The design for the next year's PlayStation 5 (opens in new tab) controller - reportedly dubbed the DualShock 5 - has been leaked via a patent filed by Sony in Japan and reveals the absence of one of the DualShock 4's biggest features - the light bar.
Aside from being used in games as a bit of a gimmick, with the colour representing player status or which character they're controlling, the actual function of the light is for tracking purposes with the PSVR (opens in new tab). Just like the PS Move (opens in new tab) and the lights on the PSVR headset, the illuminated portion of the peripheral is used for tracking purposes for VR.
If Sony has scrapped the light bar altogether, it suggests that the console manufacturer has decided not to pursue VR next generation, will be rolling out new peripherals for a possible second generation PSVR, or - more likely - that the console's backwards compatibility (opens in new tab) will extend to its hardware, and we'll see it support the Move, and perhaps even the DualShock 4.
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The overall shape of the controller is mostly the same, but internal changes seem to have lead to Sony leaning taking notes from Microsoft's Xbox controller, with an increased thickness overall, and larger grips more akin to the Xbox than the thinner, more cylindrical grips currently found on the device.
Sony has already confirmed (opens in new tab) that the next gen controller will feature haptic feedback that will replace the current rumble technology, as well as adaptive triggers designed to vary in the level of resistance when pressed to simulate what's happening in-game; for example, drawing a bow string in combat will feel a world away from hitting the gas in a racing game.
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All of that new technology is going to need to be housed somewhere, and the slimmer DualShock 4 body might not be up to the task. This could explain the bulging grips and increased depth of the controller.
A few other notable changes include the scrapping of the USB-B micro connector in favour of a USB-C port, which makes a lot more sense. The analog ticks aren't sitting as high as on the DualShock 4, and there's a mysterious rectangle situated underneath the PS button on the front, which we're at a loss to explain. Other than that, it's pretty much the same tried-and-tested design that's made the DualShock controller so popular.
The patent may reflect an older design, with come tweaks having been made since, but don't expect Sony to stray too far from a proven design for its next console launch, in holiday 2020 (opens in new tab).
In the meantime, you can keep up with all of the PS5 leaks and rumours so far right here (opens in new tab).
Source: The Verge