Controller-free gaming: Once the collective fever dream of the gaming world, they have found a happy little home in this generation of consoles. All three manufacturers have their offerings, though the Kinect stands out for using neither wand nor nunchuck: rather, it is your salacious, salacious body of yours that provides the input.
Now, with the Move already under its belt, Sony may be looking to encroach on Microsoft territory, according to a recently-discovered patent, filed back in October of 2011. While initially annoying - the Move brought accusations across the web that Sony was simply ripping off the Wii, and the company will no doubt face accusations of ripping off Microsoft - it is worth remembering that Sony has been working with controller-free gaming since the PS2. Invented by Richard Marks, who brought us the Eye Toy, Move and PlayStation Eye, the patent is for a device that provides a "real-time three-dimensional interactive environment using a depth sensing device." While the above sketch is rather basic - no doubt owing to Sony's "thousand of chimpanzees using MS Paint on thousands of PCs" department - it does give credence to the notion that such a device will be, at its core, a ramped-up incarnation of previous camera-based gaming peripherals. News is scant - we'll be providing updates as more details come in - but according to Eurogamer's summary, Marks & Co. aims to provide a more natural, fluid experience than previous devices.
While motion-control gaming has yet to dethrone the almighty controller, the success of the Kinect has shown that such devices can be successful in the marketplace, even if only to fill a niche. Thus, in the interest of
f**ktons of cash diversifying one's gaming portfolio, it's not terribly surprising that Sony has an interest in developing a successor to the PlayStation Eye.
So until we step boldly into the inevitable future - 2040 will be the year Microsoft unveils the "NeuroBox 360 Reality Synthesizer" - we'll simply have to settle for our primitive toys. I for one am disappointed. We were promised holodecks; instead, we have tricked-out webcams strapped to our televisions.
This is not the future I was hoping for.