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Is this the PlayStation 4 controller?

- February 14th, 2013

PlayStation 4 controller

Destructoid has posted an image of what looks like a (prototype?) PlayStation 4 controller, plugged into a development kit. That, or clever mock-up designed to fool suckers like us.

The source of the image isn’t immediately clear, but it actually looks pretty legit. Thus, time for some observations and wild speculation!

  • The fundamental design looks mostly unchanged from the PlayStation 3 DualShock controller. Same thumbstick placement (I still prefer the asymmetrical stick layout of the Xbox 360 controller), same face buttons, and a slightly redesigned and possibly improved D-pad.
  • The thumbsticks appear to have a ridge around the edges, which would fix one of the problems I’ve always had with PlayStation controllers: sometimes my thumbs slip off the sticks in the heat of battle. Whoever came up with the idea of giving game controller thumbsticks a curved, convex top was a moron.
  • The black rectangle appears to be the rumoured next-gen PlayStation controller touchscreen. If that’s the case, it’ll be interesting to see how developers work this into games, whether as an extra context-sensitive set of buttons, or gesture controls, or what have you. Hopefully developers will find ways to add new and useful control mechanics to games with this, rather than just shoehorning the features in. UPDATE: It’s been suggested this might simply be a clickable multi-touch trackpad, rather than an actual touchscreen. Somewhat less exciting.
PS4 controller

I’m not pretty, but you want to touch me.

  • The grille below the touchscreen looks like a speaker, a microphone or both. Could be used for sound effects that come from the controller itself (a la the Wii and Wii U) or, more likely, as a microphone for voice commands and chat.
  • The rectangular light on top of the controller has got to be related to PlayStation Move integration, right? Sixaxis motion-sensing has always been something of a gimmick with the PS3′s controller, but with more precise and versatile motion control, maybe we’d see it actually add something to games. Or, maybe we’ll get a sequel to Lair. Gack!
  • We can’t see the rear of the controller here, so we don’t know if it’s got the rumoured touch-sensitive backing similar to the PlayStation Vita’s, or if the new controller is sporting a redesigned set of triggers. If I could change one thing about the PS3 controller, other than the thumbsticks, it would be to give it a set of proper triggers.

Sony is expected to unveil the PlayStation 4, or PlayStation Orbis, or whatever the hell they decide to call it at the PlayStation Meeting 2013 event in New York City next week. It’s unlikely Sony will be offering hands-on gameplay — at this point, the PlayStation 4 exists only as PC-based development kits (which is what this controller appears to be plugged into) — but who knows, maybe they’ll surprise us. And maybe we’ll be fondling this little beastie in a matter of days.

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2 comments

  1. Redberra223 | February 14, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    I for one, don’t see a reason for a new gen of consoles. The most they can do is up ressed graphics, and some gimmicky additions that will get in the way. The upressed graphics would be the only reason to get the new gen of consoles, then what, wait 2-4 years untill the graphics are outdated again. If people are complaining about the controller then did what microsoft did with the original xbox and release new ones, add a touch screen if you want, but i don’t see the point, people will think it’s cool atfirst then it will be a gimmick. All in all i’m not excited for the next gen of consoles, i just don’t see any practical advancements that could be made.

  2. d00d | February 15, 2013 at 9:55 am

    i’ve yet to see them upgrade controllers by making them bulkier and less sleek.

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