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PS Mobile and VITA could force a new user interface standard on PS4.

Posted by anonymity on January 19, 2013 at 4:40 AM

Gotten enough next gen rumors? Pffffffffffffffffffffft! No. No you haven't. The rumor mill machine has just been turned on in this, the first month of the year next gen arrives.

Rumors going around the past 24 hours circle around the Playstation Dualshock. Various gaming sites have moles which matter of factly state the Dualshock controller format will be put to end because of complications between Sony and the people that license their force feed back technology to third parties. From Eurogamer,


Sony will drop the DualShock controller for the next PlayStation, according to a new report. Sources told CVG Sony has tested new controllers with biometric sensors on the grips and an LCD touch-screen. This information tallies with what Eurogamer has heard from our own sources.



Recently SCE's Playstation Mobile (PSM) team launched the Playstation Mobile platform on PSN, Playstation Certified devices as well as PS VITA. Before this launch (and during the closed Beta of PSM) the same team in charge of PSM was tasked by devs and fans to push the PSM platform into PS3 (there is evidence of this on it's official PSM dev portal/forum and they probably had devs approach them). Coincidentally enough, SCE's PSM correspondant (Kish Hirani) responded to PSM on PS3 by stating ,


"The interesting challenge is how do you put a touch interface on the PS3, because it doesn't have one.We'd love to put it on there, but wouldn't want to make a half-baked job where something already works.Hirani added, "The buttons are great. The SixAxis, which actually has more buttons than you need for the Xperia Play as such. But how do you put touch in there? An interesting one would be if you use PlayStation Move, but again, it's a lot of work involved in there."



Hirani is SCE head of development service and (according to his LinkedIn profile) his duties include a variety of SCEE related engineering duties, "responsible for developing and managing resources for all SCEE developer support-facing technical activities. . . ".

Speculating touch will being on PS4's new controls (based on this) is a kind of "stretch", but there is direct evidence that touch interface for controller was internally pondered by SCE. So, maybe, it is not as big of stretch to believe touch will be on PS4's new controller. what might have been an impossible task of adding touch to PS3 could be made simple if an OS and hardware supports touch API from the very start.

An internal SCEWWS 1st and/or 2nd team (either Quantic Dream, Naughty Dog, etc) may have wanted biometric sensors due to the fact they had a tech demo and/or game which they imagine would gain from having biometric data feedback. A meeting of the minds between content creator and hardware engineers probably happens a lot at Sony (it's how backtouch was incorperated into the PS VITA). Do not be surprised if something hardware/software/network related comes up as a slew of next gen rumors come out; do not be surprised if some wind up being in the final spec sheet(s).

The notion of homogenization of services/content (across hardware ecosystems) might also lead to the influences on PS4's design philosophy. iOS devices and Android devices have app stores, there are streaming services like Netflix, and Wii U allows for streaming to second screens. Sony want Playstation Mobile to be across a bunch of devices as well as have PS VITA and PS3 connect to one another. Presenting top quality "content homogenization" in PS4 may start with the new controller than peak into something like cross-controller 2.0 for VITA (where up to four VITA's can be streamed to at once or an Xperia Z can remotely play your PS4 games from a parking lot).

Whilst not completely out of the question, what some at Sony (privy to top secret next gen info) could also be doing are 'controlled leaks', rather than fully unveiling each and every detail about their next gen Playstation. In this case, Sony may want to observe publicreaction and be as agile as possible in getting input to their engineers (as they put on finishing touches on the successorof the PS3) while also getting an outline ready for a massivelymarketed unveiling and future promotions.

Qestion: What user interface(s) would you like to see on a next gen controller (not seen on current/past gen controlls)? Explain.

. . . And remember, they are listening!

"Just say what [suggestions] you want. If you put down things like, how about using the Move as the touch? That's just one of the ideas."

"If it does work, then we'd try and think it up for the market."  
-Head of SCEE development services, Kish "The PSM Pimp" Hirani 

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