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

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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.