Could That PS4 Controller Offer Fully Positional 3D Sound?

ps4 controller 3d sound

That happy guy there? He’s happy because what he’s listening to is 3D. There’s a central device that knows where he and his cute little circular cheeks are in the room. From there, the audio player can adjust the sound to each ear, balancing it out using clever maths.


Funny, because the PS4 apparently comes with a couple of cameras (at least according to some recent leaks) and the shots of the controller have what looks like a Move strip on the top. From that, the PS4 can work out where you are in the room and the direction you’re facing.

And – hey – there’s a headphone jack on the bottom of the controller.

Think about it: turn your head to the left and the sound moves around to the right. Look out of your window at a passing Nissan GTR and hear it roar in full 3D. Look around in Killzone 4 and hear the bullets react to where you are in the room. You get the idea.

Not convinced? Well, Sony have just published a patent (via) doing pretty much this. That’s where the pictures of the happy guy are from. Think of it like a little punchline on a Saturday afternoon. It might not happen and might not be announced on Wednesday – but it’s possible, I think.

If you weren’t hyped for the PS4 reveal before, you might be now.



  1. if it works from the pad then you’d have to be facing the same way you’re pointing the pad for it to work.
    and don’t these virtual 3d sound things really require you to be wearing headphones.

    i’ve listened to a few of these kinds of systems, from whatever it was they used for that xenon 2 game on the amiga to binaural recordings, and some of them are really amazingly realistic.

    in my opinion, the best option would be to employ some sort of virtual surround syatem, but tie it to what you’re seeing on the screen rather than where your head or joypad are facing.
    if they can route the sound to a pair of headphones plugged into the pad it could be real convenient too.

  2. Sounds like a gimmick that’ll have little use to me and the majority. Hope the PS4 has a few more tricks up its selves than this idea?
    A speaker/mic on the pad like the wii remote would be nice for the ‘you’ve just got a trophy’ ping though!

  3. This to me seems like Sony is positioning to break into the VR space in a big way. Consider; with the move bar on the controller, combined with a basic ‘step forward to walk forward / left to strafe left / centre to stand still’ type arrangement and 3d positional audio being fed directly from the controller (wireless headphones are nice but a luxury – this works around some of the perils of a wired VR setup in a brilliantly effective way), this could provide a highly workable and enjoyable VR experience. When combined with some of the other patents and details we’ve seen recently…

    Bring on Wednesday. If Kaz steps on stage wearing a pair of those glasses from Heavy Rain… ^.^

  4. This seems completely pointless when I think about how I play a game. I sit still facing the TV, therefore I’m not moving. Directional audio while wearing headphones in relation to where you are in the game is great, but where you are in your room is almost useless.

    Its the same issue I have with head tracking, great in concept but when facing a TV it just doesn’t make sense.

    • I agree. When I play, I sit infront of the living room TV which is hooked up to a 2.1 sound system. I don’t use headphones when playing games as I don’t like the isolated feel. I still want to hear my phone or the door bell when playing games.

  5. It won’t be long until the rumble vest makes a comeback.

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