Nintendo Wiimote Microsoft Natal Sony Sixaxis motion controller PS3

Nintendo Wiimote Microsoft Natal Sony Sixaxis motion controller PS3Nintendo has the Wiimote. Microsoft now has Natal. And Sony has the Sixaxis. Which no-one likes. So Sony has come up with a new motion controller for the PS3. The Motion Controller – we’re presuming they’re going to come up with a different name later on – is still in its early stages and was shown off as a tech demo at E3.

It uses two controllers that work with the Playstation Eye camera.  Much like the Wii, a sensor sits on top of the TV and detects the position, distance and movement of two controllers held in a user’s hand. 

The two controllers can measure how close they are to each other and also the sensor, allowing for full 3D movement in-game. The demonstration involved Sony employees wielding tennis rackets and swords, firing a bow and arrow, writing on screen and manipulating objects in a virtual environment.

Dr Richard Marks, who developed the EyeToy for the PS2, noted that, “One thing that is really difficult to do in a virtual world is drawing.  And in particular, writing requires extreme precision. [The controller can be measured] to sub-millimetre accuracy.”

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After Microsoft’s all-singing, all-dancing Natal, the controller seems unflashy, and didn’t get critics’ pulses racing.  Steve Boxer, games writer for The Guardian, summed up the mildly interested reaction of most:

“I thought the basic idea behind the controller was sound and could lead to some interesting gameplay, but it was very much a tech demo, and compared to Project Natal, it didn’t look quite so compelling.  But kudos to Sony for recognising the need to make some sort of physical controller.”