As sources continue to line up with new information, the debut of a rumble-less DualShock 4 on the PlayStation 4 release date seems all but guaranteed, but just what could Sony be planning for their next-generation hardware?
According to a new VG247 report, Sony is apparently dead set on dropping the increasingly expensive rumble tech from their iconic DualShock controllers, choosing instead to forge ahead with a new front-facing touchpad that will allow for gameplay styles similar to what can be found on the PS Vita. It's unclear how large the new touchpad is, or where the controller's "Start," "Select" and "Home" buttons might be relocated to, but it's unlikely to be too large given the source's claim that Sony would like to maintain the DualShock's recognizable form factor.
If true, it certainly sounds as if some of the renders posted to NeoGAF last week weren't entirely off-base with their predictions. To be honest, we're not exactly mourning the apparent loss of a previously rumored "Share" button that was believed to be coming with the PlayStation 4 controller. While there's certainly nothing wrong with social media, does it really need to be integrated with everything at the hardware level? Aren't there enough mediocre gameplay videos polluting YouTube already?
The source also tells VG247 that Sony has reworked the L2 and R2 triggers found on the back of the controller, hopefully giving them more of an actual button feel similar to the first- and second-generation DualShock controllers. We know that the DualShock 3 has been extremely popular with some, but the new L2 and R2 triggers always felt a bit wrong to us; as if you were always one or two grenade tosses away from ripping the button completely out of the back of your controller.
Recent reports have also suggested that the PlayStation 4 will rely heavily on user movements for game interaction, with some suggesting that Sony plans to ship an updated PlayStation Eye accessory with every new console. Similar reports have surfaced about the Xbox 720, which some have suggested will require the next-gen Kinect and a constant Internet connection before owners will be able to sit down and enjoy their favorite game(s). Several reports have also suggested that the PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720 won't be compatible with used games, and possibly not even with older software according to some EA executives.
Sony is expected to officially announce the PlayStation 4 during a press event on Feb. 20, and will likely show off the console during the company's upcoming "Destination PlayStation" three-day event. Be sure to check back with iDigitalTimes.com or follow Scott on Twitter for all the latest on the PlayStation 4 ahead of the console's release date later this year.