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Sony shows off a futuristic PlayStation controller, but don’t get too excited

A concept controller from Sony. It shows two joysticks on either side of a ring.

In its annual corporate strategy meeting, Sony debuted a video that featured a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it concept for a redesigned game controller.

The presentation, which you can watch below, was dedicated to talking about Sony’s future “creative entertainment vision,” and included a lot of talk about the metaverse, mixed reality, and what it perceives as the future of game development. During a segment that showed off many futuristic-looking devices, you can see a circular controller working with a projected screen.

Sony’s Creative Entertainment Vision | Official Video

The design might be familiar to Sony fans, as it resembles the “Boomerang” controller Sony teased in the leadup to the PlayStation 3’s release. That concept featured the familiar button scheme and joysticks, but the grips are much longer and nearly meet at the bottom for a more circular shape — hence the boomerang moniker.

However, the controller never materialized. Sony’s former communications director Patrick Seybold told IGN in 2008 that the Boomerang was a “design mock up that we wanted to get ready for the product’s first unveiling.” But the reaction from players told Sony that they wanted something similar to the DualShock controllers from the PlayStation 1 and 2. Because the PlayStation 5 DualSense also uses a lot of the DualShock design language, it looks like Sony has taken that feedback to heart.

This controller, which doesn’t have a name, might never come to fruition. After all, companies test out prototypes all the time that never get released or have tech that gets incorporated into other products. This is also unlikely to be an actual prototype, and is rather just Sony having fun thinking about the next decade.

The presentation was all about “Kando,” Sony’s vision for the future of creativity. What it means beyond buzzwords is still unclear, but the company went into a bit more detail this week, making predictions about the next decade. The general idea concerns using metaverse technology to bring people together, let them collaborate through mixed reality (XR) tech, and letting them visit destinations virtually.

It also released interviews with a number of Sony creators, including Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann, who spoke about using similar technologies like XR and AI to push game development.

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Carli Velocci
Carli is a technology, culture, and games editor and journalist. They were the Gaming Lead and Copy Chief at Windows Central…
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