While Nintendo will be the first manufacturer to the market boasting a tablet-cum-console, it appears Sony has been experimenting with just such a loadout since 2009. A patent discovered on Free Patents Online reveals Sony was prototyping a "portable electronic device" which acted as a "receiver operable to receive supplementary image data from a remote image source". Sound familiar?
The patent was filed on New Year's Eve, 2009, before being published last month on August 24th. As we mentioned above, it describes a portable electronic device with a "display facing in a first direction, a video camera facing in a second direction substantially opposite to the first direction" whose "supplementary image" mirrors that being displayed on the "reference image". So, basically, this portable electronic device displays an image corresponding to a related image on your screen.
The patent goes on to describe in painstaking, exacting detail - just be clear, no need to confuse us with incessant jargon, guys! - that the portable electronic device can be used in conjunction with the display, mirroring the image when matched by the back-facing camera. It's quite obviously precursor tech to what the Wii U is boasting, with a tablet-esque controller capable of being held up to the screen to function as a controller of sorts with gyroscopic and mirror-image strengths.
It's a beefy patent, with that wall of text probably hiding a few nuggets of information we've overlooked. It's unclear why Sony didn't move forward with this patent, although its perhaps tied to Playstation Move. It would be unwise, both financially and consumer-wise, to release two exciting but experimental devices. Sony obviously plumped for Move. Did they make the right choice? [Free Patents Online]