PS4 touch-enabled controller possibly leaked ahead of launch

What looks like an early prototype controller for Sony's upcoming PS4 console has been pictured, ahead of its expected February 20th reveal

15 Feb 2013
Sony PS4 controller prototype

What could be the first image of Sony's PlayStation 4 controller, which includes built-in PlayStation Move compatibility and a PlayStation Vita-inspired touch-sensitive surface, has appeared online ahead of the company's expected official unveiling next week.

Obtained by Destructoid from an unnamed source, and confirmed as being a genuine image of an early controller prototype, the device shows some significant changes from the DualShock 3 used on Sony's current-generation PlayStation 3 console. The analogue sticks have a ridged circumference for better grip, but the controller still includes the iconic symbol-based four-button layout, four-way directional pad and convex triggers located below shoulder buttons.

Where things get a little bit different is at the centre: the bulk of the controller's surface has been replaced with a flat touch-sensitive touchpad, apparently inspired by the one on the rear of Sony's PlayStation Vita hand-held. The top of the device also gets a glowing LED-lit area - likely an aid to motion tracking through the improved EyeToy and Move system rumoured to be bundled with the next-generation console.

While described by sources as an "early prototype," and showing the device plugged into what appears to be a development kit, the image appears to confirm many of the rumours surrounding Sony's plans for the PS4. The presence of the Move-compatible lighting area is particularly telling, with both Microsoft and Sony rumoured to be concentrating heavily on mandatory motion-sensitive control systems in their respective next-generation console efforts.

Sony, for its part, is refusing to comment on the accuracy of the image, and nobody is talking about how the pre-release prototype may differ from the final retail model - but with the PlayStation 4 expected to be unveiled at a press event on the 20th of February, fans won't have long to wait to see if the image matches reality.

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