Construction toy company Lego and tech group Sony are fitting an experimental range of Legos with motors, cameras and PlayStation controllers, intended to increase their appeal to kids already familiar with video games and online entertainment.
According to an International Data Group report published by Network World, the collaboration resulted in a number of prototype Lego bases shown at a Sony Computer Science Lab press event.
Some pieces contain cameras which can send video to smartphones or tablets; others have motorized wheels and can be driven using a PlayStation controller, or directed by AI in a computerized game of tag.
Another innovation adds a tiny actuator which can be used to topple any Lego creations resting on top of it.
No release date was given as the project is still in a pre-production phase, but should the Lego and Sony collaboration bear fruit, it will be part of a rising trend in the video game industry.
Video game publisher Activision launched a range of physical toys in 2011 to accompany a madeover Skylanders video game franchise, with "Skylanders: Swap Force" due late 2013, and Disney is looking to do the same with a line-up of officially licensed figures taken from its childrens' films for August's "Disney Infinity."
Lego's "Mindstorms" range already invites players to build their own basic robots, while both original "City" and "Ninjago" brands have been turned into video games alongside Lego versions of Batman, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and both Marvel and DC super heroes; fellow construction toy manufacturer Meccano has already licensed material from the "Sonic the Hedgehog," "Raving Rabbids" and "Gears of War" games.cp/kc