E3: Sony motion controller revealed

Purple-headed wand, 1:1 action.

Sony has waded into the motion controller arena, showing off a wand-like device during its E3 conference which looks to have a great range of applications to go with its 1:1 movement response.

Stressing that the prototype is very much a working engineering model, Richard Marks from Sony R&D whipped out a purple-headed rod that works with the PlayStation Eye to create a motion-tracking system.

The glowing ball at the tip of the wand is the key to the set-up, with the Eye locking onto it to judge space, movement and distance. During different applications this ball will change colour, picking up appropriate hues according to current context.

Marks, assisted by engineer Anthony Michelob, proceeded to demonstrate a range of different uses for the system, beginning with the simple and becoming more ambitious.

Sports, "the obvious " application, was first off the block, with Michelob flailing unathletically at tennis, base and golf balls with their respective sporting equipment, before connecting with a stylish stop-sign. Tracking appeared to be 1:1, and Marks made that claim a good few times too.

Weaponry was the next port of call, with a ludicrously large sword and mace popping up on the virtual display on-screen. Guns came next. After demoing a golden Desert Eagle from third-person perspective, we switched to first person, demonstrating the system's ability to host FPS gameplay, as well as indicating the "non-casual" potential

"Sub-millimetre accuracy" is the order of the day here, with 3D object-manipulation and handwriting illustrating the subtlety of the tool. The RTS genre was toyed with as well, unit-selection and movement being eminently possible.

It was back to war for the end of the demo, though, as two wands were employed as a sword and shield for melee combat, as well as shuriken and a bow for ranged destruction.

A little hint was dropped that the tech had been shared with devs already, as Marks claimed that "interest in the development community has been roused".

Expect it all to become a reality in spring next year. Excited.

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