Xbox 360 Motion Controller Coming This Year

Performance Designed Products (or PDP) plans to offer a motion controller for the Xbox 360 sometime this fall. This new controller called the Gametrak Freedom uses several accelerometers for mapping pitch, roll, and yaw.

The controller differs from the Wii remote in that it uses ultrasonic 3D positioning. Also unlike the Wii remote, the Gametrak Freedom will come with two sensors that will be placed on both sides of your display instead of the Wii’s single infrared lamp. These two sensors communicate with an ultrasonic emitter built into the Freedom controller. The ultrasonic pulses from the controller and data from the accelerometers make it possible for the system to calculate the distance, orientation, and speed of the remote with extreme precision. You can use up to four Freedom remotes on a single system. Each remote will emit three pulses for distance triangulation and a fourth pulse for accuracy. What’s more, the Gametrak Freedom remote claims to require more specific movements from the user, so you won’t be able to fool it like you can the Wiimote.

The controller itself sports the same white-on-gray aesthetic as the Xbox 360. The button configuration on the Freedom includes the Xbox 360's X, Y, B, and A buttons, along with a d-pad, dashboard button, and start and back buttons.

Of course, the Freedom will be of little use without games that take advantage of these new controls. Rather than rely solely on third-party developers, PDP has created a title in-house called Squeeballs. This game is comprised of 11 mini games and a total of 150 challenges. Each of Squeeballs’s mini-games shows off a different aspect of the Freedom's motion sensing technology. PDP claims there are other developers working on Freedom-compatible games as well. Check out the trailer for Squeeballs below:

Squeeballs and the Gametrak Freedom will be available for the Xbox 360 later this year. A similar controller for the PlayStation 3 is slated for sometime in 2010.