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Hirocon

SixAxis interface?

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I'm doing research on motion-based controllers and I'm trying to compare the Wii remote to the PS3 SixAxis controller based on the actual information provided by the controller. The Wii Remote doesn't actually provide information about all six degrees of freedom of motion. It provides acceleration data along three local axes, and information about the positions and intensities of infrared lights from the "sensor bar" as seen by the remote. When the wii remote is not pointed at the sensor bar (leaving only the acceleration data), the problem of tracking the wii remote's motion in all six degrees of freedom is under-constrained. I cannot find the corresponding information for the SixAxis controller. Does it live up to its name by actually providing information about all six axes? I'd like to find some source describing the specific motion data that can be read from a SixAxis controller, and if possible some description of the internal hardware used to generate this data. So far I have been unable to find any such sources. Can anyone help?

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I believe it is all covered by NDA and reverse engineering.

The Bluetooth Wii Remote has been pretty well reverse engineered (and also had a few blatant NDA-breaches) to describe the ranges of accelerometer response.

I don't think the SixAxis has been reversed or publicly disclosed (yet).

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I'm not interested at this point in anything as specific as the response range of the accelerometers. I just want to know what type of information is provided. For how many axes does the controller give raw acceleration and/or rotation data, at how many points within the controller? Anyone with access to a PS3 SDK would necessarily know this information. It hadn't occurred to me that information this basic would be restricted under an NDA, but I guess it could be.

Time to go look for the patent...

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Quote:
Original post by Hirocon
Anyone with access to a PS3 SDK would necessarily know this information. It hadn't occurred to me that information this basic would be restricted under an NDA, but I guess it could be.


Everything in the SDK docs is covered by NDA; it's only the stuff that Sony explicitly make public that isn't (so something publicly known through an NDA breach is still considered to be under NDA).

A big problem is any public 'comparison' you do between competing platforms is liable to be picked up by ill informed fan-boy websites who go on to post a load of "X is better Y" FUD which then affects sales - the men in suits don't like that.

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The sixaxis does indeed provide sixaxis of freedom, I have done similar research to yourself, starting off with the wii controller.

The sixaxis controller has been reversed engineered to work on a linux operating system, once you have figured out how to enable its "data reporting mode" it starts to report data much like the wii control does, using regularly scheduled HID reports.

see this video;

http://www.engadget.com/2007/04/29/sixaxis-linux-robot-were-in/

Somebody has also developed a sixaxis driver for the windows operating system, so it behaves much like a standard HID joystick...

http://ipvideo.512j.com/bbs/bmb/topic.php?filename=216

but this driver is still incapable of reporting the actual motion of the controller.

The problem with the sixaxis controller on a windows system is that you need to write a device driver specifically for enabling this data reporting mode, due to various different levels in the windows software/hardware interaction preventing you from issuing the correct command; this is a lot easier to do in a linux based system.

I would hazard a guess that not even the sony ps3 SDK would contain the low level information you require to obtain the six axis data from the controller, opting to provide a neat API to the programmer instead.

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