Sony to launch PS3 motion controller in autumn

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The Independent Tech

Sony said Wednesday it would launch its new "motion controller" for the PlayStation 3 video game console in late 2010, in a fresh challenge to rival Nintendo's hit Wii console.

The controller, along with a camera installed in the console, tracks players' movements, which will be mimicked by onscreen characters wielding anything from swords to tennis racquets, guns and baseball bats, Sony said.

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. chief Kazuo Hirai promised "an exciting and varied line-up" of games to go with the controller, which will go on sale this autumn in Japan, North America, Europe and other markets.

Sony unveiled a lollipop-shaped prototype of the controller last year bearing similarities to the hand-held controller developed by Nintendo.

Sony and Microsoft, maker of the Xbox, were left badly trailing behind the Wii when it was first launched in 2006 with a motion-sensing controller that can simulate a gun, sword, golf club or orchestra baton.

Now they are seeking to emulate the Wii's success.

Microsoft is expected to launch by the end of the year a technology that enables people to play videogames using natural body movements instead of hand-held controllers.

The "Natal" system uses a camera and voice and face recognition software to recognise people and their actions, allowing people to play driving games by simply moving their hands as if turning a car steering wheel.