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Sony working on 'break apart' motion PS3 pad

New controller to enable the development of Wii-like titles and open up the console to wider audiences

Sony Computer Entertainment is working on a new controller for the PlayStation 3, which features the ability to 'break apart' into two separate units, each of which contains an accelerometer for 'Wiimote-like' motion-sensing functionality, GamesIndustry.biz understands.

It's not clear when the pad will be officially announced, but it is believed that working units have already been supplied to certain developer partners, according to sources.

The potential for new game types to be developed with the additional motion-sensing functionality should open up the PlayStation 3 to the sorts of gaming audiences that the Nintendo has been so successful at gathering with its Wii console.

Sony Computer Entertainment will therefore hope that, with the ongoing development of the PlayStation Network, the success of Blu-ray as the de facto next generation standard of video, the gradual roll-out of Home later in the year and the release of additional high definition titles over time, it will be able to overwhelmingly position the PS3 as the best all-round home entertainment unit on the market.

The original controller released with the PS3, the Sixaxis, did contain some motion-sensing ability, although it came at the expense of the popular 'rumble' functionality and was nothing like as free as the movement that the Wiimote offered. The Corporation later released a DualShock pad for the console.

Sony Computer Entertainment declined to comment on the matter at the time of publishing, although an announcement is expected in due course, with the possibility of an official unveiling at this year's E3 event.

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