Sony patents Kinect-like device

Sony has filed a patent for a device similar to Microsoft's Kinect, which would make a 3D "play" space using a three-dimensional camera. The patent was filed in late 2011, and it could indicate that Sony is trying to directly compete with Microsoft's motion device.

The patent (via Kotaku) is for a "user-driven three-dimensional interactive gaming environment." The camera would obtain "depth-values indicating distances from one or more physical objects." The patent was filed by Richard Marks, who was also instrumental in the development of PlayStation Move.

A patent doesn't necessarily assure that Sony will ever release the device, or even that it's gone past the preliminary planning stages. Still, if Sony does ever release it, third-party developers could benefit from developing games for both controller-free devices.