While we continue to wait for more PlayStation 4 reveals from Sony (hopefully already teased for a February 20 announcement) the speculation over the company’s new take on the DualShock is getting more and more interesting.

There’s still no official announcement, but the first image of what appears to be the new PS4 controller, complete with embedded touchscreen has appeared online.

The reveal isn’t a complete shock, since rumors of a touchscreen-equipped controller have been circling for some time, even claiming that the age of the DualShock was coming to a close. Good news for fans of the classic design, since the prototype featured on Destructoid actually looks just like a screen has been jammed into the middle section of the controller.

Sources have confirmed that the controller is a prototype, bearing a striking resemblance to earlier concept mock-ups of both it and the console itself. Too soon to know if this is the design expected to be revealed next week, or one of many, but take a look for yourselves:

Sony PS4 Controller Prototype

With a button on either side of the screen, it’s possible that the so-called ‘Share’ features will be at the player’s fingertips. What they’ll be sharing is still unclear. A single picture can generate plenty of questions though, with what looks to be a headphone jack on the bottom of the controller – underneath what could either be a microphone or speaker – that could also be a mute button. There’s no way to tell, since Sony is in no hurry to explain which features of the Nintendo Wii U they’ll be trying to match.

What is of particular interest to us is the blue light-band running along the top of the controller. Our first thought has us thinking it’s capable of being picked up by the console’s camera, much like the current PlayStation Move wands. It’s not hard to imagine how games rumored to be releasing on the PlayStation 4, like Quantic Dream’s Beyond: Two Souls, might utilize motion control without sacrificing the classic controller layout. Could it be used on PS3s as well?

We don’t have much longer to wait before Sony lets the cat out of the bag in one way or another, but for now, how does this design strike you? Is it an interesting merging of the DualShock with touchscreen functionality, or an undeniable monstrosity?

Update: a second, clearer image of the alleged PlayStation 4 prototype controller has been posted to the GameTrailers forums (via CVG), in which the headphone jack on the bottom of the unit is plainly visible. Sources tell CVG that the prototype’s redesigned, concave thumbsticks will appear on the final controller.

PS4 Controller Prototype Headphone Jack

We’ll bring you all the PlayStation 4 news come February 20 (hopefully!) and any details released in the meantime.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: Destructoid, GameTrailers [via CVG]

tags: PS4, Sony