PS3 "break apart" motion pad sighted

Uses Wi-Fi and PS Eye to track movement.

Sony has filed a US patent for the "break apart" motion-sensing PlayStation 3 controller, confirming "source"-fuelled speculation from the summer.

This patent covers the special ultrasonic and video capture hybrid technology within the controller, which tracks three-dimensional movement of using data collected via Wi-Fi and the PlayStation Eye. And even Deborah Meaden would like that.

Those sources - from whence the initial chatter came - also suggested that Sony had shipped prototypes to developers for trial. There's no specific confirmation of this, but the existence of the patent adds further credibility to the claims.

Accompanying diagrams show the controller as a similar shape to the Wiimote, although more ergonomic, with a big blob on the end - presumably to increase visibility with the PlayStation Eye.

Both controllers can apparently be clipped together end-to-end, which makes them look a little like a double-sided maraca. And a traditional PS3 controller layout can also be attached across both pads.

Sony already has motion-sensing PS3 capabilities through Sixaxis, of course, although we've seen this added to games as little more than a gimmick so far. You use motion-sensing to turn a wheel in Killzone 2, in fact, which promptly confused all Eurogamer Expo goers playing for the first time.

Perhaps that lead to Mirror's Edge being voted as Game of the Show. Oh but wait, that also had Sixaxis-wobbling across the balance beam.

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