Motion Controller Update Part II: Interview with R&D – The Sequel

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Last week, we introduced Part I in a series of posts focusing on the recently announced PlayStation motion controller. Senior Researcher, Richard Marks, shed some light on the PlayStation Eye’s camera technology and how the motion controller works.

We know you guys are eager to learn more, so this week we’re talking to Anton Mikhailov, a software engineer (and right hand man to Richard Marks) in SCEA’s Research & Development department. You may recognize Anton from the motion controller demonstration at this year’s E3 presentation. Anton was gracious enough to break down the new controller’s PVC origins and some of the possible applications for this new technology. Check out the video below for more details.

Next week, we’ll be posting Part III so be sure to stop by the PlayStation Blog for more exclusive motion controller info.

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  • Nice part 2 video, Anton spoke really well IMO, made sense and actually brought up things that I hadn’t thought about before.

    This thing has so much potential, but if two PS motes doesn’t equal a DS3 (in terms of buttons etc) then I don’t see this being a huge hit to core games like I had hoped.

    How would this be applied to games where you are required to move with a stick? It just wouldn’t be the same.. I was thinking how awesome this would be with a game like R&C, being able to use the motion mote for your weapons and gadgets, but buttons for general running and movement.

    Hopefully there’s still time for such additions, but im doubtful. :\

  • I’m excited for this. I post this same suggestion every time I see a LittleBigPlanet/ModNationRacers/PS Motion post:

    Hot Shots Golf w/ PS Motion Control support & Play/Create/Share focus! Let us design our own custom players and courses and share them the community. It would be the PERFECT game to launch with the new motion wand. Get on it!

    Also, make sure there are bundles that do not come with the Eye, because I already have the Eye and do not wish to buy another one just to get the motion wands.

  • This is not getting bundled with the system like Natal will be, therefore this will fail badly like the PS Eye and the Eyetoy. Sony has a history of releasing add-on and then not supporting it…..

  • This awesome i cant wait for it. Im still hoping for some sort of Star Wars lightsaber game.

  • Also, I know you guys think you’re pretty far along with this device now, and I don’t know how far along with it you are, but PLEASE put an analog thumbstick on each wand. You will get serious criticism if you don’t, and you’d really be limiting the applications of the device.

  • No analog stick?

    Sony… why? Major mistake… :(.

  • callahan that’s my worry as wll.

    that sony might doom this motion controller if there is no analog stick on it. because then it will be used only for casual gamers.

  • Stick an analouge stick on the top of the controller, a trigger on the botttom, maybe a button that your middle finger rests on, and thats all you need. Or just make it like half a dualshock, where you have 2 triggers on the bottom, 1 and 2. Then circle, triangle, X, square, then an ANALOUGE STICK underneath or above it.

    Srsly Sony


  • does this device have an analogue nub/stick whatever? can you please put everyone out of their misery. thanks

  • Are they using Firmware 2.80 in the video? I don’t see the sparkles in the background, neither the PSN Store icon under Game.

    Why is that? Shouldn’t they be using FW 3.0?

  • If done right, this technology could be really huge. The PS3 has far superior technology when compared to the Wii so you can imagine the possibilities. Oblivion is the first game that comes to mind that could definitely be used with this stuff.


    Screw everything else.

  • Will this controller work for lefties like myself?

  • The video doesn’t work with some of you? Huh. I’m using Firefox and it’s working fine.

  • I think the people calling for an analog stick on the wand want this to be used for things other than its intended purpose. It seems to be designed for new forms of interactivity, not first person shooters.

    It’s also possible there will be more info forthcoming regarding the different ways to use it. I for one am looking forward to seeing more.

  • If you guys don’t put analog stick and make 2 wands the standard with the button config as the DS3. This will be an add-on gimmick destine to fail. Get it right this time Sony.

  • I agree with a lot of posts on here. We really need a second controller with an analog stick or the controller itself to feature one.

  • Make the ball on the end smaller.

    It looks silly.

  • Ok, this might sound weird, but Anton Mikhailov needs to be continually involved in the promotion side in presenting this tech as it goes to market. At E3 I thought he ‘made’ the presentation. It wasn’t looking good at first but Anton’s attitude won me over. Anton has a very casual yet informative way of speaking that is more engaging than your normal developer.

    Plus, having a younger person talking to you about this (intelligently) really makes a difference.

    PS: No, I’m not his mom.

  • Analog sticks would be the thing that may changed this tech on the PS3. just imaging. a game like oblivion moving all around and using motion controller. Or for example. An horror game, using on of the motion controller to use a lantern and the other one for a weapon. but of course with analog sticks to move around.

  • Could someone at Sony actually tell to us if this thing will have a form of D-pad or analogue on it?

  • worked ok for me

  • Marks, Mikhailov. You folks need to get involved on the blog and start replying. :)

    Analog stick implementation is needed for deeper game experiences. Absolutely needs it.

    Talk to us.

  • Will this work with Call of Duty games? Killzone? etc etc?

  • You guys just need to stop hyping this thing, stop talking it up and start pumping out the hardware and software for it. And dont support it as horribly as you did EyeToy. If its true that you have been working on this for as long as you say you have, then I am speechless.

  • I agree with the others, although it’s so obvious we shouldn’t even have to say it. I couldn’t see it clearly, but this motion controller appears to be missing critical buttons like the analog stick for core gaming.

    Did you guys learn nothing from the missing analog stick mistake with PSP?

    Two motion controllers should be able to account for all the buttons of the PS3 controller, basically like it’s been chopped in half. Simple as that.

  • Cool.

    Kinda looks like a stunted light sabre :)

  • Honestly, I thank you guys for the hard work being done with motion sensing but right now, a patch needs to be completed for the newest firmware and more testing needs to be done before firmware is released. I thought Sony had tough standards to pass when it came to software improvements but the firmware has been faltering.

  • RTS games could work great with this and that tank game looks pretty fun.

  • This looks really incredible. I can’twait to try this out.

    @gold225: I’m pretty sure they said there is an analog stick on the ‘wand’.

  • LOL That controler is a prototype controler and will change by the time it is released to the public. But I just hope they still suport Dual shock 3. becouse some games don’t need motion controls.

  • I thought this video was pretty lame. Nothing new. Sony needs to decide if this will just be as good as those lame Wii games, or something more. If they’re lame Wii games, but with some better motion sending tech, then it’s nothing to be hyped about.

    If they will be AAA games, we haven’t seen enough to see how it’s possible.

    I’d like to see a controller with glowing spheres at both ends, and let one end be detachable for two-handed games.

  • If you guys don’t want casual games, DON’T BUY THEM. Or because you don’t want it they shouldn’t even develop new things and move technology forward?

    Some people are just too dumb…

  • As some have mentioned, I’m concerned about the lack of an analog stick on the controller. They seem very intriguing and I’ll most likely purchase it if there are some Hardcore games that really push the technology. What I hope doesn’t happen is that you guys throw the technology at some devs and hope it catches on…because if there isnt a massive push with a variety of games, theres not really an incentive to spend money on them. I WANT them to bring new things to the table, so Im really looking forward to some hardcore first party games that show off the tech WELL and maybe get 3rd parties to follow suit. Please dont let it be a gimmick, or just a bullet point for the PS3 to say “we have motion controls too!” because then it would be a waste for some really innovative ideas.

    Looking forward to TGS for more news!

  • Cant wait 4 this!

  • I don’t see many games being made for this.. It’s likely way too risky for big developers to spend resources on a game that Only works with a device that the large population of ps3 gamers probably won’t have.

  • @ OneironautZ: Like I said before, there is an analog stick on the wand. Other than that, I agree with you.

  • Would everyone stop going on about the analog nub, of course sony are gonna put one on it. These people have been testing this for ages now, do you think they would be that silly!? lol.
    Plus the guy thats in the video he seem’s like a really smart person i have every confidence in them. Sony are gonna show Nintendo how to do motion control properly. And i agree with the person who said Natal is just a rip-off, of the eyetoy.

  • What this technology needs most is a name! It’s not beneficial that it’s still just “Sony’s motion control device”.

  • How about Sony and Lucasarts get together, and make it look like a freaking lightsaber? All of us geeks would be lining up to buy one. Even if we don’t plan on using it.
    The sales potential would be astronomical. Especially if they made multiple types of casings to look like different sabers. I’d kill for a Count Dooku style controller.

  • Looks VERY promising, I am in agreement that it NEEDS an analog stick though.

    On a technical blog note the video works fine for me on Firefox 3.5.2 Mac OS 10.5.8.

    Only Firefox add on I have installed is the Web developer tools.

    Anyway can’t wait to play with this new tech!

  • looks promising. i’ll make my decision once they have the final product and some games

  • we need our AVATARS sony eric lempel sayed they would be in 3.0 update but here is the real question WHERE ARE THEY THEN………..

  • Sweet! Can’t wait to hear more about it =]

  • Er… this is one bad idea!

  • I ditto everyone else that this device should have an analog stick or nub.

    Also, a huge concern with this technology is that a single wand is about as functional as the Wii Remote without a Nunchuck. To achieve parity with Wii Motion Plus, two wands are required, but Sony currently doesn’t plan on bundling two wands together. It’s going to be a hard enough sell to developers to support this add-on at all. How many PS3 developers are going to cater to the niche of the niche of PS3 owners who bought two add-ons? Sony’s lackluster support of past add-ons doesn’t inspire confidence. I’d hate to see the motion wand getting 2 or 3 games like the Eyetoy did.

  • AWESOME!!!!!! Cant wait to get my hands on a pair of these…. Please offer a 2 controller bundle when this is ready for store shelves… PLEASE!!! :)

  • I really love the technical details that are supplied, and I would like even more:

    1. what color depth and resolution can the camera sample at 60fps? 120fps? how does that help/hinder the experience for the developer and the end-user?

    2. the four microphones is really interesting — what is the depth/sample rate of that audio? uncompressed? how does that help/hinder the experience for the developer and the end-user?

    3. this video said a few general things, but what specifically changed with regard to accuracy of the inputs? higher sampling rates? more precision of reported data? less?

    4. is the data from all the sources (camera, gyros, accel, etc) normalized to the same rate by the libraries?

    5. I hope we get a definitive, HD version of Okami as one of the launch titles. (Maybe also a Ghostbusters patch?) I’m excited for entirely new content, but I also think providing a point of direct contrast would really drive the advantages home for people.

    I am really very excited by these developments, and I hope Sony listens to and executes upon feedback from third party developers, which is typically Sony’s weak spot (and Nintendo’s).

    Thanks again for a great interview series!

  • Just to echo others because I think this aspect is highly important: There NEEDS to be an analog stick of some kind.

    Otherwise, I was sold ever since the E3 presentation. I am very excited about where Sony is going with this.

  • Can’t wait to see what this would look like with god of war 3, heard there was going to be backwards compatibility with old games.

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