News Article

Sony to Reveal Copycat Motion Controller at E3?

Posted by Damien McFerran

If you can't beat them, join them

Ok, before we start let's get one thing clear - this is piece of news is still trapped in rumour-ville for the time being.

With that out of the way, we can get down to business. We've heard word that Sony is set to reveal details of its own 'motion-sensing' controller for the PS3 at E3 this year.

"But the PS3 already has that" I hear you cry - in the form of the somewhat dubious Sixaxis pad. However, rumour has it that this new controller will be more akin to Nintendo's Wii Remote. According to Variety, a third-party developer has already been briefed by Sony and is preparing to include support for the new device in its upcoming titles.

As with all industry gossip, it's wise to take this with a pinch of salt (remember Microsoft's Wii Remote rip-off that some people were 100% convinced was coming last year?) but we have to admit that the people leaking the info are pretty reliable - Variety is a big force in publishing and they'll end up looking pretty silly if this doesn't come to pass.

Putting that issue aside for a moment, this move would display a terrible lack of originality from Sony - a company that isn't previously known for being all that innovative anyway. To be perfectly honest, we think it's going to take a hell of a lot more than a motion-sensing controller for the PS3 to win over the Wii crowd and claw back some market share - a significant price cut might be a better option - or some decent exclusives that aren't already available on the 360.

[via engadget.com]

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User Comments (57)

Homer_Simpson

#1

Homer_Simpson said:

Well, it definitely wouldn't surprise me, especially now that Sony have lost most of the hardcore market to Microsoft, and casual gaming is very much on the rise.
Still, at least Wii will always be first :P.

Wrenski

#2

Wrenski said:

Ugh, I really hope this rumor doesn't persist. This is why Nintendo put off announcing many games from E3 till their own event, because there were tons of rumors that Microsoft and Sony were going to take up arms and finally try to steal the new market.

If there's any legitimacy, we'd have a repeat of last year, with hardcore whiners crying their eyes out and declaring the doom of all gaming on message boards everywhere, and...

Actually, nevermind, more hardcore manchild breakdowns would be endlessly hilarious and worth the delay on new game info. Keep the rumors flowing!

MrPinguy

#5

MrPinguy said:

@theblackdragon.
That one was strong :D (Another AA fan?)
As i said on the other comment thread, their way of market just shows how desesperate they are.
Tsc Tsc, what a shame i really wanted to buy a PS3 in the future because of the exclusives and BlueRay, i hope that i not making a bad purchase since i already have a wii.

KDR_11k

#6

KDR_11k said:

It's too late now, if they wanted to have any success with a Wiimote knockoff they should've revealed that in 2008 at latest. Of course then they'd still have gotten owned by the WMP.

I don't think Nintendo will go into counter mode now, Sony is moving too late and has already lost.

get2sammybAdmin

#7

get2sammyb said:

I knew you were going to post this. While I could argue your point about "decent exclusives not on the XBOX 360", I'm not going to bother because it's the kind of blind sighted commentary I expect from all press these days - so there is no point in commenting.

On the whole motion sensor thing -- I think Nintendo expected this a long time ago; I remember them opening their E3 last year (or the year before) commenting on how "immitation is the sincerest form of flattery" -- obviously scripted from when they were convinced the Microsoft were going to announce a Motion Controller.

What I would say is this: Sony have mulled in and around the casual market just as much as Nintendo (if not more) during the Playstation 2 days -- if you want to pretend that the Wii wasn't influenced by social party games such as Singstar, Eye Toy/Eye Play and Buzz! Quiz TV, then that's fine -- but let's not pretend Nintendo are sole innovators; something that Nintendo fans are always quick to argue, quickly overlooking much of what the competition has done for the industry too -- I'd argue that LittleBigPlanet is 100 times more innovative than anything Nintendo have released in the past few years (Wii Sports aside).

Alas, I do agree that a motion controller will not be what Sony needs to claw back market share -- however it does continye to show the range of content that Sony are willing to provide for the console: LittleBigPlanet, God Of War, Buzz!, Resistance, Singstar, Killzone -- It's my opinion but I'd argue Sony's exclusive line-up is much more varied than any of their competitors.

I'm not sure ripping off the Wii-remote would be the best way to win over gamers who are highly invested in their hobby. There's absolutely no doubt, and Sony must expect it, that this is going to be met with major uproar. It's going to have differentiate itself from the Wii remote almost instantly.

Having said that, if they can come up with some interesting ways of using this thing, it will be interesting to see how a Wii-type experience transpires on a fully-capable HD console -- it's certainly something I'd like to SEE.

At the end of the day though, the Playstation 3's focus is to be a centre piece of the living room, and to gain entire family appeal. I'd argue Sony do it better than anyone -- but without focus on Eye Toy (or Wii Remote) they still have that new "Nintendo audience" of over 50's to untap. Can they do it? Probably not, but we'll see.

Like I said, it'd be naive of any Nintendo fan to think that this wasn't going to happen eventually, be it Sony or Microsoft. If this really is true though, it's certainly not going to be the "staplemark" of the PS3 experience. It's very likely it'll get packaged in with a new SKU and only get supported by a few games.

EDIT: Just to tie in with the rumour though; SCEA's marketing head honcho John Koller said they were "after the casual market" a few weeks ago.

EDIT 2: From Nintendo's point of view, I think they have little to worry about. They've secured the Wii's name this generation as the machine for "casual gamers" and Sony can NEVER compete on price. The Wii is the "Playstation 2" of this generation and Sony are really going to have to release something culturally phenomonal again (a la Singstar) to even capture 10% of what Wii Fit has done.

EDIT 3: Let's never speak of the SIXAXIS again. ;)

CorbsAdmin

#8

Corbs said:

I'm still waiting for the boomerang controller to come out. :)

get2sammybAdmin

#9

get2sammyb said:

@ Corbie - moi too. How amazing would it be when you're having a fit of rage and throw your controller, that it comes spinning back into your hands?

DamoAdmin

#11

Damo said:

I kinda knew that the news post might spark some kind of Sony fanboy reaction, but then again this IS a Nintendo-focused site... ;)

get2sammybAdmin

#13

get2sammyb said:

@ Damo - not a Sony "fanboy" reaction -- just an objective discussion on what I read.

I'm as sceptical of this as you.

Objection

#14

Objection said:

Well, I agree about the exclusives comment. What does PS3 and ONLY PS3 have? MGS4 and Littlebigplanet..and though great titles, thats about it. FFXIII, if you count the near future.

aaronsullivan

#17

aaronsullivan said:

Why all the hate? Bring it on, Sony. I thought people here generally liked the Wiimote. Why not have it on more systems? I for one would love to have my Blu-ray player have wii-mote style pointing and controls.

Nothing wrong with Nintendo getting wake-up calls now and then, too. It's a company that is prone to rest on its laurels no matter how much they speak to the contrary. Kick 'em in the pants.

I'm a huge Nintendo fanboy, but... it doesn't extend to hate or even dislike of other systems, that's just silly kid stuff. I have a somewhat irrational adoration for the main franchises (Zelda, Mario, Metroid), though. I do like watching the big players battle it out, too. It's like watching sports. I'm not the kind of sports fan that has disgust or hate for a team. That's sort of a waste of energy isn't it? lol.

Sorry... rambling a bit.

Adam

#18

Adam said:

I liked Flow, but I'm not even going to bother with Flower, haha. Seriously, what were they thinking? PS3 has a lot of good exclusives. MGS4 and LBP may be the best of these, but that is still ignoring a lot else. I think Sony takes a lot of unnecessary flak because people still think lowly of them for their laughable start with the overpriced system and, initially, no good games other than Resistance.

However, more to the point of this post, I'm skeptical of this. I think they'll at least have the sense not to make it look like the Wii remote if they do something like this. I mean, the Wii is really cheap. If Sony fans want motion controls, they've probably already bought a Wii in addition to their PS3. I think this will be a huge waste of money on their part if this is serious. It's not going to appeal to most who already own it, and it certainly isn't going to steal away Nintendo's fan base.

KDR_11k

#19

KDR_11k said:

LittleBigPlanet, God Of War, Buzz!, Resistance, Singstar, Killzone -- It's my opinion but I'd argue Sony's exclusive line-up is much more varied than any of their competitors.

Let me dissect that a bit...
LBP is the sole entry into its genre on the system. It's a nice game to have in addition to other stuff but if it's your primary genre the PS3 is still too lacking as there's nothing else (while the DS has a TON of games that are similar).
GoW somewhat but since it's not a new franchise it's already seeing tons of imitators on all systems so the uniqueness of it is lost somewhat and it doesn't stand out anymore.
Buzz and Singstar were on the PS2 and don't benefit from the PS3 transition at all so Sony's fiercest competitor for that userbase is itself. A PS2 costs 100€, a PS3 400, there's practically no difference for these games, which would you pick?
Resistance and Killzone are just yet another xPS, there's plenty of those both cross platform and 360 exclusive, some better than R and KZ.

I think overall Sony's exclusives end up being aimed too much at existing PS3 owners already and not doing enough to get new PS3 owners. Especially considering the genre variety in general has been reduced heavily on the HD systems and most of the big exclusives are within the few genres that remain (and are overcrowded).

plankton88

#21

plankton88 said:

Oh yeah, that why Nintendo will be putting out their new system in 2011, so hold out.

get2sammybAdmin

#23

get2sammyb said:

@ KDR_11k - Please name me a DS game that allows you to full build your own entire 2D platform level/shooter/music-track, upload it to a gigantic world of other levels, and play literally millions of user created content (some of which are very, very good -- see the Dead Space level).

I wouldn't disagree that a lot of the PS3's content is stuff that has come from the PS2 - and I don't think that's a bad thing. I love Nintendo, really I do, I've played Nintendo systems forever and I've written quite a few reviews for here and Wii-Ware World in the past... But just like it's naive for people to say "PS3z haz no gmaes" I could also pretend like the Wii has no games - this isn't true. The Wii has tons of content that suit a wide audience. But when the toss-up is between Wii Music or Resistance 2. I pick Resistance 2. When the toss up is between House Of The Dead: Overkill or Resident Evil 5, I pick RE5. It doesn't mean said games are bad, I just feel I'm getting more the experience I want elsewhere.

Certainly it's subjective, but alas that's the first thing that came into my mind when you said about the PS3 not getting new owners - to be honest I really don't care. They're putting out the games I want to play.

@ Corbie - are we trying to pretend like Flower is a bad game in here? Because, and I say this with 101% honestly, it's still my game of the year.

Metacritic = 87:
http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/ps3/flower?q=flower

I really don't want to flame but, erm, let's not even get onto the topic of WiiWare vs. Playstation Store.

SmaMan

#24

SmaMan said:

So they want to start having similar features of the Wii? Like a remote and casual games for casual gamers?

That would mean on one hand you can get the Wii that has already established this base for about $250 (correct me if I'm wrong) or you can get the PS3 that's just starting in this category for $499... yeah.

Maybe the PS3 is trying to come out the closet? lol

@get2sammyb
How can you even compare Wii Music and Resistance 2? Resistance is a shooter and Wii Music is... well, a game of some sort. I, too, would probably choose Resistance 2 over Wii Music, but there's no way you can compare those two.

Wiiloveit

#25

Wiiloveit said:

If they do copy the Wii, "core" gamers will likely switch to the 360, since obviously motion sensing is too "kiddy" for gore fans.

City_Of_Delusion

#26

City_Of_Delusion said:

And now a controversial statement from a newb:

LittleBigPlanet is not innovative.

For a platformer, maybe. For a console game, maybe. But not Teh Most Innovative Game Evar.

Why? TrackMania did it all ages ago.

Game's default levels made with in-game editor? Check.
Ability to make any levels you like with said in-game editor? Check.
Ability to upload your own levels for everyone to download in both site form and in-game? Check.
Ability to download hundreds of thousands of tracks: some of which are very good (Moving Power, the two Trump Cards, King Of The Speed etc.). Check.

Admittedly, TrackMania didn't allow you to make moving objects, Garry's Mod-style. Oh...

jangonov

#27

jangonov said:

I agree with aaronsulivan. I dont hate the other systems. I dislike the ps3 only becuase of its lack of games. Not because "sony is the enemy"

Vendetta

#30

Vendetta said:

Three recent items that came to mind when I read this: 1.) Nintendo sued Nyko for making a (wireless) nunchuk too similar in design and materials to its own, forcing the withdrawal and redesign of Nyko's product. 2.) Recent article here about the release of the Wii remote's patent art. 3.) IGN 2008 interview with InvenSense, creators of the Motion Plus, wherein the executive interviewed discloses they are working also with other game system vendors to offer enhanced motion sensing controllers.
IGN: Is this InvenSense's first partnership with a gaming company?

Virginia: I can't say yes or no to that question. As you might imagine there are other gaming companies that InvenSense is working with. What we're proud about the Nintendo relationship is this will be, I do believe the first to market with our product, the IDG 600. But that is not to say this is an exclusive relationship. The IDG 600 is not a custom product, but it is a product that has been designed with Nintendo's specification in mind.

get2sammybAdmin

#31

get2sammyb said:

@Smaman - I wasn't comparing the games on a game:game ratio -- I was merely stating that while Nintendo's big Q4 release was Wii Music, Sony's was Resistance 2 and LittleBigPlanet. And I infinitely prefer Sony's titles.

@ City_of_Delusion - oh sorry. I didn't realise we were playing the "but-but-but this did it first" -- LittleBigPlanet is innovative. I can't see how anyone can deny that. Having said that - yes I am a newb for not knowing about Trackmania.

@ Caliko - what does that have to do with anything? This doesn't even have anything to do with PSP or DS does it?

I love Nintendo but I sometimes think the fans put them on a pedestal FAR too high. They did not create the universe. They have made some very good systems with some very good games. That doesn't mean that no-one else has.

SmaMan

#33

SmaMan said:

I love Nintendo but I sometimes think the fans put them on a pedestal FAR too high. They did not create the universe.
Yeah, but they did save the gaming universe back in 1985 with the NES. Old enough to remember the crash?

MrPoo6321

#34

MrPoo6321 said:

I think this is an awesome idea, I have a Wii and a PS3, and I probably play the PS3 about 5 times as much as I play the Wii. If MadWorld was made with HD graphics, that would've been insanely awesome. I know graphics aren't everything and I love the Wii, but Sony does have a lot of great games coming out this year. I'm really not looking forward to anything on the Wii this year that I can think of immediately. Especially since my most anticipated WiiWare title, Animales de la Muerte isn't coming out anymore. I wish the Wii would have implemented HD capabilities when it came out and one of the reasons why I love the PS3 is it's ability to push graphics to new levels of awesomeness. Wipeout HD is so entrancing and that new Sega Genesis collection of games makes me wish I'd never purchased a lot of them on the Virtual Console. Especially because they translated the graphics to HD. The SIXAXIS controller really isn't all that bad with the motion stuff. I liked it in Uncharted, Heavenly Sword and Ratchet & Clank Future Tools of Destruction. When I first started using the Wiimotes, I thought, why didn't anyone think of this before? I think this is great news, and if Sony can come out with good software to match it, it could be a great selling point for the PS3 (which already has so many), and maybe hopefully, finally put a nail in the Xbox's coffin.

Junkface

#35

Junkface said:

I try to stay positive. If sony starts using this motion controler than perhaps we will start to see more games available for the wii and ps3. Perhaps my logic is flawed but if both companies are using this control scheme, game companies will make more games with motion in mind and be able to sell these on both systems?

wiiboy101

#36

wiiboy101 said:

D-PAD innovator = nintendo stolen by sony and everyone else
ANALOG innovator= nintendo stolen by sony and sega then everyone
RUMBLE PAK innovator=nintendo stolen by sony and everyone else
SHOULDER BUTTONS innovator=nintendo stolen by everyone else
1st controllable 3d cam in 3d games mario 64 innovated by nintendo copied by the whole dam industry (nintendo tried to patten moving cams)
dualshock sony copied snes pad wen n64 hit sony added 2 analogs and rumble to the snes rip off pad and called it dualshock

consoles n64 reality engine = vector unit and risc cpu fed by ram bus ram

a generation later ps2 EMOTION ENGINE(COUGH) vector units and a risc cpu and rambus ram ps2 ripped of the n64

IF SONY WERE AS YOU FANS PUT IT COOL/THE BEST/A GAMING COMPANY/MATURE(COUGH)

then could you please explain why they didnt innovate any of the above WHAT DOES A SONY FANBOY ACTUALLY FAN

ANSWER """""""""!!!NOTHING!!""""" HE ACTUALLY FANS NINTENDO AND DOESNT EVEN REALIZE HE/SHE IS DOING IT AS EVERYTHING ON THE CONSOLE THAT MAKES IT A CONSOLE IS NINTENDO INNOVATED """!!!FIRST!!!"""

shall i go on sony are fakers/thief's/liars/bull poo talkers/non innovators/down right shhit WHO WOULD FAN THEM SERIOUSLY

wiiboy101

#37

wiiboy101 said:

improved wiimote and nunchuck additional innovations plus HD =Wii HD

2010 MAYBE 2011 BUT I SAY 2010 theres ur hd 3d motion and forward ready console NINTENDO WILL DOUBLE WHAMMY Sony and Microsoft

DSandDSi wii and wii HD ALL ON THE MARKET AT THE SAME TIME before ps4 and x720

microsoft and sony are way way way behind the game

Crazed

#38

Crazed said:

I don't see what the problem is with Sony trying to use a controller like the Wiimote. I actually agree with Aaronsullivan (18) that people on the PS3 would like a controller like this. I think a more important question should be "what game is going to use this controller?" Since many games have already been released without motion sensing, I wouldn't be surprised if Sony players just ignore the controller and continued to play what ever they were playing. Unless this controller is included with a huge game (say...LBP 2), this controller will be unsuccessful on the PS3. Although I don't have a PS3, I do have a 360, and I wouldn't buy anything with motion sensing just for the fact that I'm happy with the games that I have right now that don't have motion sensing. So, my question to everyone here is... If these rumors are true, and you set aside the fact that Sony would rip off Nintendo by doing this, would you buy this controller on its own?

RadioShadow

#40

RadioShadow said:

Copy cats usually fail and it's going to have a hard time getting it to work well like on decent Wii games.

RallyFTW

#41

RallyFTW said:

Seriously. Out of all of the things that sony wanted to do, they do this? I believe what WhoKnew and RadioShadow said is true.

Richard

#43

Richard said:

This is so old - look who's copying who and all that - Its a bit like the iphone - six months later all the major phone manufactures have a phone out that looks just like an iphone. Trouble for Sony is the boat has sailed - the same happened for their music players.

Kid_A

#45

Kid_A said:

theblackdragon has the burn of the week. But really, Nintendo has pretty much forced the other company's hands. Without motion controls Sony and Microsoft will quickly become irrelevent. Good graphics and online can only get you so far. It's not terribly original on Sony's part, no. It's just what they have to do.

SmaMan

#46

SmaMan said:

If Sony comes out with this controller (and X360 rumoring something similar), it will end up looking like an afterthought. Developers will want to make games that they know a majority of people will have the peripherals for. I think it's just a little too late in this console generation to come out with something completely new for a console like this.
Maybe next gen, but now is too late.

marktheshark

#47

marktheshark said:

Too late Sony. It's gonna take a few to several years for you guys to recover from the mess you're in.

super-nintendo

#49

super-nintendo said:

Sony won official Game of The Year 2008 with LittleBigPlanet from the AIAS. They also won handheld Game of The Year 2008 for God of War PSP. I think many of you can't grasp Sony's business but it won't stop their 10 year plan for PS3. Sony is serious competition now in Japan, 360 has hardly any exclusives, and Nintendo better work harder on hardcore fans. I love Nintendo too, but won't sit here and deny awesome Sony. :)

SmaMan

#50

SmaMan said:

PS3's 10 year plan? No wonder they've been advertising the same games since launch!

SwerdMurd

#51

SwerdMurd said:

@ super-nintendo - agreed. PS3's exclusives list, while it may be shorter than 360s, is much higher caliber. Nintendo has a similarly superior kick-ass exclusives list...but yes, for the first time in a metric ton of Nintendo console generations, I'm beginning to lose faith in Nintendo...when are we going to have a decent new IP? Everything takes the form of Nintendogs or Brain Age...I dunno, I just don't see a new Metroid of Zelda-caliber series popping up any time soon because Nintendo just doesn't seem interested in that arena of development, and it's sad. Ever since Gamecube they've been over-obsessed with this cutesy image...and I'm bored with it.

BlueFlameBat

#52

BlueFlameBat said:

Sony can copy Nintendo's design, but I have a feeling Nintendo will still dominate in its current market because Nintendo knows how to make the games that really utilize the motion controls (despite what anyone says about Wii Music). And if Sony does manage to make the games work, this could push Nintendo into branching back more to the hardcore crowd.

hamispink

#53

hamispink said:

Im sorry, but have you seen the exclusive lineup for the ps3, it now towers over that of the 360, and is set to rise incredibly as time goes on.
The wii is a great console, but as for games, they have games that have already out, and mario and zelda "are coming", ive been hearing that for over a year now and i have seen nothing. its really annoying for me, a gamer who really wants nintendo to make me happy.
oh well, better go fire up my little big planet :P

AVahne

#54

AVahne said:

meh,if Sony released a control that copies the Wii's,there wouldn't that much of an impact.they're also gonna have to make the motion controls REALLY good to compete with the Wiimote since Motion + is around the corner and that thing offers perfect motion controls,if done right

RallyFTW

#55

RallyFTW said:

Well, As long as competition is still alive, it will be much better for the more informed consumers in the long run.

Devastator

#56

Devastator said:

I have a PS3, and the sixaxis works somewhat for Heavenly Sword and MotorStorm. The PS3 would have to come out with a sensor bar like the Wii to accomplish what Nintendo has done. When does E3 start? I know it is coming up soon.

The_Indigo_Effect

#57

The_Indigo_Effect said:

Sony always copies Nintendo/improves upon Nintendo's ideas, and it always benefits them. The PS1 had a clear lead over the N64 when they ripped off the rumble pack and analog stick. In retrospect, anyone who calls themself a Playstation fan would be lying if they said that the aforementioned innovations weren't important. The bulk of most current-gen games today incorporate analog stick controls. Being a PS3 owner, I'm actually pretty excited about it because: 1) Given the copious amount of first-person shooters available on the system, having a controller that could provide precision aiming would be great.Think about it; no more tank turret controls to contend with! 2) Real-time strategy titles would benefit greatly, and I'm sure we'd see more of them. 3) From what I've heard, Sony is developing a break-apart controller that largely remains faithful to the physical design of the Six Axis controller, so it shouldn't be difficult or awkward to get accustomed to.

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