Sony Developing Wii U Style Controller?

A recently discovered patent application filed by Sony in 2010 for a “Dependent Gaming 3-D controller, and Handheld as a Remote” seems to resemble the design of Nintendo’s upcoming Wii U tablet style controller.

From the images submitted with the patent, it would appear that the device could be used to show onscreen images, interact with onscreen objects and be used as an augmented reality window in conjunction with the game, in much the same way the PlayStaion Vita can, without the use of marker cards (such as the AR cards supplied with the 3DS).

According to the patent, the device will function as follows:

“Methods and systems for using a position of a mobile device with an integrated display as an input to a video game or other presentation are presented. Embodiments include rendering an avatar on a mobile device such that it appears to overlay a competing user in the real world. Using the mobile device’s position, view direction, and the other user’s mobile device position, an avatar (or vehicle, etc.) is depicted at an apparently inertially stabilized location of the other user’s mobile device or body. Some embodiments may estimate the other user’s head and body positions and angles and reflect them in the avatar’s gestures.”

Due to the “position dependant” nature of the device and it being described as a “mobile device,” it’s tough to know if this is referring to a dedicated controller like that of the Wii U, or a secondary function of a device such as the PlayStation Vita. Either way, it shows Sony have at the very least been interested in using a handheld screen to play console games. Many developers have suggested that the PS3 and Vita can be used in this way. Could that be how the patent will be used?

More images from the patent can be seen below.

Sources: Source 1|source 2

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