According to a report on Japanese language website Tech-On!, a new Sony patent has been discovered which describes a motion sensing device which appears very similar to the Wii remote, albeit using an EyeToy-style camera to work out a controller's position.
The patent, which is also viewable on the Japanese patent website
under the patent code 2006-178948, reveals the following:
"This invention focuses on an object with a video camera and... maps the location and direction of an object to three-dimensional space. The three-dimensional information on an object is stored in memory and the rendering of the virtual object in the scene on a video screen, being used for control of action in a game program."
Sony have already received notable feedback for the more limited tilt sensors built into the new PlayStation 3 controller. The new patent appears to show a controller even closer in form and concept to the Wii, with a wand like controller moving in front of camera in order to track its movement in 3D space - though the method of creating the control is different, since it uses visual information gained from the camera, rather than locational information from the controller.
As well as outward similarities to the Wii, the patent also recalls technical demonstrations given by Sony prior to the PlayStation 2 launch, in which a wand like controller was used to control a simple flight simulation. These demonstrations are generally assumed to have been the genesis of the EyeToy line of titles, and indeed in this case, the camera featured in the patent is assumed to be EyeToy related.
However, as with all patents, it is unclear whether this invention is something that is actively in development for PlayStation 3, or whether it is simply a technical patent for something Sony is still experimenting with. Nonetheless, elements of the patent recall the Sony The Eye of Judgement
demonstration, which used spatial recognition of cards as part of gameplay.