PS4 controller patent update points to possible built-in touchscreen

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When it comes to controllers, PlayStation hasn’t been pushing the boat out in recent years, but that could change following the discovery of an updated patent by DualShockers.

The document in question (PDF) has been filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office, with the design featuring a touch-sensitive screen where the control pad currently resides on the DualShock 4 controller.

Precisely what Sony would do with such a component is unclear, especially as the control pad on the DualShock 4 loses a bit of its appeal after a while. Add to that the fact that there aren’t many games that make use of the full functions of the control pad.

We’ve seen past controllers sporting touchscreen from other manufacturers yield mixed results. The Nintendo Wii U’s GamePad in particular comes to mind, with it being used quite nicely for specific titles on the platform like Luigi’s Mansion and Batman: Arkham Origins.

As such if Sony were indeed to include such a feature on future DualShock 4 controllers, it would need to optimise new PS4 titles in order to make the most of the hardware.

For now we’ll have to wait and see what Sony plans to do with the design, as it is currently sitting in the patent phase. Perhaps more news will be forthcoming at any of the big gaming conferences next year, as 2018’s PSX is cancelled.

With new console hardware also being churned around in the rumour mill, maybe this new patent will be for the controller on the PlayStation 5.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.