Sony may have a new way to heat up gameplay

Imagine a game where your character traverses a frozen tundra with heavy snowfall. Upon entering this barren area, your controller gets cold, and you must move on before your fingers freeze up.

An image from a patent, filed by Sony, that describes the company's first thermally equipped video-game controller.
(Screenshot by Christopher MacManus/CNET)

The next-generation motion controller by Sony could contain a key feature that's currently unavailable (at least on a wide scale) in the video-game ecosystem: thermal feedback. With so many ways to play video games these days, using a simple motion controller or camera-based motion-capture device may not necessarily impress the experienced gamer anymore.

A patent — granted to Sony Computer Entertainment software engineer Anton Mikhailov — describes in detail a PlayStation Move controller equipped with thermal pads on the handle that can get hot or cold depending on the game experience.

The listing describes several examples of the tech in action, such as forcing players who fire a virtual gun too frequently to wait for the controller to cool down, or letting a player experience the heat of a lengthy sword fight.

An additional brief mention in the patent notes that this temperature accessory could exist as an attachment to the current PlayStation Move controller. Such an option would guarantee backward-compatibility via a temperature sheath that could slide over the controller handle and draw power from the USB port.

Amusingly, the Sony patent examines one additional feature that we could all probably use: if the sensors detect your hand getting hot on the controller, it responds by cooling the handle, and vice versa. No more sweaty-hand gameplay!


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