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Report: Sony Prepping Wii-like 'Break Apart' Pad

GamesIndustry is reporting that Sony Computer Entertainment is at work on a new PlayStation 3 controller which will "break apart" into two individual units, each containing an accelerometer for Wii Remote-like motion-sensing functionality.

According to unspecified sources, working units have been delivered to development partners, although it's not clear when the pad will be officially unveiled. As expected, Sony Computer Entertainment declined to comment.

A differing report at Kotaku, however, suggests that the control system consists of a small device that attaches in the body. Multiple devices can be worn, such as two on the hands to move a character's hands in-game or four on the hands and feet. Kotaku's source disputed the notion that the pieces would merge into a single controller.

At present, the PlayStation 3's Sixaxis controller allows for basic motion-sensing functionality, though not quite as articulated as what's offered by Nintendo's Wii Remote and nunchuck controller combo.

The runaway success of Nintendo's Wii console has led many to speculate as to its competitors plans to break into the motion-sensing sphere of gaming. Last April, rumors circulated of a Wii Remote-like peripheral for Microsoft's Xbox 360, codenamed Newton, reportedly aimed for debut the following month. No official announcements for Newton materialized at Microsoft's product showcases.

Should Microsoft or Sony indeed be working on controllers or peripherals to counter the Wii, those products—such as the above-mentioned PS3 "break apart" pad—will likely be unveiled at this year's E3 Media and Business Summit.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    June 13, 2008 1:06 PM

    When will sony thing of something new instead of shamelessly ripping off everyone else?

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      June 13, 2008 1:07 PM

      they have thought of plenty of new things. But might as well rip off things that work too.

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        June 13, 2008 1:10 PM

        i'm not sure what they've done that's really... "new"


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          June 13, 2008 1:40 PM

          Vibration! Everyone knows Sony had it first, right? .....right?....oh wait they didn't.

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        June 13, 2008 1:55 PM

        I for new things goes to:

        Nintendo: first to try all kinds of weird controllers (robots, gamepads, wiimote, touchpad, etc), first to try weird displays (dual screen, virtual reality helmet), device collaboration (gameboy playing with gamecube, etc), invented modern rumble feedback

        Sega: CD format, 3d glasses, console extensions (32x, sega-cd, etc) network play (chu chu rocket on dreamcast was the first 'live' console game, I think)

        Microsoft: marketplace, matchmaking, storage

        Sony: formats? (blueray) - although this is questionable because technically every console invents a new format, but what was new here is that the format transcends and is viable outside of the game machine so I have to count it as an innovation (a business innovation)

        I left crap tons of stuff out of that list and I'm not taking a position on what I think is good from the list, but in general it seems like Nintendo has the balls to really try new things for better or for worse. Sony seems to take the least risky position.

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          June 13, 2008 2:04 PM

          Oh yea...I have to give credit to Sony for the recent music game craze. They didn't make guitar hero, but had the innovative perspective to allow it to happen (the first GH was on ps2). And also, the first rhythm game in general was on ps1 (parappa).

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      June 13, 2008 2:10 PM

      Everyone praises the Wii for its innovative controls, then jumps at the chance to attack anyone who imitates it. Nintendo were the first to introduce vibration (I think), and I'm pretty sure no ones going to argue that it becoming the norm was a bad thing.

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        June 13, 2008 4:07 PM

        it started with the runmble pak and I remember getting it with Starfox 64 for free.

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          June 14, 2008 10:27 AM

          I remember that too- ah, good times.

          DO A BARREL ROLL!!!

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      June 13, 2008 3:22 PM

      Who cares? If they develop something as good or better than Wii's controller, all the better for those of us that hate the Wii's hardware limitations and it's boring game library.

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        June 13, 2008 3:57 PM

        it matters because if money diverted away from making good games and goes to making shitty gimmicky games with motion controls we're going to have the same problems on all the consoles that we have with the DS and Wii libraries right now. 95% shovelware

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          June 14, 2008 4:52 PM

          Because apparently motion control means shovelware? Look, success means shovelware...why do you think there was so much crap on the PS1 and later on the PS2...and the NES...and any other successful console.

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          June 16, 2008 2:32 PM

          PS2 has so much shovelware too.

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      June 13, 2008 3:51 PM

      The entire video game industry is built on the concept of taking someone else's idea and tweaking it. Thats just part of the way it goes same for software and hardware, Microsoft are doing the same thing as Sony and trying to cash in on the markets Nintendo has opened up but I have my doubts either company will find success against the marketing juggernaut of the Wii.

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      June 13, 2008 7:24 PM

      While not new, their take on the SNES controller is probably responsible for how almost all controllers look today.

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