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back to article Sony seeks 'universal console controller' patent

It's perhaps a step too far to say that just because Sony has applied for a US patent that covers a "universal game console controller" that it's actually developing one with a view to bringing such a product to market. But applied for such a patent it has. The patent application - number 2010041480, and spotted by website …

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Prior Art!

Surely this is a non-novel extension of the universal TV/video/whatever remote? Not that I expect the USPTO to do anything except approve it.

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This sounds almost exactly like

I believe you can buy a "universal remote control" for "home theater" that emulates the controls and control layout of any individual device's remote control.

I think also there are "soft controls" for games played on touchscreen PC - an image of an ordinary game controller appears on the screen next to the game program itself.

In which case, I'm not seeing defendable innovation here.

Now what the smart manufacturer will do, is patent their own game controller design. And then Sony can xxxxxx xxxxxxx xx xxxxxxx themselves with their "universal controller".

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Emulation play?

This could be an emulation play, the Wii allows a lot of game cube games to be played and you can plug in the old controllers, but that involves buying the old controllers, having a controller that was re-configurable, would allow a lot of game companies to bring masses of old games to the PS3/4 very easily, maintaining the original control characteristics and so reduce the time it would take to re-engineer the control mechanisms for each ported game.

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I can't see it myself.

With no real buttons it just wouldn't feel right.

Though if it was one of those controllers with all the games built into it, then it would probably sell.

There are certainly some games I would like to play, such as the original AVP (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alien_vs_Predator_%28Jaguar_game%29 - is it really only 16 years ago!) but I can't be bothered to dig the hardware out of the loft and plug it all in (and explain to the kids what a real video game was like).

I suspect that it's probably more to stomp on a company that might produce such a thing.

ttfn

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Anonymous Coward

....makes me sad to remember.

Great hardware that wasted opposition, sadly no marketing to back it.....Jag AVP was the last time a video game made me physically jump with fright....

Tempest 2000 from the Mutant Camel guy still stands up too - genuinely better than the updated version currently pushed onto 360 via Live Arcade...

Can't see there being a market which justifies the effort of emulating it, quite a lot of buttons to deal with compared to most controllers these days - and where would you clip the little cardboard wotsits

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S.T.A.L.K.E.R. frightened me quite a bit.

[The post is required, and must contain letters.]

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Anonymous Coward

As opposed to a normal universal remote?

As opposed to any other universal remote that can also be used with a games console?

http://playstation.about.com/od/hardwareandaccessories/gr/LogitechHarmony700PS3Review.htm

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Amiga Controllers

For those of who have broken far too many Joysticks playing Sensible Soccer there is indeed a market. Most retro retailers only have the old Competition Pro style (which i hate) and CD32 controllers die at such a rate that they ran out well before the Amiga games market died a death.

I have to admit my A1200 and CD32 dont look terribly good on a 40" screen but you dont notice when in the thick of decent gameplay. Yet to rebuy Sensy on the XBox...

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titular stuff

I much prefer the ZIP-Stick joysticks on my 'miggy. I've still got three of them, and the switches aren't hard to replace when they break :)

CD32 pads (the official ones anyway) were pretty crap to use as the squared edges really chafe the palms.

A universal controller that I could use on all of my kit doesn't sound that bad at all, it's just a shame it's sony that's patented it :/

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Anonymous Coward

which is why

Everyone i knew plugged a megadrive controller into their amiga.

I wouldn't trust sony to make a decent controller, the PS1 was good, but they tacked on analogue afterwards, and they never bothered to fix the poor location of the thumbsticks as more and more games capitalised on analogue controls, forcing you to bend your left thumb into a really uncomfortable position. The Gamecube and xbox controllers bothered to re-arrange the left thumbstick with the d-pad and it works much better. It's even worse if you are, like me, a fat handed twat, then your thumbs keep crashing in to one and other if you ever have to use both sticks.

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Naughty

I think that it's more likely they intend to prevent other companies coming along and making such a device that would work with Sony consoles.

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FAIL

The problem

With universal controllers (as a user of many Philips Pronto remote controls over the years) is that touch screens require you to look at them when you use them. So unless you have a superset of physical buttons the controller won't be usable for games where you need to watch the screen, not the controller. I suppose getting the patent ready for when someone does try and release one makes sense in the perverse world of patents.

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Maybe

This is less about them producing this kind of controller and more about stopping someone else from doing so.

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I doubt it

More than likely it means that anyone providing such items for Sony's console will have to go through Sony.

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Anonymous Coward

Patent.... what exactly?

It's a good idea, but there had better be something seriously novel in there to warrant a patent. Ooops, I forgot, that doesn't matter anymore if you're a big company.

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Grenade

Will sony ever sell them?

Course not - they just want to make sure nobody else does without paying them large sums of money!

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Funny choice of examples

It's funny what example system they mention ... Jaguar. I doubt they would invest money in engineering support for that. Turbographics ... do you mean TurboGrafx? C'mon Sony!

... and Gravis... really? Why not mention the original Pong controller or Atari 2600?

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Heart

I would love one of those!

Having one of every UK release games consoles since the NES wired up in my extension that would be fantastic to use a single pad (hopefully a little more ergonomically designed then the classic pads of some of the older machines). Hopefully it will be compatible with the:

NES

SNES

N64

GameCube

Wii

Master System

MegaDrive (CD/32x)

Saturn

Dreamcast

Xbox

360

Jaguar 64

3DO (Panasonic R.E.A.L variety)

Atari 2600

PS1,2 & 3

I will be a very happy chappie :D

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They will sell it ...

But once it becomes even remotely popular, they will be sued for patent infringement by a patent troll using a patent originally concerned with wine making, and have the controller banned from the U.S. by the FTC.

You think this is joke? You haven't been paying attention to what's been happening in "The land of the free".

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Stop

Prior art?

So... are you telling us that Sony have applied for a patent for the Optimus Maximus keyboard, only in a keypad format?

http://www.artlebedev.com/everything/optimus/

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WTF?

Atari Jaguar

LOL I wasn't expecting that, odd choice. Actually, have you seen the size and shape of those Jaguar controllers - I'd imagine anything would be better than those, good example after all!

@Sampler

Your Master System, Megadrive, Atari 2600 (and other consoles which you don't seem to own but you might as well start collecting such as the ColecoVision) already are compatible controller wise. They should just bring out PS3s and Wiis with the oldskool 9 pin plugs and continue the trend!

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Interesting

But it seems to me the only real use for this would be in in combination with a console emulator. If Sony is considering something like that (at least idly) that might explain why the mentioned those obsolete consoles.

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Pirate

Umm....

While this seems like an interesting idea, It actually flying is another matter.

Doesn't microsoft have an embedded security chip in their controllers to prevent unlicenced manufacturerers building controllers compatable with the 360.

They aren't going to get past that without somone hacking the chip... oh wait..

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FAIL

when i was a lad

my atari 2600 controller connected to my Amstrad CPC ahhh those were the days

stupidly i thought it would fit in my first desktop too doy!

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Another problem....

...How are you going to plug that in? Will it have 35 connectors for all the interfaces? That'll be larger than a lot fo game consoles right there... Hell, the PS2's controller jack ain't exactly sub-mini, kwim?

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