While almost every other controller has seen changes through the years, Sony's DualShock controller has been more-or-less the same since its inception during the days of the original PlayStation. Things may begin to change though, as according to a report by CVG, the controller for Sony's next-gen system may be getting a complete overhaul.
A senior games studio source told CVG that Sony's new controller has undergone numerous iterations, few of which resemble the iconic DualShock. The R&D department at Sony seems to be experimenting a lot, as some versions of the PS4 controller include biometric sensors on the grip and an LCD touchscreen.
The DualShock controller may be on its way out
A different source repeated the information, mentioning that the company is “trying to emulate the same user interface philosophies as the PS Vita”, which features a prominent touchscreen. This may lead to tighter integration between the Vita and Sony's next-gen console. The source also mentioned that the console—dubbed the Orbis in development circles—will be revealed in a matter of weeks.
If the PS4 controller does end up having a touchscreen, parallels could easily be drawn between it and Nintendo's Wii U. It would also create an interesting environment for developers, where games are easier to port between the Wii U and the PS4. This could also lead to Microsoft retaliating with its own touchscreen peripheral for the Xbox 720.
The rumours are getting more fuel for the fire thanks to reports that developers already have their hands on the developer kits for the system. Sony has been using the term Orbis when referring to the machine. There has been no official record of the company calling it a PlayStation 4.
There are set to be four versions of the Orbis kit being shipped to developers. A previous version was essentially a graphics card. The newest version is a “modified PC”, and the third version will be the closest to the final specifications and will be sent to developers in January.
The Orbis, according to VG247, is based on the AMD A10 APU series. An APU – which stands for Accelerated Processing Unit – is a combination of a GPU and a CPU. The PS4’s hardware is “based on A10 system and base platform”.
One of the biggest changes coming to the system is in the form of the interface. According to the source, the new interface will allow you to go anywhere while playing a game. This is not possible in the PlayStation 3 as some options require you to exit the game before using them. An example given was buying DLC from the PlayStation Store in the middle of playing a game and then seamlessly returning to play.
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