Sony is filing patents for a new, spherical controller that could add a new level of emersion to VR gaming. Several such patents have been filed by Sony over the past few years, hinting at interesting new features for the PlayStation 5 or a future gaming console. These include new systems that can track a player's eye movements and provide in-game responses or even add odor to the gaming experience like the old Smell-O-Vision systems. Other Sony patents suggest that the company is working on improved parental controls or gameplay roulette systems that could give recommendations based on titles the user has already played.
Sony is still looking to improve upon the PlayStation 5’s DualSense controller, which has been praised for enhancing gameplay through its cutting-edge haptic feedback. New patents related to the DualSense include a version with earbud slots, as well as a detachable touchscreen peripheral that could allow them to stream content away from their TVs as an alternative to the recently announced PlayStation Portal Remote Player. Sony is also providing players with more accessible options like the modular PS5 Access controller that is set to launch on December 6.
A new pair of controller patents have been filed by Sony recently, detailing ideas for a deformable, sphere-shaped controller. According to the two patent documents, players will be able to squeeze this controller to trigger inputs, which in turn could allow for more accurate hand-tracking in VR titles like Horizon Call of the Mountain. Additionally, players could use two sphere controllers connected to a “hollow shaft” that can be used to simulate holding and firing a gun among other in-game actions.
This more mailable controller is somewhat similar to another patent filed by Sony earlier this year for a gamepad that can change temperatures based on the in-game environment or virtual objects the player interacts with. Sony has looked into more unconventional ways to control games over the years, including one patent that would let players use a banana in the place of a regular DualSense or a controller with collapsible thumbsticks for increased comfort and portability.
As is the case with most patent fillings, this new spherical Sony controller is likely still in the early planning stages, assuming it eventually sees the light of day at all. If it is successfully produced, though, it could add a new level of immersion to VR titles by letting players squeeze the controller like they would the trigger of a gun or an evil crystal that needs to be crushed by the hero’s hand to perform those actions in-game.
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