Rumor Patrol: PS4 Dropping DualShock Design For Touchscreen Controller

The next great console war is nearly upon us and the first salvo of media ballistics could be launched in a matter of weeks. That is, if the latest series of rumors regarding Sony’s PlayStation 3 successor are true. Rumors for both the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox 720 have circulated for two years, most of them pointing to 2013 unveiling and releases, but Microsoft officially made their mark a few weeks ago in highlighting their upcoming E3 2013 keynote presentation – extremely early – with a countdown timer months before the event even takes place, hinting at next-gen Xbox announcement.

For Sony, there’s nothing official just yet but last week an executive from their Home Entertainment division hinted that the PlayStation 4 could be unveiled early, potentially in May, supporting rumors from last year that Sony would definitely want to beat Microsoft out of the gate with the next console generation after having the PS3 release a full year after the Xbox 360.

On the tech front, we also heard last week from VG24/7’s sources that the PlayStation 4 would be nearly 50% faster than the Xbox 360, strictly by its “run-capability of 1.84 teraflops” which, according to unnamed developers beats out the next Xbox which “will be able to achieve 1.23 teraflops.” They also claim however, that the next Xbox will have twice the RAM as the next PlayStation.

The latest news on the PS4 front focuses on its primary controller input, rumored to be drastically different than the current DualShock built upon the traditional PlayStation design. Thanks Nintendo’s Wii U for leading the charge in innovation (again) with its touchscreen-enabled GamePad. The scoop comes from CVG who heard it from a source working on an upcoming Sony title who claim that the PS4’s controller designs has gone through drastic changes and may include a touchscreen, along with biometric sensors, in a package that doesn’t resemble the DualShock at all. Recall: Back in November of 2011 we learned that Sony was designing biometric controllers for all of their systems – take a look at the images.

Says CVG:

“Experiments within Sony’s R&D department are thought to have been extensive. Versions of the new PS4 pad include biometric sensors on the grips and an LCD touch screen, the development source claimed.”

Another one of their sources claims that Sony is trying to take advantage of what they’ve learned and applied to the Vita touchscreen interface to their PS4 controller. We’ve long heard from Sony reps how the Vita can do for PlayStation consoles what the Nintendo’s GamePad does for the Wii U so don’t be surprised if the Vita is fully compatible for the PS4. Cross-marketing, anyone?

They also reiterate that we’ll be learning about the PS3 successor in the coming weeks instead of months, meaning a major announcement could occur even before the May suggestion by Hiroshi Sakamoto, Sony’s Home Entertainment VP. When we do, expect that even with a new controller, the standard PS3 controllers to be supported as well. Not all games will force touchscreen gimmicks, much like the Wii U lets users play with the Wiimotes for many of the titles, especially in multiplayer games since the console only supports one GamePad at the moment.

Sony also previously applied for patents on a Kinect-like camera and for technology that lets viewers simultaneously view different games/TV programming on the same television so all of these could factor into the PS4’s feature-set as well.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Source: CVG

tags: PS4, Sony

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