With February nearly gone, Sony is yet to reveal any plans for a PlayStation Meeting 2020 event. That’s the type of keynote we expect for the official PlayStation 5 announcement, although we might have to wait a while to get it. Sony just pulled out of two gaming events over coronavirus fears after ditching MWC 2020 well before the entire congress was itself canceled. It seems unlikely that Sony will promote any sort of gatherings as long as the coronavirus epidemic is contained. But, with each day that goes without a PS5 announcement, we get more exciting rumors about the next-gen console, as well as discoveries that tease the kind of unique features the new Sony console might get. The latest PlayStation-related discoveries show new controller features that the Xbox Series X might not get.
Sony unveiled some of the new features of the next-gen DualShock controller, choosing only to address the improved feedback built into it. The company didn’t even share its name, although we expect it to be called DualShock 5. We then learned the controller might come with a built-in microphone to better support voice controls, as well as rear-facing buttons.
A new Sony patent reveals that Sony is thinking about adding biofeedback to controllers to change gaming experiences. Found by Respawn First, the patent describes sensors that would let the controller’s grips gauge electrodermal activity (sweat secretion) and heart-rate. Based on the biofeedback from the player, the PS5 might make changes to the entire gaming experience, assuming the game supports it.
The wording of the patent also explains that biofeedback will be used to select from options presented in a piece of content without the user having to provide any input.
The PlayStation Camera might also be used to capture user data. Sony also says the new controller feature “an immersive and highly interactive user experience for players” and might work best for virtual reality (VR).
VR is, of course, one of the PlayStation’s advantages over Xbox, and Sony is already rumored to launch a PSVR 2 for the PlayStation 5. And when that happens, VR fans might get a brand new controller, according to a different patent.
Shown in the following images, the proposed controller looks nothing like the PlayStation Move controller that you might already own. Discovered by 91Mobiles, the controller features built-in sensors that would be able to detect the movements of the user’s hands and fingers.
A strap would let you attach the controller to your hands, and, presumably, which means you won’t have to squeeze it in your hands to ensure you’re not dropping it while playing VR games. The immediate feedback — whether you’re holding the controller, making a fist, or whether you’re only touching it using certain fingers — could translate into instant actions on the screen. The controller also features physical buttons that may be required to trigger actions that don’t rely on just gripping the controller and moving your hands.
As always, with patents, these innovations might not be used in the upcoming products — in this case, PS5, DualShock 5, and PSVR 2. But, as with other Sony PlayStation patents, they give us a look into Sony’s mindset for the future of gaming. If these controller innovations do make it into this year’s PS5 hardware, it’ll be interesting to see how Microsoft will respond, given that the Xbox isn’t as VR-friendly as the PlayStation.