A new Sony patent has been found that could be an indication of what the company is planning for the next iteration of their DualShock controller — a standard controller design combined with PlayStation Move functionality and the ability to break into two pieces.
The patent for the “Hybrid Separable Motion Controller” describes a gamepad that when locked together would look like a DualShock controller with two Move balls attached to the top. All of the current PlayStation Move’s motion technology is present in the patented controller, however, it is duplicated so that when separated each half would have the same motion control capabilities. Additionally, the entire unit is designed to work in both configurations, with the software being able to tell if the controller is locked together or separated.
The DualShock/Move controller patent was first filed in May 2011, but has only now been made public in PDF form.
It is unclear if this patent describes a PS3 controller, a controller for the unannounced PS4, or even something that will never become a consumer product. At this point all three options seem equally likely.