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PS5 controller design reportedly shown in new patent

Ready for more PlayStation 5 news? It appears the folks at VideoGamesChronicle.com have stumbled onto a treasure, of sorts; a patent filed by Sony for a new controller design. The patent could be our first look at the PlayStation 5's gamepad — the DualShock 5, we presume — and we have some observations (and some questions).

To start: this thing sure looks like every other PlayStation controller that's come before, doesn't it? Sony learned early on that it had a pretty good thing going with its PlayStation controller design. The original DualShock introduced the analog sticks we still use today, placed evenly on the bottom of the pad underneath the d-pad and the circle, square, cross, and triangle buttons. This design doesn't appear to deviate from that at all (which is kind of a bummer for fans of offset analog sticks).

It appears the start, share, and PlayStation buttons are also making a return, as is the touchpad. And the triggers/shoulder buttons look to be in their usual spots. What doesn't look to be present in this design, however, is the light bar. That definitely brings up some PlayStation VR questions, such as: how will Sony make the old PlayStation VR compatible with the new PS5 if the controllers don't have light bars?

There is one other little oddity we're noticing in the patent drawings: it sure looks like there are two audio jacks on the bottom of the controller. Is Sony's PlayStation 5 controller going to have a dedicated port for headphones and another port for a mic? Or will that extra jack serve some other purpose? This design tweak has us extra curious, so hopefully we can learn more about what Sony is doing there — or perhaps even see the controller for ourselves — sometime in the near future.

The PS5 controller will be packed full of new features

The PlayStation 5's controller "doesn't have a name yet," according to Sony's Mark Cerny. But we still know an awful lot about it, thanks to an interview Sony gave Wired back in October 2019.

The headlining feature of the new controller appears to be its feedback system. The pad will utilize a combination of adaptive triggers and haptic feedback to better immerse players in their particular game's activity. So, for example, readying a bow using one of the triggers will actually let you feel the tension of the string. And both the triggers and haptic feedback could work in tandem to make guns feel more distinct, or give you the sensation that you're traversing different kinds of terrain.

Wired's Peter Rubin was lucky enough to go hands-on with the controller and got to experience all of that feedback firsthand.

"Sand felt slow and sloggy; mud felt slow and soggy," Rubin said. "On ice, a high-frequency response made the thumbsticks really feel like my character was gliding. Jumping into a pool, I got a sense of the resistance of the water; on a bridge, a bouncy sensation."

You can imagine how this much improved take on feedback might open up some new gameplay experiences. We thought rumble was revolutionary back when Nintendo did on on the N64. If Sony can get developers to buy into this new feedback system, we could reach a level of video game immersion not yet achieved in the space; especially if Sony can pair this with PlayStation VR.

But better feedback isn't all the PS5 controller is touting when it comes to features. The new gamepad will move to USB-C for charging, which means you can finally stop trying to plug your controller in the wrong way. A larger battery is also being added to the new controller, and though it's probably necessary due to the upgraded feedback system, it could afford players more battery life. And, again, it won't be that dissimilar to the DualShock 4 in the looks department, which could be a plus for those who know and love that design.

When could we see the PlayStation 5 controller?

As for when we might actually get a look at this controller ourselves; well, that remains a mystery. We know the PlayStation 5 is coming sometime in Holiday 2020. And we know that, in the past, Sony has shown its new consoles off at E3. But the company skipped out on the show in 2019, which could indicate that the PlayStation 5 will get its own reveal event outside of America's premier gaming conference.

What we don't know at this time is, when that might be.

As soon as we know more about when we'll see the PlayStation 5 and its new controller, we'll let you know.