Sony patent suggests next PlayStation controller will have touchscreen

We might see a new feature on the next DualShock.

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The DualShock 4's touchpad may be replaced by a touchscreen on the next version of the controller.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The next version of Sony's DualShock PlayStation controller may have its own touchscreen.

The "gaming controller" patent was awarded by the US Patent and Trademark Office on Oct. 16 and previously reported by Dualshockers.

Its diagrams show a controller that's nearly identical to the PS4 one that you've been using since 2013, but the abstract mentions a "touchscreen" in place of the current version's touchpad, the touch-sensitive central button.

It was referred to as a "touch sensor" in previous patents, Gizmodo noted.

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A touchscreen could display extra game information (like in-game menu options), and the patent refers to outlining gestures for gamers to trace with their fingers.

Sony filed the 32-page patent application in September 2017. The company didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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The first major console to offer a touchscreen controller was Nintendo's Wii U in 2012, but that failed to capture gamers' imaginations and the company learned from its shortcomings to craft the Switch.

We don't know if the Sony patent hints at a new controller for the PS4 or its much-anticipated successor, but another October patent hinted that the company is also looking at backward compatibility.

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