Rumor: Sony Developing Biometric Controllers

Rumor: Sony Developing Biometric Controllers

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Sony has apparently filed patent papers detailing its designs for controllers which can tell how stressed you're feeling and adjust your experience accordingly.

Though very little has been said about the future of biometric gaming ever since Nintendo's Wii Vitality proved unfit for its purpose, potential applications for these devices have not escaped other hardware companies. According to patent papers filed several months ago, Sony could be planning to create a biometric controller which would adapt your gameplay experience based on physical readings taken from your hands.

The patent papers, found by Siliconera, apparently show diagrams of DualShock 3 and Move controllers fitted with integrated biometrics readers which monitor sweat levels, heartrate and muscle tension. Interestingly, there's also a diagram of a handheld device (which bears more than a passing resemblance to the Vita) which is fitted with similar readers. The idea appears to be that these integrated readers gather second-by-second information on how stressed or excited you're feeling and adjust your gameplay experience to match your mood.

Here's a full list of the applications attached to the patent files:

- Weapons that change depending on how stressed you are. An increase in stress level could make a weapon more accurate or less steady, which will make it difficult to target an enemy. Sony specifically mentions a sniper situation where the weapon becomes more steady if you're relaxed.
- Tensing up your muscles to withstand an attack or charge up a shield.
- A video game character whose facial expressions, movements, posture, and even voice changes depending on your biometric data. For example, this character will sweat when a player is nervous.
- An adrenaline style boost which will let you run faster, jump higher, and punch harder when stressed.
- A health bar that depletes more rapidly if you have a high stress level.
- An attack button that changes a character's move depending if the player is stressed or relaxed.
- Background music and scenery that changes depending on your stress level. Matching music is one example, but Sony also proposes to change music to make a player more relaxed. Brightness of objects and the zoom level, representing a higher level of focus, are two ideas for scenery.
- A game that adapts difficulty levels depending on a players stress level.

If the above is serious and this turns out to be more than a case of forgotten patent papers gone huge, then it seems that Sony's controller - at least in these early stages - is in real danger of making games harder for you when you're at your worst. I'm not sure how many people are looking for their tense in-game moments to be rendered even more tense by a leaky health bar and a shaky rifle. Saying that, though, some of the other applications do sound useful, especially the idea of the soundtrack changing to reflect how tense you are (well, as long as it doesn't decide to start playing Moonlight Sonata at you in the middle of a boss battle or anything). Still, done right, the potential for this technology remains huge.

Source: Siliconera

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IWATA: So for the Nintendo 64, we released a controller with an analog joystick, to better facilitate 3D games such as Super Mario 64.

MIYAMOTO: And then Sony put two of them on their controller.

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IWATA: Right. I remember that. So then we made the Rumble Pack. It was an add on motor that would vibrate when given cues from the game.

MIYAMOTO: And Sony put two of them in their controller.

IWATA: Indeed. With the Wii, we created a motion sensitive wand that we demonstrated with a collection of sports themed mini games.

image

MIYAMOTO: So there, Sony tried to squeeze the technology into their controller. But it was rejected. It ultimately caused the closure of Factor 5. A few years later, they released a motion sensing wand, and sold it with a collection of sports themed mini games.

IWATA: But theirs was different, wasn't it?

MIYAMOTO: Right. It had a glowey ball on the end.

IWATA: Do you remember E3 2009?

MIYAMOTO: THat would be the vitality sensor year, right?

IWATA: Right.

MIYAMOTO: If I remember, we just took an old love tester from our novelty days and slapped a nunchuck wire on it. Two years later, we announced that we were going in a different direction with a tablet controller.

IWATA: Have you looked at Sony's patents this week?

MIYAMOTO: Did they take the bait?

IWATA: (laughs)

MIYAMOTO: (laughs)

IWATA: (laughs)

.......................
edit: I also wonder if anyone who commented on the Wii vitality sensor with disdain two years ago are going to revise their opinions on the tech now that it isn't Nintendo doing it?

Ya know what? It doesn't sound terrible and I like that idea a whole lot better than motion controls. I would like to see where this goes but I'm not of the mindset that this is the next big thing.

well i can say this has me more interested than motion controls at least..

the sniper thing sounds kinda cool actually, i know a few people who would have shit for accuracy in games if this was applied..they stress explode when they play COD/halo/etc...

Yay gimmicks we missed you so...
I guess we aren't coming around to developers buckling down on good gameplay just yet.

Does it add extra stress?

If not, then I'm not interested.

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TheGuy(wantstobe):
snip

*Rolls Off the Floor, Laughing*

You, Sir, are amazing.

It looks a lot better than the vitality sensor. If it works then it can be a neat graphical effect. Not sure if it is worth the price though.

An intriguing idea I've heard people suggest that as a possible use for the vitality sensor, but unless you have a very well designed game that can really grip a player it's going to be a pain at worst and unnoticeable at best.

I like this, as long as it's implemented properly.
Making stuff harder when tense will just result in the controller being snapped...

Would the game play a sad song if I laid my dick between the analog sticks?

Actually that sounds pretty cool, as long as its used well.

Yes, because controllers aren't expensive enough already.

Well... uhm... why? I can't see that making a game harder because I might be stressed because of external stimuli such as:

A. Wife Aggro
B. Sickness
C. Phone ringing

It just isn't sound reasoning. Cool idea, but potential for bad experience is high, and possibly expensive for those of us who ruin controllers due to rage...

TheGuy(wantstobe):
IWATA: So for the Nintendo 64, we released a controller with an analog joystick, to better facilitate 3D games such as Super Mario 64.

MIYAMOTO: And then Sony put two of them on their controller.

image

IWATA: Right. I remember that. So then we made the Rumble Pack. It was an add on motor that would vibrate when given cues from the game.

MIYAMOTO: And Sony put two of them in their controller.

IWATA: Indeed. With the Wii, we created a motion sensitive wand that we demonstrated with a collection of sports themed mini games.

image

MIYAMOTO: So there, Sony tried to squeeze the technology into their controller. But it was rejected. It ultimately caused the closure of Factor 5. A few years later, they released a motion sensing wand, and sold it with a collection of sports themed mini games.

IWATA: But theirs was different, wasn't it?

MIYAMOTO: Right. It had a glowey ball on the end.

IWATA: Do you remember E3 2009?

MIYAMOTO: THat would be the vitality sensor year, right?

IWATA: Right.

MIYAMOTO: If I remember, we just took an old love tester from our novelty days and slapped a nunchuck wire on it. Two years later, we announced that we were going in a different direction with a tablet controller.

IWATA: Have you looked at Sony's patents this week?

MIYAMOTO: Did they take the bait?

IWATA: (laughs)

MIYAMOTO: (laughs)

IWATA: (laughs)

It may be taking up space but I didn't have the heart to snip that post.

Thankyou for the laugh.

I wonder if this is real. I'm tired of "technology" patents being made around concepts that never see the light of day.

What? Who wants this shit? Who asks for this? Motion controls at least have some futuristic appeal. Did anybody ever play Mass Effect and think, "Damn, wouldn't it be awesome if Shepard's balls were as sweaty as mine?" Even minus the hyperbole, nothing on that list sounds immersive or fun. Hopefully this is just random patent we'll never hear about again number 678.

TheGuy(wantstobe):

ROFL. Thank you sir, that is the funniest thing I have seen all week, omg xD
*reads again*
Ahahahahahaha xD

Ok, seriously now, lol...
I think the game making itself harder and your accuracy going down when you gets stressed, can potentially be a really really shitty idea. Stress is a part of the human defence response, that same thing that allows mothers to lift cars if their children are beneath them. Making your game a little harder when you get stressed at a challenging part, just makes you more stressed.
Its bad enough my stress at a game makes me do stupid things (especially during MW2 MP sessions), so a controller that knows I am stressed and makes itself harder? That just screams stupid.
But at least its only on Sony controllers, so /shrug @ that.

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This has potential but if implemented incorrectly (which it will be) could break the game completely. Also if they put it in a COD game everyone will just wear gloves and scream at each other about exploiting it.

So, it'll see I'm stressed, while playing a video game, and compensate for me? But, one of the best ways I become unstressed is by beating something fairly challenging when I'm gaming, something that's causing me a bit of trouble. It's so satisfying, it makes stress go away! Mind you, lulling me into a sense of false complacency, then deciding I need more challenge, that might make stress go away, too, as I suddenly have the urge to stop playing and osmose with some ice cream.

So invest in the glove market when this rolls out?

Stress will give you boosts and calmness accuracy? That does not sound healthy for your cardiac system at all.

I foresee the coming of a new era!

*2fish*Geez this fight is intense I am getting stressed sneaking around trying to be the perfect assassin, this game is sweet!

*game* oh no player is stressed reduce enemy armor to cardboard and their ai to 50%.

*2fish* That was a sweet kill, one more down... wait that guy should have seen me, why didn't he shoot me? FUCK! The damn game thinks I can't do this!

*game* Wow stress is way up have the enemies reduced to 25% and make their bullets out of tin foil.

*2fish*Ok I am pissed let's just run and gun fuck stealth. Do you like that ai? DO YOU?

*game* Oh Christ look at that stress, all enemies commit suicide so player has a chance to win!

VICTORY!

*2fish*What the hell?

I hope I am wrong, but if I am right I am going to start selling power gloves.

Side note:

When I read this I instantly thought of a ps4 mood ring with gaming attachment.

I love this idea, and there are definitely some good, and bad, possible implementations. I'd love this in a horror game!!

TheGuy(wantstobe):
~snip~

Brilliant!

EDIT: How could I possibly forget..
How long until Sony starts coding fingerprint ID into their PSN DRM I wonder.
Just food for thought.

TheGuy(wantstobe):
*snip*
IWATA: Have you looked at Sony's patents this week?

MIYAMOTO: Did they take the bait?

IWATA: (laughs)

MIYAMOTO: (laughs)
.......................
edit: I also wonder if anyone who commented on the Wii vitality sensor with disdain two years ago are going to revise their opinions on the tech now that it isn't Nintendo doing it?

Hilarious.
(I would have added the 3D fad into that too, as Sony is a major player in the 3D TV market, but I think we can lay the blame at James Cameron's feet for briefly resurrecting that silly fad again.)

It never ceases to amaze me how Nintendo and Sony survive tripping up on these dead-end gimmicks.
Force-feedback was nifty, analog sticks were an essential step forward, but everything since then just seems like one fad-gimmick after another.

Yet, it would be cold comfort for Nintendo to be able to criticize Sony's gimmickry now when they're in such a financial nosedive; Especially while Sony is pulling away despite the catastrophes they endured earlier this year.

Such strange times we live in.

If I squeeze it in a hissy fit does it make the goddamn skeleton stop blocking so I can get a motherfucking shot in!?

Yeah. Not like the original Nintendo/Sony hybrid PSX had analog/rumble in the design. Not like Sony wasn't working on the early move tech in 2001, nor released a modified gimmick of it a year later. And there certainly wasn't ever companies called Sega or Atari that Nintendo basically followed on damn near every piece of tech over two generations. Nosiree.

Anyway. I'd love to see this come standard on the next console controllers. Anything that increases feedback between the player and the game is a good thing provided it doesn't drive costs up the wazoo.

"Quick, a tech idea! Bash it!"

Read the article fully, and I got to say, that has the potential to be quite impressive and makes for a more immersing experience, like a rumble pack 2.0. This is a genuinely legit gimmick.

However, if this ever does see the light of day and the tech is used in the near future, all that I ask is that they perfect the technology and that they implement it in a way that makes it seem worth a damn rather than a tack-on.

If this works out will it be able to give a feedback of sorts for motion controls? By making a weapon feel heavy in that you have to put more effort into swinging the controller when you move it?

Who else thinks this idea was thought up after a few hours of Demon / Dark Souls...

So basically...

The more stressed you are, the more juice you'll be able to squeeze from this controller?

It seems all the "cool" features related to this new controller only come out when you're stressed. If that's the case, then I'm not interested for so many reasons.
Not only that, but it worries me that the controller won't be accurate enough. I don't own a Wii and it's the first time I hear of this Vital thing, but I'm thinking of Mood rings right now. You know when you put it on and it changes color and it says, let's say, that you're angry but you're not? Or that you're gloomy but you're just relaxed? Yeah, there's that.
I kinda wanna see this controller just to verify how accurate can it get, but I wouldn't buy it for the reasons stated above.

I wish there would be a bonus for other moods other than Stress. Maybe you recover health faster when you're relaxed, or your character falls asleep when you're tired. I don't know, chances are they might add things like these to the controller. But for now, Stress doesn't cut it for me.

Wow... giving up on motion controls already? I mean, your motion controls sucked, why would anyone want another gimmick from you.

Hmm, does this mean that the game will tell you to calm down than shut down in an effort to avoid you throwing the controller into a wall after dying for the umpteenth time?

Mind you, I can't see how that would help avoid it...

At first I thought, hey this is really cool, you can do some really interesting things in games with stuff like this. The game can interact with you even more. It doesn't have to be harder, the game designer can adjust it how it wishes. Maybe when you're shocked you can automatically block or the like.

But then I thought, actually no, because it's not something you can control, people who don't get shocked easily or don't give off the signals the controller reads will get a less cool experience, same with people who are naturally gittery. It's not like an analogue stick where you make the decisions.

So the only really cool thing about it, is unlike what I imagine of the Wii Vitatlity sensor, it's completely non-intrusive on your experience. You don't have clip on extra stuff and it enhances a game rather than is the game.

It could still work, but I feel it would mean that people try to game the system by holding the controller funny

It sounds like an interesting idea...

But I'd hate for this sort of thing to link into games where you are not 'you' in the game; say an RPG with predefined characters (or, hell, one where you create a character that's not you, either), for instance.

 

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