As a child, I remember playing with Lego blocks. I spent much of my time building them together to create some kind of fantastic structure or vehicle. Sure, I had some video games at my disposal, but at the time Legos held my interest much more than my Genesis did. Things are much different now.
More and more kids are picking up controllers rather than action figures and building blocks. A trip to the toy store typically results in a Skylander accessory instead of a Lego product. It’s a pretty radical shift in direction, but Lego wants to stay in the game.
It seems that as of late Lego has joined together with Sony to bring Lego blocks to a different level. Researchers are tossing around ideas right now to create a product that can more directly tie in with video game consoles. They have played around with fitting tiny motors and cameras onto Lego structures, and this may open up a whole new world of options. You could use this to play a game of tag with your controller guided Lego figure, or with a little more finesse you could even arrange battles between a couple of figures in an arena of your own creation. A demonstration showed one figure, being controlled with a PS3 controller, endlessly pursued by another figure controlled by an AI. The tiny cameras on the Lego pieces allow computers to track their movements and thus open up a number of applications or games to be created.
Right now there is nothing concrete in development or planned for release. As of now these projects
are simply experimental in nature, but the future seems bright for this idea. I would be completely thrilled to be able to wage Lego battles against a friend or an AI, taking my creation onto the battlefield remotely using a controller. It seems like the most logical next step for a company like Lego, as they have already shown great interest in the video game market by releasing many Lego theme games on the home consoles. Only time will show what comes of this initial step, and I for one find it fascinating.