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Throwable Game Controllers 92

Posted by Zonk
from the klonk-owww dept.
dptalia writes "In trolling recent patents, Barry Fox found one for a throwable game controller. This controller would be shaped like a football or a frisbee and be connected wirelessly to a console. The user could then play digital games like catch, or have a distance throwing competition. The controllers have embedded GPS, an altimeter, and an accelerometer to be able to determine the accuracy of the throws."
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Throwable Game Controllers

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  • Or you could... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jfclavette (961511) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:28PM (#16647527)
    Go outside and play football for real instead ? FP
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by wuie (884711)
      Seconded.

      Honestly, if you have a football-shaped controller that you throw to see how far you can throw it in a video game, why not get a *real* football and see how far you can throw it in real life? Throw a couple of friends in the mix, and you have yourself a fun game of football!

      Things like this make me lose my faith in humanity.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Amouth (879122)
        now i could see a use in this.. but not as a game controller..

        if they could make it so that on the outside you couldn't tell the diffrence.. and the weight of the ball was exactly the same as a regulation ball.. it would be good to track ..

        use it for a practice and dowload the data.. maybe be able to put timed markers to what play was when and then monitor the balls movement accross the feild.. do see mabey the avg speed of the runnrs or the normal play time for a play..

        now it would only be useful for pro
        • by smbarbour (893880)
          You mean like the hockey pucks they use when televising NHL games? They even make it change color when it goes over a certain speed!

          (They were designed to eliminate cameramen by having the cameras automatically track the puck, even when it isn't visible to the camera)
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by coaxial (28297)
            First. The puck did not change colors. That was a digital effect.
            Second. Yes. The puck did have ir leds in it, so it could be automatically tracked, but not by the television cameras. It was so that the digital effect could be applied correctly.

            A quick search for "glowing puck" would shoot down this myth.
            • by smbarbour (893880)
              I'm sorry, I was not specific enough in my post. Yes, the color change is only visible on television (Just as the yellow line marking the line for a first down in (American) football is only visible on television). Since they implemented the new pucks though, I have not seen any cameramen at the cameras.

              As a side note, the puck would actually "glow" on camera without the use of digital effects. The infrared spectrum is visible to cameras. (When I worked at a Radio Shack, we would point remotes that were
        • if they could make it so that on the outside you couldn't tell the diffrence.. and the weight of the ball was exactly the same as a regulation ball.. it would be good to track .. use it for a practice and dowload the data.. maybe be able to put timed markers to what play was when and then monitor the balls movement accross the feild.. do see mabey the avg speed of the runnrs or the normal play time for a play..

          I don't know about putting it in the ball - it would mess up the weight and balance, even if you

          • He said "and the weight of the ball was exactly the same as a regulation ball" in there. My bet is that there's a way to make it the right weight.
      • by xenocide2 (231786)
        I vaguely recall a combination of the two concepts from Nerf a while back; a football that recorded how far you threw it. Obviously nerf footballs differ from the real thing, even without a few extra silicon wafers. But it would be neat to come up with a faster game than football. American football is a very slow paced affair, really. Stand around for 30 seconds, sit still for ten, move around for 15, repeat. There was a game we played in school with a football, where you were allowed two steps after a catc
        • There was a game we played in school with a football, where you were allowed two steps after a catch, and no downs.

          Kind of ultimate frisbee or handball. Definitely more fun than the original game. I remember playing something similar but instead of 4 downs you had 4 passes to get to an endzone. If you dropped a pass it would go to the other team at the spot of the drop. The field was much smaller of course.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by cowscows (103644)
            Ultimate Frisbee is a great game. Simple rules, very light equipment requirements, and if you've got a pickup game going in front of your dorm, you can keep adding people without messing up the game (within reason for the size of your playing field). It "scales" well with a player's experience and athletic ability. Just about anyone can learn to throw and catch a frisbee halfway decently in just a few minutes, but an experienced player can make the disc do amazing things.

            *sigh* I miss college.
        • by szembek (948327)
          "American football is a very slow paced affair"

          It's a lot faster than baseball.
      • by coaxial (28297)
        Honestly, if you have a football-shaped controller that you throw to see how far you can throw it in a video game, why not get a *real* football and see how far you can throw it in real life? Throw a couple of friends in the mix, and you have yourself a fun game of football!

        Because everyone wants to throw the ball 70 yards, and now they "can."
    • by joshetc (955226)
      Maybe that is the purpose of it? Take this super football into a field and give it a hurl. Press a few buttons on your laptop / PDA / cell phone and you can see how far / fast you threw the ball. May seem like trash right now but if I could get a football with data logging for less than double the cost of a regular football (like $30) I'd probably be all on top of it..
      • by gregtron (1009171)
        Don't those already exist? And either way, this seems to refer to a console controller, which is a far more inane idea.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by justkarl (775856) *
          Yes, when you get mad at a game, nearly any controller can be thrown. Many controllers support multi-directional throwing, too. Some even have shatter-resistant architechture.
    • by gregtron (1009171)
      Yeah, but who'd keep the stats?
    • luddite.
    • by JebJoya (997050)
      Surely you'd have to play with it outside anyway, else you'll just destroy the walls in your house... Rather defies the point doesn't it? :)

      Jeb
      • by hesiod (111176)
        That's what I was thinking, and it surprised me that no one mentioned it earlier... This could be a parent's nightmare.

        "Go play ball or something." "OK!!!" *BANG, CRASH*
        "What did I just tell you?" "But I was DOING what you told me!"
  • Oh... (Score:4, Funny)

    by bssteph (967858) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:30PM (#16647609) Homepage
    I thought this was going to be a controller to survive gamer rage, which would be far more marketable.

    Or maybe that's the idea. Get pissed off at your favorite ridiculously demanding platformer, and get in shape while doing it!
    • Why would anyone want to make that? Controllers at $30 a pop are a decent chunk of profits. Heck, I'm surprised they're not making them out of crystal and unicorn hair already.
    • by panaceaa (205396)
      That's far more practical than what I was thinking. I was wondering why you'd want to implement a game controller as Throwable -- why not use Exception?
    • by AdamThor (995520)
      I thought this was going to be a controller to survive gamer rage

      I was ready to be excited, thinking this was true. nerf is totally poised to own this market.
    • by ChibiLZ (697816) *
      I was thinking the same! At first I thought, "Well, all controllers are throwable... at least once."

      As far back as Super Mario Bros' insanely hard world 8, to modern day Ninja Gaiden on Xbox and Devil May Cry 3 on PS2, I know I've been throwing more than my share of controllers.
    • by MoriaOrc (822758)
      Yeah, I thought it would be a good controller to give to one of my friends who has a history of hardware abuse.

      Although, since he's mostly a PC guy, what he really needs is some sort of reinforced mouse.
    • by tenton (181778)
      I thought this was going to be a controller to survive gamer rage, which would be far more marketable.

      I know you're getting modded funny...but that was the first thing I thought of. Not that I've, uh, ever thrown a controller in rage, or anything...

      Then again, I probably thought the rage factor, because I actually enjoy throwing a real football around and throwing a controller around my living room wouldn't be the same (seeing as outside is a bit bigger than my living room...)
    • I thought this was going to be a controller to survive gamer rage, which would be far more marketable.

      This is going to be quite an issue for me in the near future. Hitherto all my controllers have been tethered to the console or computer, and have been held quite firmly in both hands, while making very small, fine finger movements. To throw such a controller requires a substantial state of rage. Now, however, I face the prospect of a controller held in one hand, untethered to any substantial solid object,

      • Well, with the last Gamecube controller, droppage from second-story windows was possible.

        Seeing as how the N64 controller was durable, the SNES controller was average and the NES controller was extremely fragile, I think the Wiimote will be able to explode and keep working as it reconstitutes itself. You know. . . like the Terminator. That is, the T-1k.
        • by iksbob (947407)
          It sounds impressive as a selling point but as I figure it, the impact speed of an object dropped from a second story window is roughly 18 mph (ignoring aerodynamic drag). Perhaps the average reader around here has a pretty weak throw, but at age 12 I could lob a baseball (notably heavier than a console controller) at 35 mph. I'm sure even a gamecube controller is no match for a pissed off gamer.
          Maybe they should start filling these things with epoxy after assembly, though I imagine that wouldn't save the a
        • I think the Wiimote will be able to explode and keep working as it reconstitutes itself. You know. . . like the Terminator.

          It wouldn't surprise me. Going by the level of excitement surrounding the thing I wouldn't be surprised if the wiimote will cure cancer, locate weapons of mass destruction and make the tea. I suspect the technology's so inhumanly cool that the moment I get hold of it the Welshmen In Black will turn up and confiscate it...

    • > Get pissed off at your favorite ridiculously demanding platformer, and get in shape while doing it!

      I would love to play Prince of Persia for real... Now that is a game to get in shape with!
    • by rishistar (662278)
      Yes. I've indeed found that all controllers are throwable.
  • ... will provide you with hours of realistic sports-like digital entertainment!*

    * expandable Nerf(TM) living room accessory sold separately

  • How would that work? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Psycosys (886125)
    I fail to see how having a football chaped controller will allow one to digitally play games like catch. Is the console going to catch the ball when you throw it and throw it back to you? Also, how are you going to set distance records playing a video game inside? It seems like the ball will stop when it comes into contact with one of your walls.
    • No, it will pretty much sit there and get hit repeatedly with a plastic object traveling at a decent speed, probably knocking it off whatever stand it was on, which will then cause the user to have to go out and buy a new console. Thus the reason this controller was introduced.
    • by dptalia (804960)
      It's intented to hook to a portable unit like the PSP so you can take it outside....
    • by hal2814 (725639)
      Just playing Devil's Advocate (the pinall machine of course) but they do have those golf games that you hit into the screen and it tracks where your ball should've gone. They could probably do something similar here (though if I read this right that's not at all what they are planning in this case).
    • by hesiod (111176)
      > I fail to see how having a football chaped controller will allow one to digitally play games like catch

      Not "catch," just "throw." Get a tall net right in front of you to catch it and have it sloped so it rolls back down.
  • chair (Score:5, Funny)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:37PM (#16647767)
    The chair version of this controller will be an xBox 360 exclusive.
  • I thought that this was for a controller that can survive several throws due to frustration, yet not break.
    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      We often used to throw our controllers when we were kids. Never ended up breaking them. On a related note, I remember one time, I got mad, and made a whipping motion with the controller cord, the end of the cord somehow ended up hitting the reset button. That's one way to ensure you don't lose.
  • When I read the title, I was happy to know that I wouldn't have to worry about buying a new controller whenever my girlfriend plays Super Monkey Ball." But it's just a damn football on a tether.
  • Laser tag Frisbee (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Animats (122034) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:40PM (#16647833) Homepage

    Back in the late 1980s, one of the design students at Stanford came up with a Frisbee you could shoot down with a Laser Tag gun. The Frisbee had a detector for the light pattern from the gun. When triggered, it released a spring-loaded flap which made the Frisbee aerodynamically unstable, so the Frisbee would crash.

    Very cute, but the laser tag fad died before this went anywhere.

    • by GeekZilla (398185)
      That's too cool! I would have loved that! "laser skeet". I would have (cost being no object, of course) bought at least three and cajoled a friend into throwing them all in the air as quickly as possible to see how many I could hit.

      Guess I could always try to make my own...
  • by Tickenest (544722) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:40PM (#16647835) Homepage Journal
    Every controller is throwable. Believe me, I've, uh, "conducted extensive research".
    • Exactly my thoughts. Unfortunately, most of them are "single-throw" models...
    • by C60 (546704) *
      Now if only they would make controller-proof televisions. And walls. And innocent passersby. Oh, and windows too.

      ...think I might have a bit of an issue here...
  • ...in replaing umpires. Sensors on the shoulders and knees, in the ball, and over home plate. No more bitching about a blind umpire! Great for pitching training (with a dummy, I suppose) or a high-tech sandlot game.
    • by Cahrin (1002520)
      It's a controller designed to withstand being thrown, not being hit full-force by an aluminum bat.
    • by jtorkbob (885054)
      Oh, you're on to something now! Let's take this idea and extend it to... voting! Yeah, we'll have special machines designed to take the human error factor out of voting. Then everyone can stop bitching about 'accuracy' and 'fairness' and 'disenfranchisement'.
  • ...that Nintendo, Sony, Sega, and Microsoft had been making throwable controllers for years!

    I've certainly never had a problem doing so after a frustrating death/defeat after forgetting to or being unable to save recently.

  • I'd have plenty of experience throwing old school Nintendo controllers, Sega Genesis controllers, and on up the list... I do have to agree the Original Sega controllers were very very sturdy. I actually broke a Sega throwing the controller at it.. Of course the controller worked just fine on my *new* Sega.. (insert capitalist tinfoil "theories" here...)
  • The PS3's boomerang controller was cooler :(
  • ...in my new imaginary 50,000 square foot house.
  • I have a closet full of prior art. Can't wait for these new wireless ones to chuck un restricted.
  • You mean I can go outside where there is room enough to play frisbee, and have it show up on my game console? Cool!

    Of course, if I'm already outside playing frisbee with my friends then why the hell would I care about some imaginary frisbee game on my console?
  • by minus_273 (174041)
    i think the ps3 has this beat [google.com]. Sony innovation!
  • Fry: "Virtual Virtual Bowling! It feels just like you are playing virtual bowling!"
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Obligatory Futurama nitpicking

      It was Amy, and it was Virtual Virtual Skeeball.

  • I been throwing controllers against the wall since the Atari 2600 days. Don't need no stinking patent to throw a controller. :P
  • I'd get loads of friends together and form teams. Of course, we'd have to wear uniforms so as to not confuse one another while playing and for the really long throws it would help if we took the Xbox outside on the field near my house. And it would just make sense to invite all my other friends that wanted to watch to sit in the stands. That could get expensive though, so I would have to sell refreshments and charge for entry, but it would be so cool to play sports on my Xbox like that!
  • by Raz1r (982733)
    These should have come with Ninja Gaiden.
  • Welcome to the new digital age of kids throwing shit around the house and breaking mom's vase.
    • by SoulRider (148285)
      As opposed to the pre-digital age when kids would throw things around and break mom's vase? The more things change the more they stay the same.
  • There's a baseball that's been out for a while that records it's own speed on a display on the baseball itself. It wouldn't be a stretch of the imagination to have it send the speed to some sort of baseunit..

    http://froogle.google.com/froogle?q=speed+sensing+ baseball&btnG=Search+Froogle/ [google.com]
  • when i read the headline, i was soooooo hoping this meant a controller you could throw when you get pissed off (i.e. mortal kombat) and it wouldn't break...
    • by Shados (741919)
      Me, I read throwable as in "disposable". Go and picture my face when I read that.
  • Kid 1: Hey little Johny, let's play "Super Golf 2008" on my new console.
    Kid 2: Alright
    *WHACK*
    Kid 2: OWWW! MY EYE

    Yeah, and then we all wait for the lawsuits.
  • My first thought when reading this was of all the people I know who have thrown a game controller in frustration.

    I hate it when people do that.

  • The vast majority of people [that use gaming consoles] don't have 12' ceilings and 400 sq. foot rooms.

    Unless it comes with a retractable assembly that keeps the "ball device" within a few inches of your hand throughout the entire movement range of your arm, I'd file this one under the unlikely to succeed category.

    Try it: Stand up and pretend you're throwing a football at full power in your apartment.

    We all thought the PowerGlove was a great idea, and then we thought the PowerGlove hack for Linux was a grea
  • In case Clark Kent wants to try Madden?
  • In trolling recent patents,

    You don't Troll recent patents, unless you've found a way of provoking them with dumb comments.

    You trawl them.

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