Monday, October 03, 2005

Sony copies controller?

Sony has patented a controller that is eerily similar to Nintendo´s Revo controller. Thanks and kudos to Darkenedjib for the story. I have spent some time to find the original US patent. Here´s the main picture:

The New Scientist had a short story on it at the end of August. Here´s what they wrote:
PlayStation gamers are always looking for exciting new ways to control the onscreen action, but using a camera to track a player’s body movement has not worked reliably, admits Sony. The camera gets confused by other things in the room.

Sony’s new idea is to plug a webcam into the console, and give the gamer a handheld wand similar to a pocket flashlight. The wand has a battery, a few mouse-like buttons and several different coloured LEDs that can be switched on and off in various combinations.

By pressing the buttons and waving the wand towards the webcam, the gamer can click to shoot aliens, drag-and-drop images on screen and navigate menus.

The webcam is tuned to see only pure bright colours and map their motion in space, so it can ignore ordinary room lights. And if two people have wands with different coloured LEDs, they can play against each other.

The main difference to the Rev controller may be that Sony seems to be content with two dimensions. Their controller patent seems to be nothing more than the good old light pen we have known for twenty years. Of course, the camera is able to decipher the two-dimensional input into a makeshift 3D image. At the London games expo 2001, SCE already demonstrated a similar technology. I was using a sword that was brightly coloured so the camera could pick up on it. Knowing the dimensions of the sword, the PlayStation could deduce the position of the object simply by analysing the dimension´s distortion, i.e. by perspective. However, Sony has never released anything of the sort. So I guess this is a far cry from a proper 3D technology, which Nintendo has opted for. Here´s a quote from the patent:
It is not necessary that image capture device 104 has depth capability, as the corresponding scales from images captured at image plane 117a and image plane 117b may be used to provide a relative degree of distance corresponding to respective image areas occupied by user 102a and user 102b. According to this relative degree of distance, the amount of movement for input device 100 to cause a corresponding movement of a cursor on display screen 108 may be adjusted. For example, if the user is closer to image capture device 104, then larger movements may be used to correspond to a movement of a cursor as compared to smaller movements when the user is at a farther distance.

So Sony´s magic wand seems to be more of a copy of Microsoft´s magic wand, seen here.

This story already caused some Nintendo fans to scream ´copycat´. But the Microsoft tool also appears to work in two dimensions only and it is not intended for gaming.


Anonymous said...

Is that not the eyetoy patent?

Anonymous said...

The technology doesn't scare me because it's for the most part the exact same thing as an eye toy but beefed up with a wand for more accuracy. What really scares me is how they're going to market it to trick consumers that they're getting the same thing as a Revolution. I guess we'll see.

Falafelkid said...

Good point, Robotplague. It will look the same - but feel quite different. In the 2001 ECTS demo, the colour recognition worked amazingly well, I must say. The analysis of an object´s changed shape due to perspective is the next best thing to a real 3D measurement. But SCE has been unable to implement it so far - so there must be some hidden problems I didn´t see. Also, the Rev controller will actually enable you to step forwards and backwards, while the maneuvaribility of the SCE tech demo was pretty much limited to moving your arm.

Anonymous said...

yup its the eyetoy patent.

Anonymous said...

Now sony copy again.
But in fact eyetoy was used really much cpu time. So game will not as good as normal ps3 game.

And It still don't as flexable as revolution. in fact it still too slow (capture picture , remove noise , find that dot , understan it in put ... all used cpu ; while revolution make it that way so it realtime)

Other word ps3 still too expensive (Now more device to add more prize). and still have some problem in some ad.

-Good by ten year of sony game-

Anonymous said...

Check out what I said about this on Rawmeatcowboys blog near the bottom of this blog. I am the first to post.

Anonymous said...

oh my gosh, why did sony copy off of nientindo. We all know who has the better system! It's nientindo! SONY STOP COPYING EVERYBODY!

Anonymous said...

Assignee Name and Adress: Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

Serial No.: 759782
Series Code: 10
Filed: January 16, 2004

If you didn't already notice the pantent was files January 2004 long before Ninty revelaed anything, but you just know sony will only use it if the Revo is successful.

Anonymous said...

And this is why I hate Sony !!!

Anonymous said...


Did anyone look on rawmeatcowboys,yet?

Anonymous said...

why is sony always taking something if they get beat by nintendo who cares I'm not a fanboy

Anonymous said...

why is sony always taking something if they get beat by nintendo who cares I'm not a fanboy

Anonymous said...

why is sony always taking something if they get beat by nintendo who cares I'm not a fanboy

DlphnMod said...

Relax people. Patents are not a good source for concrete info. Not only are they vague, but they apply to things invented years ago. Trust me, this had something to do with eye toy and was most likely scrapped.

Even if it were real, it has nothing close to the precision, features, or expansion capability that revolution does.

Having said that, I would not rule out that Sony will eventually try to copy it especially if it succeeds.

Anonymous said...

No one is copying anyone...yet.

Anonymous said...

Well doesn't this mean Nintendo copied Sony as much as i hate to say it?

Anonymous said...

Nintendo. Alway make a new thing. But too bad they don't try copy other.

Just add media player software. Change flash memory to cheaper-bigger harddisk. Now revolution have media player like other and have mouse (may be keybord on expansion slot too).

Same way nintendo might just add something like linux software and opensoce office to make it work as computer. (Microsoft can't make it. that will effect ot windows. Sony can't too he sale notebook)

Just do something like add media player to DS (It's just software. Not that add on).

Do some thing that sony or microsoft can't copy. Nintendo can make it cheaper for sure. Yes just add some thing better to ya hardware don't meen copy it.

Keep on fighting. Don't meen win. Some time just do some thing evil. For win.
-Or maybe nintendo too good for that kind of win-

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Anonymous said...

ON a different subject,

Joystiq interviews Miyamoto.

I know we’re running out of time, but I’ve been dying to ask you about this. Around the time of E3 there was a fan-made video circulating of what was supposedly an unannounced new helmet-based Nintendo virtual reality video game system called Nintendo ON. What did you think of it, if you’ve seen it?

I guess I’ll have to take a look at that video!

You’ve never seen it?


There are plenty of people who insist that the video is actually a real Nintendo product and we, along with a lot of other people, have had to spend a lot of time debunking it. Why do you think that so many Nintendo fans might be so willing to believe that it was real? It seems like it really struck a chord with a lot of people.

Obviously, Nintendo’s has done research on that type of thing in the past, so who knows. Maybe it’s possible that something like that may come out of Nintendo one day.

CK said...

Shiggy hasn't seen the video? I really doubt it...

MR.Nintendo said...

Falafelkid and everyone,

Sorry of being off topic. But there are some interesting news!!!

These are the supposed leaks of the latest ATI R520 series specification and performance.

Remember Han_Solo at G4TV forums said that Revolution will feature "RN520" custom GPU for Nintendo??? And the specs are almost identical!

Check it out(ATI R520 leaked specs):

got them from here:

And also see the original Han-Solo post:

R520 is extremely powerful and certainly beat PS3's GPU.

Could that mean Han-Solo was correct again on the Rev specs???

MR.Nintendo said...

ohh, there are 3 pages totally on the original link, the above is only page 1 (low end price tag).

page 2(mid class):

page 3(high end,high price):

They all belong to the R5xx series.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't this Han Solo guy a fake ?

Koffdrop said...

Nintendo did not invent the d-pad (but they were ruthless enough to patent the idea - and now every fanboy assumes Nintendo invented it).

Nintendo copy plenty of ideas. Oh look, what's that? Donkey Konga? What an original idea!! (Assuming you've never heard of a rhythm action game before such as Sambe De Amigo).

Nintendo didn't even produce the first 3D platformer - that was on the PlayStation (Jumping Flash).

PlayStation may never have existed if Nintendo hadn't been so agressive towards Sony when Sony were helping Nintendo prototype a CD reader for the SNES.

Nintendo copy plenty, but are smart enough to patent things quickly to suggest they are the originators - and all the unthinking fanboys just assume that's how things are.

You're being fed hype by Nintendo and are loving every second!

Check out the actual FACTS and HISTORY of this industry from OBJECTIVE sources (not some fanboy Nintendo blog) and you will see the truth behind Nintendo..

..alternatively, go on living your fairy tale.

I don't love Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo. I favour facts and accuracy to hype and specualation.

Anonymous said...

I know that R520 is extremely powerful. But if revolution still don't work on HD tv. It still don't have as good picture as ps3 (revolution don't need it or can't used it -Revolution will under 200$-).
Ok wait 10h. and see. How ATI said.

remember this that sony device is
#1 only 60 picture/s can capture by eyetoy. and some picture fail to process(so we can't do fast movement on ps3).
#2 It need some time to process picture. (time-lag)
#3 It need cpu time in picture process. so it can't make as good picture as other game (and ps3 pay too much for that next gen picture).
#4 It's 2D not 3D and don't have expansion slot(so it can't change to other device as revolution)
#5 ps3 will cost 6-700$ by it spect. but revolution will under 200$ and will save space.
And if "Han Solo" guy really work at factor5. it better to stop that information -everyone where he work will find him if it being BIG NEWS-.

Anonymous said...

Nintendo "did" invent the d-pad. On nes. Yes there is one older console. but it don't have d-pad yet.

Nintendo "did" produce 3D game befor ps.(at less 1989 on nes) but it too hard to make so there is less 3D game. If you wish to know more find word "Power glove" it's one of * nes * 3D input device.

Sony make a CD reader for the SNES. That lead to.
1. easy to copy game.
2. snes fdd reader.
3. easy to making un-license game. and that un-license game much cheaper than license.
4. **Much easy for ps(1) to make new maket** (due to license protect on ps1. sony don't do any protect on that SNES CD reader and call it prototype)

Sony copy plenty, but are smart enough to patent things quickly to suggest they are the originators -eg. D-pat + nearlly all bottom layout even Ps(1) look:snes , Dual Shock:N64 , Pocket Station and Gun-con:Dream cast-

But there is someone hype sony. And will to buy just name of sony. Made by many sony ad. And really smart ad. (eg. Last one "10 year of passion" smart enough to stop any news of Revolution controller ... and just say sorry to finish. no one remember Revolution controller)

This is FACTS and HISTORY of sony. Look close and you will see the truth..

..alternatively, go on living in sony tale.

I favour facts too. sony head phone really good and I usde it. (even I know how sony is)

**But not 600-700$ ps3.(If it near x-box 360 -That will reduce 100$ when ps3 is ready- may be I will)**

CK said...

Replying to Koffdrop (and adding onto anonymous), the first use of a D pad on a console was on a Game and watch. I've forgotten which one it was, but it employed the use of two screens similar to a DS.

Sure, Nintendo have copied ideas like with Donkey Konga, or may with the new Mario DDR. But what is also true is that they do hold many innovations. Existing technology like gyros to play games, the use of a touch screen in the DS etc. Fact is, while Nintendo take existing ideas and implement them onto game consoles, they also invent their own. On the other hand, Sony does not.

Anonymous said...

Sorry. I miss some information. As Gun-con was made by namco not sony.

But I don't sure that. name Game and watch are belong to nintendo? (All Game and watch I know are made by nintendo.)

And Donkey Konga And Mario DDR are belong to Konami? (or just Mario DDR I don't sure Donkey Konga but...)

-So konami just make game for nintendo? And there is no copying ... right?-

Yes nintendo invent new ideal their own. and Sony does only copy it when it work(except only optical drive). I disk like sony only that point.

Anonymous said...

DDR: Mario Mix is just a Konami/Nintendo game so they can't copy that..

Donkey Konga (Namco and Nintendo)is just something new.. I never played a videogame with bongo's..did you?

CK said...

"But I don't sure that. name Game and watch are belong to nintendo? (All Game and watch I know are made by nintendo.)"

Sorry, I meant Nintendo's game and watch. It was the one with two screens similar to a DS.

CK said...

Btw guys, please check out the lengthy reply I made to Koffdrop's "On Revolution" article from his site (

Anonymous said...

Sony hasn't copied anything, this patent was registered 16/01/2004

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Anonymous said...

Ok sony not copy just imitate.

Anonymous said...

Guys, this is the Han Solo talking from G4 forums:

No matter what Matt from IGN says, or Julian from Factor 5 says, the specs i released (which isnt the FULL spec sheet) will be minimum 70% correct.

The truth about me and factor 5 is that i WAS in the room helping make Rebel Strike in 2003, but i wasnt actually an employee. I just like to call myself a worker their.

NRev news for specs will be around Q2 next year, so i know its a long wait.

Cya guys

Anonymous said...

Also when the specs do come out i will laugh at Matt from IGN if Han Solo's specs come close enough, and believe Han Solo :)

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Burt Jetson said...

It's funny, because this site pondered exactly the same thing but the other way around?

As far as I can see there is hardly any innovation these days, people companies just copy each other and just stay a slight bit ahead so not to put off people buying next generation versions of products. It's simply bad for consumers in the long run, having to shell out for "new products" that are only a slight advance on their current model because now there's is obsolete. Rubbish!.