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Sony delays release of motion controller

Wed, 01/20/2010 - 2:01am
TOMOKO A. HOSAKA - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press

Sony Corp. said Wednesday it has pushed back the release of its highly anticipated motion controller for the PlayStation 3 game console to the fall.

The device will be available in North America, Europe, Japan and other Asian countries. Sony did not say how much the controller will cost.

The controller was slated for a spring launch when Sony first announced details in September. But it decided to wait several months until new games were available to accompany the release, said Makiko Noda, spokeswoman for Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. in Tokyo.

"We will continue to work to have a comprehensive portfolio of attractive and innovative games for the Motion Controller," said Sony Computer Entertainment President Kazuo Hirai in a statement. Games are being developed by SCE and third party developers, he said,

Sony said it will unveil its software lineup at a later date.

Used with the existing PlayStation Eye camera, the controller can track players' voices, faces and body motion. The controller, in turn, has on its end a light-emitting sphere that can be recognized by the PlayStation Eye camera.

The latest announcement comes as both Sony and Microsoft Corp., maker of the Xbox 360, take aim at Nintendo Co.'s dominance in the gaming sector.

Since Nintendo launched its popular Wii console in 2006, it has consistently outsold rivals. The company was the first to introduce motion-detecting controllers, which enable users to physically interact with games.

Now Sony has developed its own version, as has Microsoft Corp. with its "Project Natal." Natal, which combines a camera, depth sensor, microphone and processor, eliminates the need for any button-mashing device. Microsoft is expected to release Natal in time for the Christmas shopping season but has not set a specific date.

Although demand for the Wii has slowed in recent months, it remained the most popular console among Americans in December with 3.18 million units sold. The PS3 sold 1.4 million units, while Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360 came close with 1.3 million.

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