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Sony’s Idea Of Walking In VR Games Involves A Giant Trackball
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Sony’s Idea Of Walking In VR Games Involves A Giant Trackball

by Low Boon ShenDecember 28, 2023
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Sony’s Idea Of Walking In VR Games Involves A Giant Trackball

Sony's Idea Of Walking In VR Games Involves A Giant Trackball

One of the limitations of VR (virtual reality) today is that your movement in-game is limited by the size of your room physically, and games often have to rely on traditional button controls to introduce movement in-game. Sony has a few ideas on how to solve this problem, going by the filed patents – and one of them involves what looks like a giant trackball of sorts.

Sony's Idea Of Walking In VR Games Involves A Giant Trackball 31

There are two solutions being proposed by the makers of PlayStation here, with one involving a static, touch-sensitive surface that a user’s feet can interact with; and the other is pretty much a foot-sized trackball that is usually seen in some specially-designed trackball mouse. Getting this to work in reality shouldn’t be too difficult, given that both devices simply use existing technologies, just at a larger scale.

For the trackball approach, Sony envisions both one and two trackballs, which have to be large enough to be used by a user’s foot (or feet). They work the same way as trackballs found in the mice of the 1990s, which detect rotations in multiple axes and calculate the movement for the PC to translate into. As for the trackpad approach, there are also two solutions presented: one is a simple rectangular arc, while the other is a bowl-shaped device that is expected to serve the same purpose.

The idea is to solve the space limitation issues that VR games face today, which also limits what kind of games can be played in such a medium. A fixed-position solution like Sony’s patent above can make a whole VR setup essentially fit within the confines of a desk no bigger than a typical PC setup, which should in some ways lower the barrier of entry to VR gaming. Of course, patents are often proof-of-concepts by nature, so there’s no guarantee that this will make its way into retail devices anytime soon.

Source: Tom’s Hardware

Pokdepinion: This also presents another small problem: how do you walk while essentially sitting down? Strafing certainly is going to be much more difficult.

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Low Boon Shen
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