Updated patent hints at PS4 controller with a touchscreen

Sony’s PlayStation controllers have largely gone unchanged in the 20-plus years that the console family has been around — after all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But a recently published update to Sony’s PlayStation controller patent hints at an interesting potential addition that would replace the DualShock 4’s touch-sensitive control pad with a full-fledged touchscreen, via DualShockers.

Sony has flirted with interactive controllers before — the current LED light bar on the existing PS4 controller with colors that change to react to whatever is going on in the game is a good example — but a touchscreen could provide even more opportunities for interactive feedback, letting Sony do things like display in-game stats, a mini-map, or current inventory.

It’s an idea that we’ve seen before with things like Nintendo’s (failed) Wii U or even further back in gaming history with the (also failed) Sega Dreamcast. Plus, developers haven’t really embraced Sony’s existing DualShock 4 touchpad for anything other than a very large pause button, and adding a display to a PlayStation controller will likely just make it more expensive. But hey, maybe Sony will be the company to get the screen-controller idea right!

Of course, this is just a patent for now, so there’s no indication of whether Sony will actually do that. But since it’s already in the early stages of working on a next-generation PlayStation, maybe that future console will show up with some extra screens to go with it.