Sony's next-gen PlayStation controller could include a touchscreen

In a recently-updated patent granted to Sony last month, the company behind the popular PlayStation consoles has detailed the inclusion of a touchscreen in a controller design, hinting at a possible future iteration of the DualShock controller used with the company’s consoles.

Specifically, the abstract for the updated filing talks about a touchscreen being in the same location as the current touch-sensitive pad on the DualShock 4 controller

“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.”

Further down the patent document, there are several figures that clearly show the well-known DualShock design and its various traits, which seemingly rules out the possibility that the new additions are related to a PS Vita style handheld.

When digging into the specifics of the patent and the annotated figures, the number correlating to where this touchscreen would be sitting labels it “a touch-sensitive pad to facilitate touch-based input”.

While this sounds promising, the figure it refers to seems to depict the existing DualShock 4 design, with its dimpled touch-sensitive pad, indicating that the earlier mentions of the touchscreen could potentially just be in reference to this button and not a screen, per se.

Regardless, patent filings should always be taken with a grain of salt – it’s not necessarily a product that will ever see the light of day, but a concept that, if it were to enter production, would then be protected.

Harry Domanski
Harry is an Australian Journalist for TechRadar with an ear to the ground for future tech, and the other in front of a vintage amplifier. He likes stories told in charming ways, and content consumed through massive screens. He also likes to get his hands dirty with the ethics of the tech.