With so much of the VR talk revolving around Oculus' Rift and HTC's Vive lately, it'd be easy to forget that Sony has its own competitor coming, called PlayStation VR. And now, as new patents have revealed, the Japanese gaming giant could have a nifty trick up its sleeve. Or rather, a trick wrapped around its hands.
That's right: it looks like Sony is developing what some could consider a spiritual successor to the Power Glove, that classic late 80s peripheral for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Since the release of the Power Glove almost 30 years ago, there have undoubtedly been some attempts at similar products, but Sony's could be the first that tastes true success. Some 36 million PlayStation 4 consoles have been sold, after all, so market potential is quite good.
A diagram pulled from the patent filing (below) makes this glove's implementation seem straight-forward. However, we can't help but speculate on a couple of things. First is the design; based on the diagram, Sony's glove is not going to be bulky like the Power Glove was (we'd also imagine it'd be a little more accurate, too!), which would be great, since the gamer would already be dealing with a head-mounted display. Tying into that, would such a peripheral need to be only for VR?
The documents also refer to hand flexor sensors that indicate a level of precision tracking at the fingertip level, as well as some sort of cloud network processing offload. Nintendo taught us with its Wii that motion can add an extra dimension to a game, but the Wii wasn't VR. With these motion gloves, Sony could technically let gamers use them for non-VR purposes, although with the current VR push, it does seem likely that that would be the exclusive use for the time-being.
At this point, we're just going to have to wait and see what the product ultimately becomes - if it becomes a product at all. Interestingly, these particular patents were filed back in 2014, but were only just now revealed to the public. With PlayStation VR expected to launch the first half of 2016, it won't be too much longer before we learn whether or not this glove will launch with the platform.