I don’t know if someone at Sony was inspired by that Hades run with a pomegranate, but it seems the obsession with fruity controllers has now resulted in a patent application, as Sony has devised a way to turn everyday items into working controllers. Including a banana.
As reported by GamesIndustry.biz, the tech would apparently allow any “non-luminous passive object being held by the user” to be transformed into a controller. Objects would apparently be scanned with a camera, which would track items based on pixels, contours and colours. A game could be trained to recognise objects as controllers, or tell users which household items could be used as a controller.
Digital Foundry takes a look at Astro’s Playroom and the DualSense controller
The patent application uses bananas and oranges as examples, explaining that the system would be able to track an object’s movement, so the object could be used to steer an in-game camera – or to accelerate, decelerate and brake. I’m calling this Gran Turnipso.
The application also suggests two objects could be used at once, meaning you could potentially dual-wield bananas. Putting the object outside of the camera threshold could also pause the game. The patent then goes one step further, suggesting virtual buttons could also be superimposed onto the object (which would likely require some AR or VR technology to show the player the location of the button). And yes, there’s an image to illustrate what this would look like:
While the patent application is ridiculous (and somewhat brilliant), unfortunately we don’t yet know if Sony will turn this into a full product. Something that seems a little more likely to release is another controller spotted by GamesIndustry.biz, which appears to be a new PlayStation VR controller. The patent application for this was filed back in November 2020, with haptic feedback, thumb and finger sensors, and a petite LED panel instead of the glowing ping-pong ball on the original PSVR controller. Perhaps Sony will one day let us use a ping-pong ball as the entire controller.