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PC controllers could one day be made of bananas and other objects as cheap alternatives
By Neil Soutter on March 4th, 2021 at 01:00pm - original article from game-debate

However you feel about the controller debate on PC, there’s a lot of people who like to use them. The problem is they’re very expensive and a little delicate for how expensive they are. In an attempt to allow for a cheaper alternative for gamers, Sony has patented a way for gamers to use household objects like Bananas and Oranges as controllers instead.

Yes, you heard that correctly. A banana. As a controller.

It’s quite a bizarre world we live in to think that a banana would suffice as a suitable replacement for a controller. For instance, they’re delicious and could make it very hard to get through an hour long gaming session on an empty stomach. Then again, thinking about it more it could actually be a benefit: no more asking your friends to keep you safe whilst you dart into the kitchen. Just eat the banana right then and there.

PC controller banana

Of course, these are just examples, and we’re assuming Sony isn’t totally serious about using bananas as controllers. In fact, you could just as easily use a pomegranate, a frying pan, or your nan’s head. The idea is to create a cheap alternative to something that is relatively expensive in today’s market (a PlayStation 5 controller retails for about $70 or £60).

Whilst peripherals such as [controllers, head-mounted displays, motion controllers and steering wheels] can enrich a player’s video game experience, the technical complexity (and therefore cost) associated with such devices can often act as a barrier to entry in terms of players accessing such equipment,” the patent says.

The patent then goes on to explain that even if players use multiple controllers, oftentimes these all need to be charged regularly, which can be a bit of a pain. Instead “it would be desirable if a user could use an inexpensive, simple and non-electronic device as a video game peripheral.

In comes the banana.

PC controller dual-wield banana

Or really any other object a player desires. The technology itself uses a camera to identify and track the object a player is using. So really you could use anything for anything: a banana for a controller, or a plate for a steering wheel etc. There’s even mention of using multiple peripherals like dual-wielding bananas. Again, the person who wrote this patent must have really liked bananas.

Unfortunately, it’s not exactly a definite reality. As much as we may want to be flinging around fruit in our living rooms as an attempt to make games more immersive, not all patents become a reality. Though it would be cool, it seems a little impractical for now, and unlikely Sony will continue to develop it. Then again, weirder things have been made in this world, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

What do you think? Is the general idea of the patent a good idea? Would you use a fruit as a controller? What other household objects would be great as a PC peripheral? Let us know!