The new DualSense controller features an improved form of haptic feedback technology which allows PlayStation 5 players to physically feel sensations while playing. That experience is however, limited to in-game sessions. Sony Interactive Entertainment now wants players to experience the same haptic feedback while watching online footage (or streams) as well.
According to a published patent from last week, haptic feedback events can be encoded in an audio-video stream so that they are triggered for spectators on demand. The filing notes that the streams can be pre-recorded but presumably, the same patented technology can cover live streams as well. Hence, players watching online footage of a game while holding a DualSense controller for example can experience haptic feedback events on cue.
The said tactile sensation is not just limited to a DualSense controller. Sony notes that “simulation headsets” can also make use of the same patented technology, which probably references a virtual reality headset like the upcoming, next-generation PlayStation VR 2 device for PlayStation 5.
Metadata indicating demanded haptic events during playback of an audio video (AV) stream is embedded with the AV stream, such that the metadata can be extracted during AV playback and rendered on the player’s side as demanded. In this way, previously recorded video can be spectated during playback without losing whatever haptic experiences may have been generated for original playback without having to rely on merely deriving haptic events from audio.
The haptic feedback of DualSense enables a new way to experience gameplay. For example; players can feel the gritty sensation of driving a vehicle through mud, gliding across a frozen lake, jumping into a pool or swimming, holding different kinds of weapons, or even being able to differentiate between walking on a wooden or sandy terrain.
All of those said examples however can only be experienced when playing through those exact sequences in their games. The aforementioned patent though changes all of that by allowing players to have the same experience by just watching footage.
In another recently published patent, Sony outlined an add-on device that can be mounted on the back of a DualSense to give the controller additional customizable buttons.