New PlayStation VR controller is awfully similar to Valve Index

Ruben Fields
February 21, 2020

The patent, titled "Controller Device", details a new design for a remote-like VR controller that shares some similarities with the current PlayStation Move controllers, but it also has its fair share of upgrades. In addition, it also features "a plurality of sensor units that detect the fingers of the user".

Finger tracking has been a part of the PC VR software ecosystem since the introduction of improved controllers from Oculus and Valve, with Valve's Index VR system now offering the most advanced controller available to the public.

According to the patent, the controller described can detect "the proximity or contact of a finger and outputs a finger detection signal indicating the state of proximity or contact of the finger". In theory, that will help the controller detect when players are making a fist, grabbing an object, or opening up their hands.

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The included design image depicts hands gripping a controller with cloth straps that hold it tight to the hand should the user relax their finger grip. It shows that whenever a finger isn't pressed down on the sensor, it's just sticking out, like normal.

Like the PlayStation Move controller, which has been around since the PlayStation 3 era, the patent shows a controller with a wand-like shape, four small face buttons, a trigger on the back, and a larger center button.

It's not surprising that Sony is exploring this sort of hardware, and we'd certainly like to see improved controllers for PSVR. However, if Sony can nail down this style of gameplay, developers have the possibility of shaking things up with their games.

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