Considering that with 99 percent certainty, Sony will be announcing the PlayStation 4 on February 20, many rumors have been flying around as to what the new controller will look like. It appears that a dev has leaked an image of an early prototype of the PS4 controller.
The leaked image looks legit and has been confirmed by multiple development sources to be the genuine thing. It is important to note that the prototype has been confirmed to be a very early version.
The PS4 controller design does seem to support many of the rumors about the console regarding Move support for all SKUs along with a touch pad built right into the controller.
Other notable changes are the analog sticks which seem to be a cross between Xbox 360 and Dualshock controller. While Xbox’s controller is completely concaved, the PS4 controller looks to have a ridge/ring around the nub with the center bumped out a bit.
The touch pad built into the controller is in the center where the select/start buttons used to be. The purpose of this touchpad is unclear, if its for gaming or for applications. There is a strong rumor doing the rounds indicating that Sony may adopt or integrate the Android platform into the PS4 based on Japanese newspaper report Nikkei. Sony has integrated Android into its mobile devices and looking at cross implantation with other products.
The touchpad would make sense if the PS4 were to support Android marketplace apps.
Move Motion-tracking LED
The controller sports an LED light that is very much reminiscent of the glowing ball on the Move controller. There have been reports of Sony integrating Move with every PS4 like Microsoft is bundling the Kinect with every Xbox 720.
However, its difficult to imagine anyone waving around the controller like gamers did with the Move stick. Its just ergonomically unfit for motion gaming, unless it will be used for fine tuning aiming in FPS games. However, it seems silly for Sony to integrate a new feature that the Sixaxis sensors can already do.
The controller visibly has a speaker/mic built into it, reminiscent of the Wii controller. Nintendo used this to integrate various gameplay mechanics such as blowing into the controller, or make swooshing sounds in tennis games when swinging it.
The Dualshock controller had a mini usb port at the top for charging the unit. The PS4 controller seems to have a port at the bottom with a switch. It could possibly for charging, but consider its relocation it could also be used for hard-wired headsets. The switch may possibly be for turning on/off Move and touch pad support.
There are other redesigns, such as the grip looks ‘fatter’ and using some sort of rubber material, possibly with biometric sensors built in as rumored. The controller has a few mysterious buttons which could be for the rumored ‘share’ feature, where the PS4 is always recording 15 minutes of gameplay at all times. The share button is supposed to automatically dump the video to YouTube or to your PSN account for editing.
Keep in mind that this is an early prototype of the controller and sources have reported that Sony has been changing the controller design every month. It could very well be dramatically different when Sony goes to unveil the controller on February 20th next week.