC's current virtual reality tech. Functioning as an external projector, the device would use lights and mirrors to map the player's real world movements straight into PSVR. While Sony's VR offering currently uses a camera to detect light from the player's headset, the existing tracking limits users to an incredibly small space. With light often interfering with the PS4's camera, if this new tech makes it to production it could not only give gamers more mobility but also potentially provide a more accurate and immersive PSVR experience.

While merely filing a patent doesn't guarantee that the tech will ever see the light of day, Sony investing in a more immersive PSVR experience makes a lot of sense. Being able to physically walk around a virtual world does wonders for creating a feeling of presence and if it makes it to market, this new device could help PSVR stand toe-to-toe with the more technically accomplished Vive.

Interestingly, the patent states that the tracking device is wireless, suggesting it would connect to a PS4 through either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. With the competition already announcing wireless peripherals of their own, it's no surprise that Sony may be following in their footsteps.The patent gives no indication, however, whether the tracker would be an add-on for the existing headset or incorporated as a part of a PSVR successor.

PSVR was released last October. Since then, Sony has kept quiet about the tech, omitting sales numbers from end of year press releases and failing to announce many new titles for the platform at its last conference. Yet with more bundles hitting the shelves and Sony's recently released PS4 Pro offering a noticeable bump in VR performance, these patents help suggest that the company's not done with VR just yet.

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