This is a young year, but throughout this month a lot has already been said about the next-generation PlayStation, which is due to be announced sometime this year. According to two separate sources, the company is getting ready to radically change its controller, putting an end to the traditional DualShock controller design, which has been around since 1997.
All of Sony’s controllers undergo extensive prototyping before they’re shown off to the public: the PlayStation 4 controller has not been an exception. According to a senior source at a game studio, the new controller has undergone extensive development using technologies such as biometric sensors and an LCD touch screen. A separate source, also connected with the industry, suggests that Sony will borrow some design concepts from the PS Vita in order to bring tight integration between its mobile and home systems.
Even though the traditional DualShock controller has likely seen its best days, this doesn’t mean that Sony will completely phase it out. While the next-generation PlayStation will almost definitely include a new controller, there is no indication that the old PlayStation 3 one won’t be supported or even recommended for certain games. More likely than not, the DualShock controller will become a secondary controller, much like how the Wii Remote still interacts with the Wii U.
Back in 2007, Sony won an Emmy award for “Peripheral Development and Technological Impact of Videogame Controllers”, therefore there is quite a lot of pressure for the company to continue innovating while keeping their current user base happy. The year before, during the development of the PlayStation 3, the company signaled its intentions to replace its controller with the infamous “banana pad”, although it quickly dropped its plans amid outcry from the gaming community.
The PlayStation 4 controller design has allegedly been kept a closely guarded secret within the company, a clear indication that Sony will do the best it can to create a “splash” in the market. Codenamed Orbis, the console is expected to be announced within the next few months, perhaps at the yearly E3 conference in June, although a source expects an announcement to be made as soon as within a few weeks.