Behind The Scenes With SCEA Research & Development (Part 1)

Anxious for some more info on our motion sensing controllers? We’re keeping pretty tight lipped about specific games until Tokyo Game Show comes around, but in the meantime the SCEA R&D team have put together a video in which they discuss the development of the device. The seven minute video also shows a bit more footage of the controller in action, that wasn’t shown at E3. This should get you excited for what we’ll be revealing at TGS in late September.

During E3, we showcased a prototype for a new controller launching next year. We know you probably have a lot of questions, so we sat down with Richard Marks and Anton Mikhailov, two of the main brains behind the new controller, to get some insight on the E3 demo, the back-story behind development, and the future of this new technology.

Today, you’ll get an inside look at our R&D team—more specifically, who they are, what they do and how they took camera technology to the next level with the new controller. Check out the video below.

We’ll be posting more interviews with Rick and team over the next few weeks. Expect more info here soon…

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Don’t forget to put an (sunk in?) analog stick on the device. Key for deeper games.

Tech looks excellent.

Super cool! Can’t wait for the controllers to release.

BackedOut_ 28 August, 2009 @ 7:24 pm   3

What a great piece of tech! Project Natal has nothing against this.

Eskimo_Snow 28 August, 2009 @ 7:26 pm   4

This is exactly what I want from the playstation blog

More of this please.


Sub Pixel accuracy :O

Munkeh111 28 August, 2009 @ 7:35 pm   6

Interesting. Is there are studio you are working with like you did with London studios on the EyeToy, because while the technology looks great, the games are what will make it, though of course that is not just up to you

BalramRules 28 August, 2009 @ 7:54 pm   7

I guarantee you Sony that I’ll buy two of them like you told me to, LOL!
But I gotta get da PS Eye too, wonder if EyePet will ever support this tech = ¿


A graffiti artist should be hired to show off the accuracy when using the wand as a spray can

Ziggy-Moff 28 August, 2009 @ 8:22 pm   9

Like someone already said, you really need to make sure there is anolog sticks on the controller aswell to give a better control system, basically the way i always thought it should be is if you chopped a DS3 in half and put every control on each side on each stick (d-pat etc on 1 stick and fire buttons etc on the other) and also of course have the motion stuff.

You then get the best of both worlds, all the controls you have on a standard DS3 and all the motion control stuff.


Interesting video, the new Sony tech is looking more impressive the more they show it. I’m looking forward to seeing some of the ways devs are implementing it at TGS, I also hope they will show the finalised hardware and give it a name at TGS too!

It still amazes me that the Eye, which let’s face it doesn’t have the best picture quality in the world, is capable of tracking the sphere so precisely that it not only knows where it is but also how far away it is from the TV – when you watch someone waggle the controller around at full speed it’s mind boggling to think that the PS3 is able to interpret the video feed, analyse the ball’s location in a 3D space, and apply the equivalent movement in-game with sub-pixel accuracy and no lag!

Galvanise_ 28 August, 2009 @ 8:53 pm   11

I was disappointed that the launch games only require one wand. Please for the love of god, it needs an analog stick.

Looks awesome! Though I don’t like the design 😛


its just those two guys isn’t it, behind all the Sony upcoming strategies, i love it. I bet it was the younger guys idea for the price cut 😀

Hasquarl 28 August, 2009 @ 9:38 pm   14

Oh cool, it’s got rumble. That’s great news.

I cannot wait for TGS to see what kind of games are being made.

SiRobertson 28 August, 2009 @ 9:39 pm   15

The technology Sony is working on is great and it is good to see articles like this one posted. All of the motion control stuff doesn’t interest me though, maybe it appeals to gamers under a certain age, but the thought of standing in front of a TV waving my arms around like a idiot trying to hit a ball that doesn’t exist really doesn’t appeal to me – I curl up in laughter whenever I see those Wii motion controller adverts.

Just give me a DualShock 3, somewhere to sit, and a solid game to play… and maybe a cold beer for good measure.


JordanBlack68 28 August, 2009 @ 9:42 pm   16

Looks cool!


Kaz has already said it will be shipping in Spring 2010 in a recent Times Online interview. This time Sony get to be first to market before Microsoft. Developers already have the prototypes and it’s been stressed that a strong supporting line up for when they launch is a top priority.

The tech is far more advanced than Nintendo’s Motion Plus, another added expense for the Wii. Natal’s no buttons or controller approach is only going to be useful for WarioWare type games and nothing else. Even the most die hard Xbox 360 fanboys aren’t convinced.

We can thank Nintendo for bringing motion controls out and letting studios get to grips with what works and what doesn’t. They will have learnt a lot and we will get to benefit from it. Playing full HD versions of Tiger Woods, Fight Night, Virtua Tennis with motion graphics is tempting.

It would be great if Sony have an ace up their sleeve and can introduce 3D gaming to the PS3.

greekgoddj 28 August, 2009 @ 10:57 pm   18

I got into gaming cause of the WiiMote, but the lack of games eventually meant I moved onto the PS3… but now we will have even better motion control, with proper games? I can’t wait!!! :o)

nickjd331 28 August, 2009 @ 11:15 pm   19

Great video, I’m looking forward to part 2.

Now my suggestion, I know you have probably decided what to do already, depending on what works best, but I’ll say what i was thinking anyway, just in case!

As many other people of said, I would like it to duplicate the dualshock buttons. On each wand have an analog stick, a d-pad (that has the playstation shape buttons on) and button 1 & 2 (like L1, L2 etc). and so on. The two both wands are identical, but can simulate a side of the dualshock

Apolloeye 28 August, 2009 @ 11:25 pm   20

Final Fantasy + gestures for spells and summons = Epic Win.


It will have an analog trigger on it

wayne_halifax 28 August, 2009 @ 11:53 pm   22



Will you kill Natal?


As I mentioned on the US blog, I’m really looking forward to seeing what this tech is capable of, but to reiterate what the other people in this thread have said; PLEASE add an analogue nub (even one like the PSP’s would be sufficient) and face buttons so that using two of these in unison can simulate a regular dualshock controller (with benefits)….

This could be a viable alternative to computer mouses, especially in FPS and RTS games, not to mention the scope for user-customisation (like custom clan tags, skins/textures and so forth) with the accuracy shown here likening the product more to drawing tablets… which is a good thing!


(part 2… stupid word count restriction)
The thing that will make or break this technology is software support… Don’t just release a bunch of mini-games like you did with the eyetoy on PS2… this has scope to be used in major titles and it would be a shame to see it go to waste.

Perhaps the release of this product could mark the dawning of a new area of the PSstore, with apps specifically for the PSeye and motion controller (kinda like the eyecreate studio- which needs updating FYI!) with stuff like photoshop style art packages or zbrush style modelling studios for custom content, as well as gesture based actions for Home… then this will truly be a must buy peripheral!

Bloody_Marcel 29 August, 2009 @ 6:43 am   26

Looking forward to part two 🙂


exion covered almost everything i’d like (post 24-25)
the only thing i’d add to that is, because there is 3d tracking you could creat 3d objects easily like lbp costumes, new car skins etc in a 3d version of a paint program. existing games could b patched to support importing user created skins and player models etc from such a program. the create program could have templates for supported games that would set size and shape limitations.
also doing it that way would prevent games from having to have their own create mode.

Hibs_kid 29 August, 2009 @ 7:57 am   28

not bad .

taurus82 29 August, 2009 @ 9:44 am   29

Hopefully this ‘PS-Motion’ controller will convince LucasArts and Revolution (and other leading developers of point & click adventures) to produce their much loved Monkey Island and Broken Sword games for PS3.

swcoruscant 29 August, 2009 @ 9:51 am   30

I can’t wait for this, it’s much better than 360’s controllerless Natal. If there wasn’t a controller element I wouldn’t be interested.

Guttergod 29 August, 2009 @ 9:55 am   31

I hope the game developers don’t fall too far into the Wii trap with this. That accuracy can make the controllers useful in more ways than just making us all jump around like idiots in our livingrooms…

Game developers are too afraid to try doing something NEW when it comes to controlling games. Which is why FPS-games still takes forever to get into on consoles.

Spurvugle 29 August, 2009 @ 10:16 am   32


samich2007 29 August, 2009 @ 11:45 am   33

its great that you keep us updated with these video interviews/walktroughts

hyperslug 29 August, 2009 @ 12:06 pm   34

How about showing us the department where you are not releasing any good ps1 games?

Novacron 29 August, 2009 @ 1:02 pm   35

Richard Marks and Anton Mikhailov probably have the most fun job in SCE. They get to try out all these new tech applications on a daily basis. 😀

Looking forward how this’ll get utilised in future projects…

kool-chris93 29 August, 2009 @ 3:15 pm   36

I’m sooo getting this when they release it

Darkos87 29 August, 2009 @ 3:56 pm   37

I have no interest in motion controls, I like my dual shock thank you very much.

theshepanator 29 August, 2009 @ 7:39 pm   38

Wow, I was convinced I didn’t want motion controlled gaming, and looking at the natal demo made me even more adamant that this was the case. Sony, you changed my mind again.

BATman94Knight 30 August, 2009 @ 7:27 pm   39

While the tech looks great, and hopefully adds yet another reason to get a PS3 over the competition, I think Sony shot itself in the foot by going “cheap” with the last pre-slim PS3 iteration and not putting a USB port on the back of the console (I assume the new PS3 slim doesn’t have a port in the back either). Assuming the camera is not wireless, who is going to want a USB cable protruding out in front of their console in his/her otherwise sleek home theater setup?

senorkhoa 30 August, 2009 @ 10:51 pm   40

This controller with a star wars game will be amazing.This is gonna be awesome.

AlexAtkinUK 19 September, 2009 @ 12:12 pm   41

I actually love how Sony and Microsoft are going a different direction with this. It gives you more of a reason to own both consoles.

Although I too worry that Sony are missing one great thing about the Wii controller, the fact you have an analog stick in your “other” hand for movement. How else are you going to apply this tech to a FPS?

Though I feel Natal is a more subtle take on motion control. It can have things like head tracking so that when playing a FPS if you look left or right or duck, the camera can track that in-game. All the while playing the game using your normal controller, so it becomes a subtle addition to the normal controls rather than instead of. That will be appealing to those people who still want to sit on the couch with a beer as there are many actions you could still do sat down, as Microsoft show in their tech demos.

So overall, I think both methods are appealing for different reasons. The PS3 is going more for how most Wii games work, which is risky as they get boring FAST. Natal though I feel has the most real-world use because it can be added to game as a subtle addition.