We suspected that the next version of the PlayStation Eye camera would come with Kinect-like depth tracking abilities, and it looks like we might have been right. A patent filed by Eye Toy and PlayStation Move visionary Dr. Richard Marks has hinted that Sony is toying with controller less technology, with the platform holder filing a patent for a “user driven three-dimensional interactive gaming environment” back in October of last year.

The patent discusses a “depth sensing device” which uses a “three dimensional camera” and “controlled infrared lighting” to scan an area. The patent is less specific about what the device would be, and more what it could achieve, though there are references to both PlayStation and gaming hidden within the techno-babble.

The main take-away is that depth tracking is something that Sony is currently considering. Whether we’ll see it emerge in time for the PlayStation 4 – if at all – remains to be seen.

PlayStation Move – despite faring well – has not enjoyed quite the same success as Microsoft’s motion solution. However, as gaming fans we’d argue that the Move is a much more versatile device, and we’d hate to see it fall to the way side while Sony stumbles to snatch away a slice of Microsoft’s lucrative controller-less pie.

It’s going to be interesting to see how Sony approaches motion controls next generation. The technology is clearly not going away – but Sony seems to have the least defined strategy of the three platform holders. What would you like to see?

[via eurogamer.net]