How do you improve on the existing method for playing games? Four face buttons, two analogue sticks and a quartet of shoulder buttons have been the norm for many a year now, proving that you just can’t build a better mousetrap. Which is kind of apt, because all the Cheeto dust I’ve got lodged in the seams of my controllers happen to be attracting rodents in a higher number than discount toilet paper at your local supermarket.
Sony may have a subtle idea for improving on the status quo that has been firmly in place for several console generations now: A controller add-on for the visually challenged!
In a new patent doing the rounds (Cheers Games Radar), Sony Interactive Entertainment has filed some paperwork for what could either be an attachment that goes over the current DualShock 4 controller touchpad or a brand new replacement entirely. The main takeaway of this lovely rectangle is that it has a series of haptic feedback mechanisms built around localised rumble and pins that can be raised words in braille for those gamers who can’t exactly read the text on the screen. Kind of like that funky bed from The Wolverine but only for your thumbs then.
Sony used God of War as an example, explaining that the game’s tiny text which is drowned out by plenty of other visual distractions (The Huldra Shop being the prime example in the patent) could have its information conveyed via braille pins, creating haptic feedback symbols that would allow players to feel the most relevant information regarding purchases while still being able to enjoy the little day to day banter between characters.
Sony’s patent detailed how the add-on could be installed in place of the regular touchpad, or installed on different areas of the controller using modern-day wizardy. It’s merely a patent for now and there’s no guarantee that it’ll ever see the light of day but Sony does have precedence for adding a little something something to their controllers with the recent release of the Back Button that could be clipped onto a DualShock 4 to allow for more competitive and custom play.
End of the day? It’s all about accessibility, an idea that Microsoft is forging ahead with as they recently released their own Adaptive Controller into the market. They more eyeballs on gaming as we head into the next-gen, the better.
Last Updated: March 16, 2020