Sony patents detail VR motion controller concepts

The designs claim greater haptic feedback and finger-tracking.

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David Lumb
January 29, 2018 6:29 PM

Earlier this week, the eagle-eyed VR Focus caught wind of two patents filed by Sony Interactive Entertainment, which look suspiciously like motion controllers. It's too early to tell whether these are our first looks at an entirely new one for PlayStation VR. But it's been eight years since the Move controllers first hit the market, so these may inform the design of the models Sony eventually develops to follow up on its aging VR wands.

The first patent includes figures that look like a vertical grip controller with a thumbstick at the top, buttons splayed out on top of that, and a trigger on the other side nestled under the index finger. A hand strap pokes out over the side, but it's the guts of the controller that show promise: Interlocking gears under the 'grip' expand and contract to give immersive feedback 'capable of imparting a tactile sense to a user," according to the patent.

The other patent is for tracking a user's individual finger placement solely using the head mounted display (HMD), i.e. a headset. This would work differently than the current PSVR setup, which uses the PlayStation Camera to follow the position of Move controllers. In other words, we'd need a new HMD to take advantage of this design.

Whether these make it into a future Sony VR setup is anyone's guess, but it's worth noting that PSVR is leading the nascent high-end VR gaming market with over 2 million units sold.

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