A patent was recently published for what looks like Sony’s next-generation PlayStation controller featuring a touchscreen component. This has sparked a wide amount of speculation that this this peripheral will release with the PS5.
The patent revealed that the device was filed back in September of last year and was just released to the public last month. An extremely technical description of the controller indicated that a touchscreen may be placed in the middle of the device, which is assumed to replace the touchpad found in DualShock 4. A full description of Sony's patented controller can be found below.
“A controller for interfacing wirelessly with a computing device is provided, including the following: a housing defined by a main body, a first extension extending from a first end of the main body, and a second extension extending from a second end of the main body, the first extension and the second extension for holding by a first hand and a second hand of a user, respectively; a touchscreen defined along the top surface of the main body between the first extension and the second extension; a first set of buttons disposed on the top surface of the main body proximate to the first extension and on a first side of the touchscreen; and a second set of buttons disposed on the top surface of the main body proximate to the second extension and on a second side of the touchscreen.”
Given that Sony has already updated the PlayStation 4 with 2016’s PS4 Slim and Pro, it is possible that the new controller design is intended for the company’s next-generation console. Up until today, the company is yet to officially announce the PlayStation 5, but it has recently confirmed the console's development to some capacity when Sony’s Kenichiro Yoshida said, “It’s necessary to have the next-generation hardware.”
While the patent did not reveal what information Sony plans to display on the touchscreen, one can only imagine the possibilities this feature may bring, such as quick access to in-game menus, system settings, messages, friend requests, and many others. It is also possible that Sony may not release this controller along with the next-generation console and just wanted to keep the patent on file in case the company decides to become more inventive in the future.
Earlier this year, another patent was discovered that was initially filed back in 2015 and revealed that Sony is looking into backward compatibility, the much-requested feature that players have been asking for. While these patents may give PlayStation fans a glimpse of what may come, it is worth remembering that they do not confirm anything regarding Sony’s plans for its hardware in the future. With this being the case, it's always best to wait for an official announcement from the company.
Source: US Patent Office