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PlayStation 4 to ditch DualShock controller

The long-rumoured PlayStation 4 could end the 16-year tenure of Sony’s DualShock controller series, according to a new report.

A source described as being from “a senior games studio” told CVG that Sony’s R&D efforts have focused on developing a brand-new controller, which has already undergone “numerous iterations”. One such prototype is purported to include biometric sensors on the grips, as well as an LCD touch screen.

A second source, purportedly “connected to Sony”, described another gamepad that is designed to emulate the PS Vita’s control scheme, adding credence to the expectation that the next PlayStation, codenamed Orbis, will likely have a close relationship with Sony’s current handheld offering. There's no word yet as to what the finalised controller will look like, but more details may be unveiled alongside the main console as soon as next month.

A possible reason for the rumoured peripheral dump may relate to a licensing deal with rumble patent holder Immersion. The haptic technology developer sued Sony over the use of vibration functions in its gaming controllers back in March 2007. The Japanese firm was ordered to pay $150 million (£94.2 million), 10 per cent of which went to Immersion’s parent company and Sony’s main market rival, Microsoft. The current licensing deal does not cover forthcoming systems, essentially forcing Sony to create an entirely proprietary controller.

The DualShock controller made its debut in 1997 on the very first PlayStation console and has won a few awards along the way, including an Emmy in 2007 for 'Peripheral Development and Technological Impact of Videogame Controllers'.

Image credit: Flickr (Angelo González)