E3 is only two weeks away, which means many gamers and industry vets are eagerly attempting to unearth any surprise reveals – ahead of the event. While many fans are on baited breath waiting to hear the final details regarding Nintendo’s new console, Project Cafe – surprisingly, the company with the most potential secrets to unveil is Sony. PlayStation products are generally the worst-kept secrets in the industry (see Xperia Play and PSPgo for proof) but this year – most gamers are only expecting an exhaustive set of details on the previously announced NGP hardware.
However, that doesn’t mean their won’t be a surprise game-changer NGP detail that will make it the must have device for holiday 2011 – such as PlayStation Move integration or even Kinect like functionality?
According to a patent filed back in 2009, Sony was experimenting with an entertainment docking station that would allow TV screens to display data from portable devices such as the line of PSP handhelds as well as compatible cellphones. However, the tech wasn’t limited to just a pleasant-looking AV pass-through, the patent indicates that the device would also sync with certain handheld units – unleashing dynamic integration for home set-ups.
The images in the patent tease a number of intriguing possibilities, including PlayStation Move compatibility as well as robust Kinect-like tracking – meaning that should the Move ball disappear outside the dock’s field of view, the device could physically turn to recapture the signal. The NGP will have a front-facing camera (presumably a high-quality one), so it’s not a stretch to imagine that Sony could integrate Move controls into some NGP titles – or even deliver a controller-less Kinect-like experience (between the NGP internals and the tech-filled docking station).
Check out the full Sony patent – HERE – or read a brief excerpt below:
“Methods, systems, and computer programs for wireless interaction with a portable device supported by a stand are presented. In one method operation, a communications link is established between the portable device and the stand. The stand tracks the motion of an input device within an interactivity zone. In another method operation, the portable device interfaces with the input device to generate actions associated with game objects in the portable device, where the interface takes place when the input device is in or near the interactivity zone. Additionally, the stand moves when the tracking detects that the input device is outside predefined boundaries near an edge of the interactivity zone. The stand movement information is transferred via the communications link to update the location of the interactivity zone.”
The Move was trounced by Kinect, and considering how many different hardware markets Sony has their hands in (TVs, Stereo Systems, PCs, etc), it’s in their best interest to build a robust and integrated bridge between all of their different products – and, given the heavy-focus on social network functionality in the NGP, it wouldn’t be surprising to hear the manufacturer is still waiting to announce some compelling brand-integration features.
Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick and let us know what other NGP features you’re hoping to see announced at E3.
The Sony NGP will release this 2011 holiday season.
Source: Free Patents Online [via BYT Unplugged]