One day after Microsoft unveiled its new motion sensing technology, Sony has joined the battle.
The company on Tuesday showed its new motion capture device — a new controller that works in concert with a video camera that it says it plans to launch in the spring of 2010.
Still in development, the PlayStation Motion Controller has much in common with the Nintendo Wii controller, but Sony seems more interested in utilizing the technology with games that appeal more to the hardcore gamer, as opposed to the casual audience Nintendo chases.
The company showed several tech demos, including using the controller in a first person shooter context and as a mace, which takes out advancing demons with a swing.
The controller is much more precise than the motion sensor technology Sony built into its original controller for the PS3, which was never widely embraced by gamers or developers.
Sony also announced plans to reunite with Rockstar Games, the Take Two Interactive Software development team behind the "Grand Theft Auto" franchise for a new game that will be exclusive to the PlayStation 3.
"Agent" is an espionage game set in the 1970s. No release date or additional information was given about the game, but Sony has high hopes for it.
"You’re all aware of the effect 'GTA' has had on our platforms — and we expect 'Agent' to have the same effect," said Jack Tretton, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America.
Motion controllers have become increasingly popular since Nintendo popularized them with the Wii. They typically make playing games less complicated and more welcoming to new players — letting the industry continue its expansion.
Both Microsoft and Sony are offering much more advanced devices than the Wii, even with the Wii’s forthcoming WiiMotion Plus add on, which will increase the accuracy of the controller.
With the Wii’s dominant position in the industry, that might make them seem like also-rans. But the graphics capabilities of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 could appeal to players as high definition television sets become more common.
While the winner won’t be clear for some time, the loser is becoming readily apparent: The standard game controller.
The days of pushing buttons to play video games seem to be coming to an end.
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