PS3 Motion Controller Q&A

SCEA's Rick Marks sheds a little more light on Sony's upcoming Motion Controller for the PlayStation 3.

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Sony's upcoming controller for the PlayStation 3, still known simply as the PS3 Motion Controller, has been the source of much speculation since its debut at last year's Electronic Entertainment Expo. The demos for the wandlike device have teased a number of different in-game experiences, but we have yet to see exactly what the new peripheral has to offer. With Sony holding a press event tomorrow, we expect to hear and see much more on the upcoming device shortly. But while we're waiting, we checked in with Sony's Rick Marks to poke around a bit more for information on the peripheral.

GameSpot: How did the design of the Motion Controller come about? How much did Sony's experience with the original EyeToy and PlayStation Eye affect its development? Has the Wii's impact on the gaming audience affected your approach?

Rick Marks: Motion control technology is something we've been working on for quite some time now. With the EyeToy on PlayStation 2, we created an experience that allowed players to physically interact with games using their body, and we used that as a basis for the PlayStation Eye and, now, the new Motion Controller. We learned that in order to create a truly immersive gaming experience, we had to combine physical interaction and movement with precise control and a simple, fast, reliable way to trigger actions. We've seen the experiences and advancements the EyeToy and Wii controller brought to the gaming market, and we're taking things even further by combining the strengths of previous interface approaches with responsive new high-precision tracking.

GS: Tell us about the functionality of the Motion Controller--what it can do and why it glows. We've seen different colors on display. Will there be a different color for each player using it on the same system?

RM: The Motion Controller's high-precision embedded sensors detect the sensitive movements and rotation of the hands, and the PlayStation Eye tracks the glowing sphere on the controller to precisely detect the position in real-life 3D space. The colors of the sphere can be changed by the game programmers to provide visual feedback that reflects changes in gameplay, or to differentiate between players.

GS: Why did the idea of having motion controls come about now? What pushed you to head in this direction?

RM: We learned a lot from our experience creating EyeToy, from our consumer research, and from the experiences we have observed for other products. We also studied many different technologies over the last few years, including 3D cameras, ultrasonics, and magnetic sensors. We believe the combination of the camera and other sensors we have selected provides the best possible interactive solution for games. Our primary goal in creating the Motion Controller technology was to finally allow players to feel completely immersed in a game across all genres--sports, shooter, action, party. There's really no limit with the types of game that the Motion Controller can enhance. Nothing currently on the market delivers an innovative experience that's intuitive for casual gamers and engaging for hardcore fans, and that's the opportunity the PS3 Motion Controller will fulfill.

GS: What do you think needs to happen for this to be successful instead of another piece of hardware that adds to the collection?

RM: A wide range of strong, compelling software titles will be imperative for the Motion Controller platform. We are working hard to build a comprehensive portfolio of innovative games for the Motion Controller, not only from SCE Worldwide Studios, but also from our development and publishing partners. The hardware is a very important piece, but the complete experience is what truly matters, so content is key.

EA has officially announced PS3 motion controller support for Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11. (Note: PS3 box art was unavailable.)

GS: What are you hoping that developers will come up with when using this new piece of technology to distinguish themselves among the other motion-control-based games out there?

RM: What's incredible about our Motion Controller technology is that the possibilities for new gameplay experiences are endless. A key element to the Motion Controller is its precision. Having a handheld controller greatly increases the precision that is possible, as every movement the player makes is tracked in a one-to-one motion in real time to the character in-game. This means that developers can create gameplay experiences that are more realistic than what's been possible previously.

GS: How are you soliciting third-party support?

RM: Software development for the Motion Controller is well under way, and our development and publishing partners are excited about the opportunities to deliver new gameplay experiences to PS3 owners.

GS: Who is the audience for it--casual players or veteran players?

RM: The Motion Controller technology was built to address all types of gamers. The precision and accuracy will keep things challenging for the core gamer, while the intuitive controls will be engaging and immersive for the casual consumer. One of the most important aspects of our design is that it can be used for such a wide set of experiences.

GS: When will we see more on it?

RM: You can expect to hear more details soon, as we have a few key industry events coming up with GDC this week and E3 around the corner. In between those shows, we're also going to bring the Motion Controller on the road, so your readers may have an opportunity to check it out for themselves in the near future.

GS: Thanks for your time.

Discussion

419 comments
p4kman88
p4kman88

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

sush9
sush9

You are correct Ahtchin, RE4 is better than RE5, nothing to do with the motion controller - Although I still feel RE5 even though it can't better RE4 - it would be better with a motion controller setup. ................. Ahtchin said: @sush9 RE4 was better than RE5, and that has nothing to do with the motion controler

AlpeXi
AlpeXi

@saiyajinsc yes they announced that ;)

saiyajinsc
saiyajinsc

Is there a bundle without the eye camera since I have one already?

AceBalls
AceBalls

Just looking at that controller, I can only imagine the type of "adult" games that can be created now ;p

georgiakid2
georgiakid2

LOOKS LIKE THE WII IS HISTORY.NOW WE CAN ENJOY HD GAMING TO THE FULLEST,AND PLAY NEW GAMES INSTEAD OF RELIVING THE PAST WITH A MORE RESPONSIVE CONTROLLER.....JUST HOPE IT HAS RUMBLE FEATURE....ASTE LA VISTA NINTENDO!!!!!

OddityInfinitas
OddityInfinitas

Okay what the hell, like 90% of you have forgotten that the Eyetoy for PS2 came out way before the Wii. They made the next generation of Eyetoy not a Wii ripoff they added a controller somewhat like the Wiimote BFD, they did motion tracking first, Wii took it from them you stupid fan boys, think before you type! Ps. I own both a PS3 and Wii so im not hating on Wii, but I think this will work well and will buy it if some interesting games come out with it.

GregSci
GregSci

OMG this thing is amazing.... one powerful reason for buying a PS3 =)

jamester0601
jamester0601

it will be the best thing since the eyetoy was best game ten years ago,my little bro and sisters will like it for their age

hayden_bleasel
hayden_bleasel

i want one of these for little big planet. Dreams come true!

JESSEAARON100
JESSEAARON100

THIS LOOKS EXPENSIVE! But an awesome way to change your gaming experience

Da4biddenOne
Da4biddenOne

i think i'm just gonna have to take my chances with the Playstation Move, it seems way more accurate then the Wii plus or whatever it's called lol.

BacteriaPhage
BacteriaPhage

Im digging the colored ball. It looks awesome :D

DemonRaptor
DemonRaptor

The wii didn't know of many real applications for its controller either. Why will this one fare any better?

GAMERVeiwer
GAMERVeiwer

this will be awsome imagine playing a game "Like" oblivion first person using the sword and sheild or the up comming title "Like" red dead redemption using the Motion controller for lasso or Show downs gun play or how about a First person Shooter like MW2 or MAG using a Motion gun Controller acting like a real motion involed Stategy instead of button control making Gaming a Virtual game reality....Bottom line SONY is opening the possibilities and expanding on the PS3 wich is the right direction...btw its not ripping the Wii off is adding what the Wii has to Offer to the Playstation 3 and once this controller is Released we unfortunetly might see the nintendo Wii slowly be replaced and be out dated over some time.

TimeBandit002
TimeBandit002

watch the e3 presentation.............. if they use it like that with the bow and for the sword it will be good but if it is like the wii I'm agreeing with wiidominance

bgres077
bgres077

Quite expensive I must say

adcret7
adcret7

looks cool i hate the wii so i wanna see what this is like

wiidominance
wiidominance

Well, since this is a complete shameless rip off from the Wii, am willing to embrace since I have a PS3 at the moment ONLY IF its absolutely flawless, no hint of lag no nothing, just shear perfection, Sony had some great leeway, they require a camera, and an insane bulb, and lots of investment, if they flop..........................we'll show no mercy .... X_X

wiidominance
wiidominance

so I have the Eye, got it with the eye of judgement , Please tell me they sell the wand on its own ?

SneekyRatchet
SneekyRatchet

everyone already has a wii (i have one too) but honestly they suck! they cant support any of the popular games out there, all their games are for casual gamers and children. the graphics are like a ps2, has no cool exclusives, cant play DVD's or Blurays.it even recycles 20+ year old titles to earn some exra cash. seriously the wii is over! that piece of useless crap is dead, and even if they manage to make another console,its going to have to compete with sony's greatly superior hardware and exclusives and now that it has its own more percise sensing controller it definately has the advantage (lets face it the wii's motion controller is broken, flat out irresponsive.) the wii is fun for about a month or two but come on who spends 250$ (now theyre 200$) on a crappy system that has the power of two gamecubes! Sony and Microsoft are the top dogs right now!

guberovich
guberovich

im REALLY tired of gamespot.. whats that "xbox tiger woods art cover"? that picture doesnt fit at all on the text.. why did u put it? are u retarded? by the way.. i dont think ps3mc will work in the way they want we to imagine..

GTOplaya89
GTOplaya89

Resident Evil 5 support please!!!

Diodax
Diodax

Oh look, it has a Nunchuck :P

-KU-
-KU-

Guys its under 100 with game bundled so most likely 40-70 standalone 350 for a PS3 isn't bad compared to 210 for WII that has like no more title left and no graphics. How long can you push WII "blank" games?

KWHCoaster
KWHCoaster

@CFritzRun - For sure, good luck prying the hardcore gamers away from the PS3 so Mom, Dad and Sis can play. PS3 $299Cdn + PS3 Move $100+Cdn vs. Wii $209Cdn, Nintendo wins. And I would bet we'll see Nintendo counter with a second price drop before Sony releases this. And if Nintendo released a Wii "Slim" (no Game Cube support) they could offer a Wii Slim for even less for a greater competitive edge. With the cash Nintendo racked in, they could counter with a $99 Wii. Sony, or M$, grabbing the Wii market share is far from guaranteed.

iBuSHiDo
iBuSHiDo

This is about as interesting as the Wiimote was when it first came out. Tons of ideas and they still haven't made a great Wii game that uses the 1:1 unless you're playing golf or something. People want to have actual sword battles and and solve in-game puzzles with their hands. Hopefully all the the great PS3 series will pick up this thing and run with it, but if not I'm sure we'll have a few cute games for the kids to play with as with the Wii so far.

KWHCoaster
KWHCoaster

"GS: Why did the idea of having motion controls come about now? What pushed you to head in this direction? " Because those Nintendo S.O.B.s are taking all the $$$$

BaOK-8
BaOK-8

cuz the Wii just couldnt cut it..

Xiosis
Xiosis

When looking at this all I can think of is Little Big Planet 2. Man I need a PS3.

ppg4all
ppg4all

i just watch the coverage n i say it looks sweet for shooter games such as socom 4

TheVlaka
TheVlaka

load of crap. By the time its released and properly utiliised they'll release the new playstation blah blah blah

ImYour13thStep
ImYour13thStep

Socom looked good!!!! I see how this can be pretty cool with a 3rd person view, but like others have mentioned I see problems turning around. I have a frag fx controler and thats the main problem that gives me. Its the only area standard controllers have a huge advantage. Hopefully Zipper can get back to work and add some stuff to MAG. I feel kinda ripped off because I paid 60 dollars for the same (limited) thing I got in the beta for free.

noigel
noigel

(Owner of xbox360) I like 3rd person games... and I'm curious to see this new tech (PS3MC and NATAL) implemented in these kind of games...BUT... Some problems I see are that you still need a controller to move your character back and forth and turn it around... and, at least with PS3MC you've got that controller... Another problem (specially with the PS3MC) is that if you only track the controller movement/position it might happen that the character you're playing with, does weird and impossible arm movements and positions or that the character doesn't move exactly as you want it to...and that gives us static main characters, like it happens with Wii ones... Also (again, like it happens with Wii Sports, for example) in a sword game (PS3MC and NATAL) you won't feel the weight of the item your character is wielding, so the user has some... advantage... and this is (maybe) why I might still prefer the "traditional games" with predefined moves... I don't know... I think NATAL and PS3MC are good ideas that should have stayed as base ideas for a better final product... I don't think we need another Wii, with or without controller...

sparkypants
sparkypants

WOAH! did you see the sword spin with the controller at around 2:38 minutes into the video? That was really cool! This controller looks really promising. I don't want motion control to be the standard in gaming but I want to see how effective this device is. It would be nice to have this on the side. :D

armedvigilante
armedvigilante

haha wow with project natal and this the wii is going to be put out just like the gamecube but worse

pofolonies
pofolonies

@penpusher yup totally always new xony and microsoft where always going to copy nintendo tho

Jaxith
Jaxith

I've gotta say, I wasn't really expecting too much, but this actually looks promising.

penpusher
penpusher

hmm,,,I'm sorry but am I the only one who see's a wii remote with bells and whistles tacked on? ... or is it just me?

MrCooltown
MrCooltown

@wiifan001 Microsoft didn't invent rumble controllers, does that mean they cloned? Seriously, there comes a point when something new becomes the standard and every company makes their own version of it. You act like that's a bad thing.

Finalninja447
Finalninja447

BioShock 3 with a motion remote would be sick lol :/

wolfmgs
wolfmgs

i like much my ps3 and all that stuff PS3 motion controller looks amazing... BUT im asking with what games are we using it? i hope isnt just for tiger woods and sissy mini-games PS3 needs a EXCLUSIVE game to promove it cuz definetly PS3 motion controller will have a rival named "NATAL"

wolfmgs
wolfmgs

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Majero88
Majero88

I have to say i wasn't too sure about this whole PS3 motion controller idea but i've got to admit it looks amazing!! Far more powerful than the wiimote, i especially like the bit on the video at the end when the guy lifts the skeletons head up and then slashes lmao

mdboomer
mdboomer

And it has non gaming uses too!