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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Sony wizards up wand patent promise

Sony wizards up wand patent promise

"A fishy thing called Wanda

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usTHOUGH IT has only recently surfaced it looks like Sony holds a patent that looks marvellously close to Nintendo's Revolution controller.

This patent is for a gaming "wand" and was filed in December 2004. Nobody is sure how this has managed to keep quiet for so long but if you care to read through this document you'll see that there are more than a few similarities.

While it seems to have been initially developed for the PS2 nobody has seen anything of it apart from the document linked above. This could, of course, mean that the project has been completely abandoned but there is still the option that it will show up on the PS3. With Nintendo's new controller raking in so much popularity it would be easy for Sony to unearth a patent like this and get to work on it before the release of the PS3; had it not been planned already.

The details could be interpreted in any number of ways but the "wand" interacts with a webcam designed only to respond to certain colours of light (most likely infra-red) and ignore ambient lights. This information is then broken down to positions and movement and sorted out by the console itself. Unfortunately it is completely unclear whether or not this would be a webcam designed purely for the purpose or whether this is another peripheral for the eye toy… which would be quite a disappointment.

Both Sony and Microsoft have worked on this kind of technology already to some extent, though neither seem to have applied it as well as Nintendo. The real question left on my mind is, with Sony saying it still has a big surprise to be revealed in February, could be a planned unveiling of something to replace the infamous "boomerang" pad?"

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