Sony May Have Just Patented New PSVR Controllers

by Jamie Feltham • January 23rd, 2018

Sony’s PlayStation VR (PSVR) is a great headset with arguably the strongest library of any VR device out there, but it’s no secret that the PlayStation Move controllers hold it back somewhat. We’ve heard rumors that a new controller may be on the way and now a new patent might give us our first look at it.

The patent, filed by Sony Interactive Entertainment in Japan and published earlier this month, features a new controller that looks like it could be the perfect replacement for the Moves. While the overall form factor might appear a little similar to the Move there are several big differences including, most importantly, what looks like an analog stick in the center. The lack of this stick on the original Move has proved to be a big pain point for PSVR games that feature smooth locomotion, so it’s great to see that this issue could be addressed in the future.

Elsewhere, it looks like the controller is fitted with a wide array of buttons, including the essential trigger on the back and what looks like four buttons along with (presumably) the circular home button at the top. There’s even a hand strap to help you keep your grip on reality. What we can’t tell right now is if this controller might be able to solve Move’s occlusion issues, which prevent them from working properly when PSVR’s camera can’t see them.

Another patent, released on the same day (but filed in 2017), also mentions being able to track the location of the user’s fingers, suggesting we might see some form of hand-tracking in a possible new controller.

As interesting as these patents are, there’s no way of telling if Sony will actually ever release these controllers. The patent was filed back in July 2016, a few months before PSVR’s launch, so there’s a good chance they’ve since been altered based on the feedback from experiences released so far.

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  • If and when new controllers *do* launch, I hope we see a massive level of patching from developers to grant support for this controller for existing games that can make use of it. Skyrim VR would be incredible with a controller like this, as would The Solus Project, Don’t Knock Twice, and Paranormal Experience. For that matter, it’d clear the way for many PC-to-PSVR ports that have otherwise been held out due to the lack of proper controls.

  • drd7of14

    With the Patent SONY had filed for similar tracking to the Vive’s Lighthouse tech, these controllers make sense. But without a lightsource on the controller, there’s no current way to track it efficiently. Something like this seems better suited for the PS5 with new controllers, tracking, and HMD.

    • rabs

      Ok, so after Valve “StreamVR Tracking”® (used by HTC Vive), it seems they patented something similar to Valve’s Knuckles prototypes too.

      • drd7of14

        Indeed. The tech looks great, so if their looking into something similar, go at it. Unfortunately full-on VR gloves have too many problems (mainly with expense) for the time being. Just not viable at the consumer level. I’m sure one day we’ll have a more robust hand to joints point input interface, but we’re hardly there.

        Camera systems have too many issues to hold onto as well. I’d take the cost increase to have the true roomscale system along with Valve-like Knuckle controllers. The more competition between VR Hardware manufactures, the better, but it’s best not to ignore what works and what doesn’t (that way we ultimately work towards the best VR system).

  • Stranger On The Road

    I do hope that this controller would be released this year. My main complain about the PSVR is the crappy PS Move, if they replace that, then the experience will become far far FAR better 🙂

    Sony, don’t wait until the PS5 + PSVR2, release this controller now.

  • gothicvillas

    if Sony sorts out their Move controllers and poor camera tracking, I would bet that PSVR will become mainstream VR for many years to come. As it is now on base ps4, it is very good (saying this as Vive owner). Controls and tracking keeps it from being The Best.

  • Gonzalo Novoa

    Controllers is what’s keeping PSVR from being a good VR. You play The solus Project (wonderful, by the way) on the Rift and then on PS4 and the difference is huge and that happens with so many games. The lack of sticks is incredibly limiting and annoying but with new controllers it would be a great leap forward for Sony VR.

    • Jeremiah

      It doesn’t hold it back nearly as much as the lacklustre tracking does.

  • Eddie Barsh

    Absolutely beautiful design!