Sony might be planning a touch-screen equipped controller for the PlayStation, according to a Patent application continuation.
Sony’s PlayStation controller is the perfect example of “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” Over the 20+ years that Sony has expanded its console line, the controller is one thing that really hasn’t changed. However, a recent update to the controller’s patent points towards a new addition that would drastically change it’s functionality.
Sony has toyed with the interactivity of their controllers before. The LED bar, on the back of this current generation’s controller for example, changes with whatever is happening in the game you’re playing. This time though, it seems that the DualShock 4’s touch-sensitive pad would be replaced with a full blown touchscreen, if the patent update is to be believed. If this is the case, a touchscreen could offer an entirely new way for us to interact with the games we play. The most obvious possibilities being interactive mini-maps, character stats, or inventory management.
The main issue is that touch screens have yet to prove truly useful among the gaming community. Sega’s Dreamcast and Nintendo’s Wii U both tried to incorporate touch screens into their controllers, and both failed at their attempts. Not to mention that the current DualShock 4 touch pad has barely, if ever truly been utilized by developers. At this point, it’s just an over-glorified pause button for most games. When I think of a PlayStation controller having a full touch screen, the first thing that comes to mind is how much more that controller will cost before I even think of it’s potential.
All of that being said, this is just a patent for the time being. Sony has not given any hint as to what their new controllers will look like, or if this is something they will ever act on. However, we know that the next gen consoles are in the early stages of development right now, so maybe the Play Station 5 will have a touchscreen as part of its controller. If we ever get a controller like that, it would make the most sense to see such a leap in design come from a new generation of hardware.
What do you think? Would you like to see a touch-screen incorporated into your PlayStation controller? Let us know below!