Citing an anonymous “senior games studio source” who is currently developing an undisclosed game for Sony, CVG is reporting that the rumored PlayStation 4 will not use the 16-year-old DualShock design for its controller.
According to the report, Sony is currently conducting “extensive” testing within their R&D department and are looking into creating a controller that has “biometric sensors on the grips” and incorporates an LCD touch screen as part of the interface. A second unnamed source backed up the claims, stating that Sony’s engineers are “trying to emulate the same user interface philosophies as the PlayStation Vita”.
While there is no evidence to back up the claims that Sony is going to abandon the DualShock design for the PlayStation 4, it is not surprising to learn that the company is considering such a move. Before Sony revealed the initial rumble-less PS3 Sixaxis Controller (which was later dropped to bring back rumble in the form of the DualShock 3), they intended to launch the PS3 with the boomerang-shaped controller pictured above — thankfully, that thing was never produced.
Lending additional credit to the report, is Sony’s history of evolving their controller design by copying features from their competitors. The original 1995 PlayStation controller was basically a Super Nintendo controller with grips and an extra set of shoulder buttons. After Nintendo released the N64 controller with its analog stick, Sony quickly redesigned their controller to include two analog sticks. Later they added rumble to the controller (the first DualShock controller) after Nintendo’s Rumble Pak was released for the N64.
In the current generation, the PS3’s Sixaxis was a quick and dirty answer to Nintendo’s Wii Remote. That short-lived controller was later followed up with the PlayStation Move, which was extremely similar in design and function to Nintendo’s wildly successful motion controller.
With that M.O. in mind, it’s very easy to believe that Sony’s PlayStation 4 controller has been “inspired” by the Wii U GamePad, Nintendo’s (thankfully) unreleased Wii Vitality Sensor, and Valve’s ongoing work with biometric controllers.
We will keep an eye out for any official announcement from Sony on the PlayStation 4 in the coming weeks and months, and let you know if any of this ends up being confirmed.