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Sony planning universal game console controller?

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 21 Feb 2010 4:22 User comments (7)

Sony planning universal game console controller? According to a concept that surfaced in the US Patent & Trademark Office's online database, Sony may be looking to exploit the growing market for gaming accessories by developing a Universal Game Console Controller. The LCD touch-screen gamepad could emulate controllers for Nintendo systems, Microsoft systems and even some older legacy hardware.
The information on the concept says it could "emulate the controllers of popular game consoles, such as…the PlayStation, a controller made by Nintendo, Xbox game controllers made by Microsoft, Amiga CD-32 controllers, Atari Jaguar controllers, Gravis Gamepad controllers, Sega controllers, and Turbographics controllers." The button layout of the gamepads would be displayed on the LCD screen, which could store three types of control schemes at a time.

A special receiver would be used to pass controller data, and the pad could come with rumble functions as well as integrated speakers. "It may now be appreciated that among other advantages, the controller provides for backward compatibility so that it may be programmed to emulate the key layout of an older controller that may no longer be available," the filing reads.

While the U.S. retail market for games slumped 13 percent in January, according to NPD figures, accessories did see a 2 percent gain over January of 2009, the second consecutive month for year-over-year growth for the segment.

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7 user comments

121.2.2010 6:04

That's cool, I guess.

OnLive sounds more interesting though.

221.2.2010 9:56

Sounds interesting.. I guess if they are nice and well designed (I don't think sony have a great history of brilliant controller ergonomics.. never seem to fit my hands properly) and they also make them left/right handed versions they could have a winner..

Of course.. wait for the "patent infringement" legal plague taking them down.

321.2.2010 10:07

I hope this thing is durable to accommodate those times when we need to be button mashing, seeing as its touchscreen this would concern me.

421.2.2010 14:43

I don't know about a touch screen. Just seems like my hand will be sliding all over the place.

521.2.2010 20:52

Sorry but touchscreen emulation of multi-bit imputs is a bad thing. They cannot even emulate a PS1 controller properly.

Touchscreen is usually boolean, it is ON or OFF:
Or is a 1-bit button, it can have 2 values
A 4-bit button can have 16 values
A 8-bit button can have 256 values
A 12-bit button can have 4096 values

The Ps1/2 has mostly 4 and 8 bit buttons
The Ps3 has mostly 8 and 12 bit buttons.

How are you supposed to get anywhere near the sensitivity. Fine for emulating many other systems though as they simply use boolean buttons (on the ps3 (triangle,square,x,circle- are actually 8 bit))
But even still not alot of games make use of that fact, but to discard that capability all together is making steps backwards.

622.2.2010 11:51

Originally posted by KSib:
That's cool, I guess.

OnLive sounds more interesting though.
whats cool about a patent that will stop any 3rd party controllers from being made unless sony gives the ok, obviously the ok will require huge stacks of cash!

722.2.2010 14:52

I would like to see this actually in a youtube video or something :)

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