Update: We originally credited the patent find to users on Reddit, however Saqib Mansoor was the first to spot this. We have updated the story to reflect this.
The patent, which was found by Saqib Mansoor of the SegmentNext website, is called “Wireless charging adapter with game control keys for computer game controller,” and seems to show a “wireless charging adapter that can snap onto a computer game controller and can be inductively coupled to a charging base to wirelessly recharge a battery in the controller.”
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The patent is accompanied with images showing a device that looks a lot like a DualShock controller, with an attachment on the back that allows it to be placed on a wireless charging mat to top up the battery.
Wireless charging is one of the best features of modern smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S20, as it’s a quick and convenient way to charge them up without fiddling around with plugging in cables.
If Sony really is planning on a wireless charging attachment for the PS5 controller, then that will be very welcome, as it could mean you simply have to place the controller down on a mat or cradle to charge – so you may never run out of battery life during a gaming session.
Of course, just because this technology has been spotted in a patent, it doesn’t mean we’ll actually see it launch with the PS5 later in 2020. Companies register patents for all kinds of tech that never sees the light of day, but if it does come out, it could give the PS5 controller the edge compared to the Xbox Series X and its controller for many people.
The fact that this appears to be a clip-on attachment for the PS5 controller, and not built into the device itself is interesting. It means it would be an optional feature, and therefore not increase the price of the PS5 controller for people who aren’t interested in the tech.
Sony has form with add-ons for its DualShock controllers as well, with the company recently releasing the PlayStation Back Button Attachment, which adds additional buttons and functionality to the PS4’s DualShock controller.
In fact, the patent seems to suggest that the wireless charging attachment would also come with extra buttons and features – so could this have been what the PlayStation Back Button Attachment was supposed to have been before Sony removed the wireless charging function?
Hopefully we’ll find out soon when Sony reveals more about the PS5.
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Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.