Rumour: Is this our first look at the PlayStation 4 controller? Touch panel, motion control and more features spied

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There have been a lot of rumours and wild speculation flying around Mother Internet recently regarding the appearance and non-appearance of the next generation of consoles from Sony and Microsoft here in 2013, and ever since that teaser trailer for a PlayStation-related announcement of some sort (happening on February 20th), the chatter has grown to deafening levels.

But. Rumour and speculation it has remained. It’s fun to talk about information resulting from leaks and unnamed sources, but things only get really exciting once we get solid evidence. Well, that evidence showed up today.

Rumour: PlayStation 4 Controller - Banner

Consumer site Destructoid received the following photo a short while ago which appears to show a PlayStation Dualshock-looking controller hooked up to a debug unit of some description.

There are a few very notable additions to this controller over a regular PlayStation 3 controller, most notably the smooth central area (with what appears to be a flat button to the left side of it), a large blue light panel on top, a speaker and/or microphone above the Home button, and concave thumbsticks.

Rumour: PlayStation 4 Controller - Photo

That smooth area in the middle is most likely the rumoured touch panel that is expected to adorn the PlayStation 4’s controller, while the light panel could very well serve the same purpose as the round globes on a PlayStation Move motional controller (i.e. to track movement of the device for motion control purposes).

The speaker and/or mic could be used for a variety of different things, including communication with people online, as well as interaction and output with games (as seen with the Wii and DS in the past).

The concave thumbsticks are a step in the right direction for the Dualshock as far as we’re concerned, taking a more Xbox 360 route and allowing for better grip, and the button on the side of the central panel could be how we access the rumoured ‘Share’ feature (to post videos and screenshots of our gameplay online, and more). Here’s a closer look:

Rumour: PlayStation 4 Controller - Zoom

The question, though, is whether or not we’re looking at a version of the controller we’ll be using with the PlayStation 4 when the console is launched (either this year or in 2014). It doesn’t look quite like a ‘final’ version of a piece of consumer grade hardware but this is possibly a prototype of the PS4 control.

It looks pretty beefy and a little more rounded than a PS3 Dualshock, which is something I would personally welcome if it ends up feeling more substantial than the current model.

What are your thoughts on this controller? Is it real? Is it the PlayStation 4’s Dualshock? What do you think of the supposed features and potential of the extra functionality of the controller (if it is indeed real)?

Look forward to the big PlayStation announcement on February 20th! We’re sure to discover many secrets next week.

Thanks to Ryan Williams (aka Ninjascreed) for the extra source and tip!

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