Sony’s PlayStation controllers have largely gone unchanged in the 20-plus years. Cosmetically, it has changed some but, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. A recently published update to Sony’s PlayStation controller patent hints at an interesting potential addition. It could replace the DualShock 4’s touch-sensitive control pad with a full-fledged touchscreen, via DualShockers.
Sony has flirted with interactive controllers before. The current LED light bar on the existing PS4 controller with colors that change to react to whatever is going on in the game. That is a good example, but a touchscreen could provide even more opportunities for interactive feedback. It would allow Sony do things like display in-game stats, a mini-map, or current inventory.
Now, this is nothing revolutionary. We’ve seen before with things like Nintendo’s (failed) Wii U. Go even further back in gaming history with the (also failed) Sega Dreamcast. Plus, developers haven’t really embraced Sony’s existing DualShock 4 touchpad. It really isn’t anything other than a very large pause button.
Undoubtedly, adding a display to a PlayStation controller will likely just make it more expensive. But hey, maybe Sony will be the company to get the screen-controller idea right! As well as making them the most expensive controllers on the market.
Sony is in the early stages of working on a next-generation PlayStation. Maybe that future console will show up with some extra screens to go with it. Then again, it is only a patent. So, it may not show up at all. It is fair to remember, patents don’t always mean that it will come out.
Remember how patent trolls work? All you need is a concept and a loose design. Obviously, Sony is more detailed than a patent troll. However, it could show up on the next-gen console, but price is the key.