Sony is patenting technology that could allow people to use any “non-luminous passive object being held by a user” as a controller for the next iteration of PlayStation VR. To demonstrate this, the patent includes a schematic of a banana being used in this way, with different areas of the fruit being used to represent input like the cross and circle buttons.
According to the patent, this would allow users to save some money on the proposed DualSense-esque PlayStation VR controllers and use “inexpensive, simple and non-electronic device as a video game peripheral.” So it’s an interesting proposition. Whether any of it comes to fruition is yet to be seen, as companies put patents in for things that never see the light of day all the time. But it did get me thinking. Why stop at fruit? What other household items would be suitable for PlayStation VR controllers?
A broom or mop
It’s been a hot minute since I played a Guitar Hero game. But I can’t imagine any random item in my home being more useful to emulate a guitar than a broom. Who among us hasn’t used a broom to pretend we were a rock star and could do more than the simplest of chord strumming as a kid? Map those buttons to the top of the handle and use the bristles as strings? You’re set. You just saved money on a ludicrously expensive rhythm game peripheral.
A spray bottle
But what about a VR shooter? Sure, you could shell out the cash for Sony’s PlayStation VR aim controller, but we’re looking to save money here. What if, follow me here, you already had something in your home that conveniently had a trigger you could pull. We’re in the middle of a pandemic, so I hope you’ve had some disinfectant in your home over the past year. (And, you know, generally during the best of times, as well.) What say you empty some of that onto your cleanable surfaces and then map the triggers of a controller to those empty spray bottles? Then all you have to do is point and shoot. Just make sure you’re not spraying cleaner all around your playing space. The fumes will get to you.
If you were looking to multitask, some PlayStation VR games require a lot of motion. What better way to get something out of all that swinging and waggling than by mapping your controller inputs to two dumbbells and working on your arm strength? Move over Ring Fit Adventure, here comes an entire library of PlayStation VR games to help you reach your fitness goals.
My dog Lily is a 15-year-old yorkie-chihuahua. And she is by my side at all times. Whether it’s when I’m writing or when I’m playing games, she is curled up as close to me as she possibly can be. But she often has to wait for a cutscene or a loading screen to get any good pats to the head. But here, I can combine video games and Petting the Dog for the most immersive “Can I Pet the Dog” experience. Map buttons to her head and I can pet her and play some VR nonsense at the same time. Map the other buttons on her back so I can give her a good back scratch and continue to be a capital G Gamer. Best of both worlds. I see this as an absolute win.