Get worked up while playing Call of Duty? How would you like it if your gun became more unstable as your heart rate sped up? What if you were to drop your weapon in Resident Evil if your hands became sweaty in real life? Sony may be looking into this kind of a gaming future with its latest patent.
Sony Patents Biometric Controllers
For a company that frequently makes fun of Nintendo in its advertising, Sony certainly does like to work on many of the same ideas. Remember Nintendo's heart rate monitor that debuted a few years ago at E3 and has barely been spoken of since? Now Sony's filed patents for three different kinds of biometric controllers. One looks like a Sixaxis, one is styled like a Move controller, and one looks like a Vita-style portable. The proposed controllers would measure skin moisture, heart rate, and muscle tension, with various possible gaming applications.
Of course, nobody has yet seen a gaming controller that measures these things reliably in a way that works in a game. Nintendo's heart rate monitor project has been put on hold due to technical and game design issues, after all. It's also not certain if gamers want quite that much reality to enter into gaming. Certainly pro gamers could benefit from training themselves to be calmer in order to increase performance, and some pro teams have been doing just that. Many average gamers, however, play to relax or to experience a fantasy. Can biometric controllers support this kind of gamer as well? Perhaps Sony will find a way to do so if this technology ever comes to light.
Silicon Knights Eaten by Dragon
The dragon of Capitalism, that is. Silicon Knights is best known for creating Eternal Darkness and Too Human. The company's total output has been slim lately, and people expected bad news when its most recent release, X-Men: Destiny, was ripped apart by reviewers. That news came this week as Silicon Knights laid off over half of its employees, with only 40 employees remaining. The Canadian company has recently received millions of dollars in government grants that will fund future development, but in the meantime, it will be operating with a small staff. You heard it here, folks. Releasing a bad game is not good for a company's health.
GameStop Joins the Tablet Craze
Love it or hate it, there's little question that GameStop is run by savvy business people. The trend towards gaming on tablets hasn't escaped the retailer's attention, and GameStop is now selling Android tablets online and in 200 of its U.S. stores. The tablets come pre-loaded with six games, but are otherwise not altered, so they can be used as regular tablets as well as gaming machines. Can GameStop challenge the Apple juggernaut? Unlikely, but a "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" strategy is probably a smart move.
Happy Sales News
In a year that has contained a lot of doom and gloom for the video game industry, a number of companies have started to share good news with the world. Electronics Arts is certainly not depressed about the five million copies of Battlefield 3 that sold in the first week. Sony is also pleased to see a growth in global PlayStation 3 sales, with 3.7 million units sold from July-September. That's 200,000 more than were sold in the same time period last year. PSP and software sales are up as well, although Sony's consumer products division is still losing money overall.
On the other side of the globe, the 3DS has really started to take off in Japan, despite a slim selection of best-selling titles. The device has more titles available there than it does in North America at this point, and the price drop plus the strength of future titles has been enough for the 3DS to top hardware sales charts there. In the meantime, Square Enix's Final Fantasy Type-0 topped last week's Japanese software sales, selling almost 500,000 copies in its first three days. Will the 3DS have a similar takeoff during the North American holiday season, and will we see Type-0 released in English? Stay tuned!
By Becky Cunningham
CCC Contributing Writer
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*