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Will This be the PS4’s Controller?

Although it was patented in 2011, a summary of a combination of a regular Playstation controller and a PS Move controller was just published. Each part of the controller contains its own magnetometer, accelerometer, speaker, and gyro. The orbs are also able to light up, just like their PS Move counterparts. With a new controller finally on the market, is this an indication of where Sony is heading next generation?

Although the patent for the controller was filed last year, that was well after rumors of the next generation began spreading. Since the controller was never utilized, Sony could still potentially bundle it with their next console, whenever that arrives. Although the controller is incredibly gaudy, it finds a good way to combine both casual and hardcore play modes without charging double for two controllers. This would be a good approach for next-generation, allowing both groups of gamers to get the controller they want with the purchase of their console. As the Nintendo Wii U has proven, casual gamers are powering the market even as we switch into the next generation, so including the PS Move with the controller is a wise move on Sony’s part.

It also looks like it has a better button layout than the PS Move (which, let’s face it, was incredibly awkward). While pressing start and select or using the d-pad might be difficult when it’s split apart, the joysticks are still in a good spot. This allows for easy control of your character, something that the PS Move’s direct rival, the Kinect, lacks. The PS4 could have a very similar control scheme, perhaps adjusting the design to have a more thumb-friendly button setup. Using it as a PS4 controller would also explain why we haven’t seen the controller, even though its patent was filed over a year ago.

There is one other option for this controller—it was simply patent trolling on Sony’s part. By patenting this controller early, they prevented other companies from doing the same thing. With Nintendo releasing a separate ‘hardcore’ controller, rather than integrating the Wiimote with a traditional controller to give the Wii U a second unique controller, it appears to have worked. But it seems odd that Sony would grab a patent for something they didn’t intend to use—which brings me to my point: this controller or a variant will definitely see use next generation.

While Sony could go ahead and use it for their PS3 models, since it has gone unannounced for so long (two holiday seasons, even), it’s unlikely that the patent was intended for this generation. With Sony’s next generation console rumored to be in development and the company keeping quiet with any details, this could be the first information leak we see of it. Naturally, the controller will probably be redesigned to be more comfortable for players and aesthetic for display purposes, but it has everything a next-gen console would need in terms of control. Only time will tell what Sony intends to do with their hybrid controller patent.

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