Sony apes Nintendo with upcoming LittleBigPlanet 2 DLC

LittleBigPlanet 2 Cross-Controller Pack DLC

Come December 18, the PlayStation Network will feature a new downloadable content pack for LittleBigPlanet 2. Given that the game initially debuted in January of 2011, it seems slightly odd that Sony would still be churning out DLC for the game, but that’s not the story here. Instead, we’d like to focus on a new feature set that makes this downloadable add-on unlike anything seen on a Sony console to date.

Dubbed the “Cross-Controller Pack,” this latest addition to LittleBigPlanet 2 brings with it a handful of new story missions. According to the PlayStation.blog, these new missions see Sackboy joining forces with “a group of lovable Space Pirates as they race to find a valuable treasure long thought lost to the Cosmos.” To accomplish this task, players will have to use all the skills they picked up by playing through the game’s built-in story mode levels, but in addition to this expected skill set prospective buyers of the $5 Cross-Controller Pack will also need to keep a Vita handheld nearby. “Cross-Controller lets you to use PS Vita as a controller for PlayStation 3, allowing the use of PS Vita-only features, like front and rear touch, in PlayStation 3 games,” states LittleBigPlanet community coordinator Steven Isbell. “More importantly, it provides a whole second screen where action can take place! This allows for an unimaginable number of new ways to play, some of which you’ll experience with the LittleBigPlanet 2 Cross-Controller Pack!”

If that sounds at all familiar, it’s likely because using the Vita as a controller/second screen for a PlayStation 3 title is undeniably similar to Nintendo’s key selling point for its recently-released Wii U console. All of Nintendo’s promotional material for the Wii U focuses on the utility of the screen built into the console’s Wii U GamePad. That controller, which is largely heralded as the default control option for the Wii U, features a standard set of video game buttons and joysticks alongside a touchscreen — a very similar set up to what you would find on the Vita. Further, Nintendo has spent months loudly proclaiming the awesome possibilities presented by this extra screen, in much the same way as Sony’s official announcement of this new LittleBigPlanet 2 DLC pack. Finally, while both Sony and Nintendo seem quite proud of their novel control scheme, we’ve seen little to indicate that it might cause a seismic shift in the way people play games. Instead, both companies promise that their screen-laden controller will prove its worth at some nebulous point in the future.

That said, we’re excited to see what Sony can do with this Cross-Controller concept, and love the idea of playing through additional LittleBigPlanet 2 stages. Hopefully Cross-Controller will see more support than some of Sony’s other much-hyped control schemes, like the PlayStation 2’s EyeToy peripheral or the PlayStation 3’s Move.

Emerging Tech

New ‘parkour’ video shows Boston Dynamics robot training to overthrow humanity

Robots doing backflips? That's so 2017! In its latest jaw-dropping YouTube video, Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot pulls off some frankly astonishing parkour stunts for our viewing pleasure.
Home Theater

PlayStation Vue: The master guide to Sony’s internet TV service

PlayStation Vue is Sony's answer to live TV without the need for a cable or satellite TV subscription. To help you understand the service, its plans, and numerous features, we've created this handy guide.
Home Theater

Don't wake the baby! How to connect headphones to a TV

Do you need to connect a pair of headphones to your TV? Our handy guide will show you how to hook up your headphones in a variety of ways, whether you're using wired headphones, wireless headphones, or gaming headsets.
Gaming

One game console is better than the rest, and we're not afraid to say it

We've seen a relatively large influx of new consoles in the last year, including the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One X, so we've updated our recommendations for the best dedicated game hardware.
Gaming

This week's PlayStation Plus deals have gems that would even make Link jealous

Free games, radically discounted hit titles, and exclusive DLC are all on the table with PlayStation Plus. We're here to make sure you don't miss out on any of the best PS4 game deals available this month.
Emerging Tech

With VR dinosaurs and ‘Minecraft,’ one hospital is making medicine less scary

From augmented reality rabbits on the wards to a Minecraft recreation of the hospital for kids to explore, one of the world's most renowned children's hospitals just got a major tech overhaul.
Emerging Tech

Will we ever fly supersonic again? Unraveling the concorde’s complex legacy

In a new book, Last Days of the Concorde, journalist and author Samme Chittum delves into the mindset that inspired engineers to design this marvel, the series of events that led to its fatal crash, and the possibility that commercial SSTs…
Emerging Tech

Check out the British Army’s beefy new bomb-disposal robot

The British Army is about to get an impressive new explosive ordnance disposal robot that is able to climb stairs, negotiate slopes, cut wires, and … oh, yes, dispose of bombs, too.
Emerging Tech

Kill it before it lays eggs! Crazy 32-leg robot moves like a cyborg sea urchin

We’ve seen one-legged, two-legged, four-legged and even six-legged robots, but researchers from Japan have gone way, way further with their latest project: A 32-legged robot. Check it out.
Emerging Tech

Leafy greens are grown by machines at new, automated Silicon Valley farm

Farming hasn't changed too much for hundreds of years. Now a new startup called Iron Ox has opened its first automated hydroponics farm, producing a variety of leafy greens tended by machines.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Gaming

As deaf gamers speak up, game studios are finally listening to those who can’t

Using social media, personal blogs and Twitch, a small group of deaf and hard-of-hearing players have been working to make their voices heard and improve accessibility in the gaming industry.
Emerging Tech

From flying for fun to pro filmmaking, these are the best drones you can buy

In just the past few years, drones have transformed from a geeky hobbyist affair to a full-on cultural phenomenon. Here's a no-nonsense rundown of the best drones you can buy right now, no matter what kind of flying you plan to do.
Emerging Tech

Get your head in the clouds with the best vaporizers for flower and concentrates

Why combust dead plant matter when you could vaporize the good stuff and leave the leaves behind? Here's a rundown of the best vaporizers money can buy, no matter what your style is.