After Microsoft announced Project Natal on Monday, it was hard to believe Sony could put up a fair fight in their own press conference. Then they unveiled their new Motion Controller on the same day Nintendo talked about the Wii MotionPlus, and things looked even more grim. But it didn't take a minute for attendees to realize that this is what the Wiimote should have been from the start.
Still in the technical prototype stage, the PS3 Motion Controller uses a wand with a glowing sphere on its tip and a specialized camera to track the precise location and orientation of the controller -- right down to fractions of a millimeter. It's not just a pointing or acceleration device like the Wiimote; it's a "true 1 to 1 translation" of the real world into virtual space.
And, because the technology is wrapped around a camera instead of a sensor bar, it can overlay objects onto video of you in real-time. That means you can hold onto the wand and have it be replaced on-screen with a tennis racket, letting you interact realistically with virtual balls.