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Sony Wii-Like Motion-Sensing Controller Expected

Sony currently offers motion-sensing capabilities in the DualShock 3 wireless controller, which is available as an accessory to the PS3.
Sony may be planning to release this year a motion-sensing controller for the PlayStation 3 that could challenge the performance of Nintendo's Wii-mote.

The controller would likely be introduced at the Entertainment Software Association's E3 conference in Los Angeles in June, the Hollywood trade newspaper Variety reported.

Sony currently offers motion-sensing capabilities in the DualShock 3 wireless controller, which is available as an accessory to the PS3. However, the new controller would be far more advanced, possibly eclipsing the accuracy of the controller for the Nintendo Wii console.

The Sony controller would use light-emitting diodes and a Webcam to track the gadget's movements, according to Variety. The technology would be able to track the direction of movements better than the Wii-mote, and also track velocity.

A Sony spokesman said Friday the company wouldn't comment on "rumors or speculation."

The controller is the second new product Sony is expected to unveil at E3. The game fan site 1UP.com reported this week that Sony would introduce the next iteration of the PlayStation Portable handheld game console.

Variety isn't the first to report a new Sony controller is in the works. The site Kombo.com reported last month that Sony was reaching out to game developers, asking them to add support for the device in future games.

What impact the controller has on PS3 sales remains to be seen. Sony has been hit hard by sliding consumer demand during the economic downturn, which has impacted PS3 sales. Not helping demand is the higher price of the PS3 compared with Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Nintendo's Wii. Sony has cut prices before on the PS3, which starts at $400. Analysts have said they expect the company to cut prices this year by about $100.

In March, Nintendo's Wii and portable DS consoles continued to lead the industry in terms of unit sales at U.S. retailers, followed by the No. 3 Xbox 360. Sony's PS3 and the PlayStation Portable were fourth and fifth, respectively.


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