Given Sony’s recent comments on the matter, there is almost no chance of a PlayStation handheld console ever being released again — and the Vita’s poor sales figures make it easy to see why. But if recently published patent application documents are anything to go by, Sony could be releasing a portable PlayStation-style game controller, compatible with a number of smart devices.
Spotted by the Dutch technology site LetsGoDigital — the same site that posted supposed renders of a PlayStation 5 development kit recently — the patent application is for a multi-functional game controller, and it includes a number of built-in features that can be used outside of traditional gaming. These include a mini-game function, music, checking emails, and viewing images. To do this, it connects wirelessly to another device, such as a PC.
The design of the device could be a work-in-progress, but in the images, it is rectangular like a classic NES controller, but with a traditional directional pad and face buttons on the front, as well as shoulder buttons on the top. It also contains an acceleration sensor and gyroscope.
Because of its internet connectivity, it will apparently remain connected to your home computer at all times but can track your position and even allow you to play games at others’ houses. Much like the DualShock 4 controller, it is equipped with a speaker, as well.
Having a controller with this much functionality would certainly make it easier to play games on your various devices, but despite the potential PlayStation branding, we aren’t sure of the value the controller would have on a traditional console like the upcoming PlayStation 5. That system will include a successor to the DualShock 4, which itself has a number of advancements including better haptic feedback. A device like the one shown in the patent application could be useful for accessing PlayStation Now games on a variety of screens if Sony decides to further invest in its game-streaming service to compete with the likes of xCloud and Stadia. If you could stream these games directly to the controller while on the go, it would be even better, but such a feature is entirely speculative.
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