A recent patent application from Sony details the ability for players to use any “non-luminous passive object” as a PlayStation 5 controller. Camera technology would be used to detect an object within the player’s hands and superimpose a mapping of virtual buttons on top of the object’s surface. The cameras could also detect the finger’s of the user on the substitute controller and coincide it with where the virtual button is located.
If this patent application were to lead to a finished product, players will be able to “use an inexpensive, simple, and non-electronic device as a video game peripheral” for the PlayStation 5. These items could be a pencil, a book, a bottle, bread or, as depicted visually in the patent, fruit.
In terms of substitute gaming peripherals, bananas would be the most efficient of the “non-luminous passive object” category. They can fit in your hands much like a traditional controller can, and you can eat them. When have you ever been able to eat your own controller? Just make sure you don’t use your controller when it goes bad and throw away the controller’s peel when you’re done with it.
Using fruit and other objects as controllers isn’t exactly new to the Twitch community. Rudeism is a streamer known for using silly objects as controllers by hooking them up with motion-sensor equipment. He’s played Rocket League and World of Warcraft using guitar controllers and DDR dance pads. Rudeism has also wired dozens of bananas to his computer to play Overwatch.
Using unconventional objects as controllers isn’t anything new, but Sony’s patent reveals that the company sees it less as a gimmick and more of a convenience to the user. The application notes that the designers feel as though existing controllers can be a “barrier to entry” due to their “technical complexity.” While using bananas and oranges like joysticks sounds like a joke to most, it might bear fruit for the future of interactive technology.