New Image Raises More Questions About What's In The PS4 Controller

Yesterday, we posted this photo of a prototype controller for the next PlayStation. The image turned up online, and an industry source familiar with the system told us the photo was indeed a prototype controller for the PS4, codenamed Orbis.

Today, a forum poster at Gametrailers has shared a better-quality photo of what looks like the same controller. (Higher-res image is here)

The person who posted the image, a Gametrailers user called SquishyMuffin, later offered this description of the controller:

The triggers are much more similar to the Xbox 360 'springy' triggers. That's a microphone (similar to VITA, Wii U) and that is also a headset port. Touch screen is resistive display, single touch, used for battery levels, friend lists, mini u.i blah blah. Taken a while ago, only had access to it via someone else.

That description is odd, because several details don't line up with don't line up with official, detailed Orbis documentation Kotaku has seen in the last few weeks.

Our documentation, which we've also confirmed as authentic, describes the touch-pad as being a two-point multi-touch pad with a mechanical click, when the Gametrailers poster says it's single-touch. In addition to what we reported in January, our documentation indicates that the controller will have an RGB LED and something called a "light bar." The documentation we've seen never mentions a screen and refers to "an electrical capacitance touchpad, where the position at which the user's finger is touching the pad can be detected."

On top of that, neither prototype photo has included the "share" button, which our documentation also says the Orbis controller will feature. While we believe that the 90-plus pages of documentation we've seen is real (Sony won't confirm that, of course) it's also possible that plans have changed.

So, while this photo looks more or less like the same prototype we saw yesterday, the forum-poster's description raises some new questions. It's worth remembering that both photographs are of prototypes, so the final design may well be different. We'll doubtless find out more at Sony's PlayStation event next Wednesday, February 20. In the meantime, here's everything we've learned so far about the next PlayStation.


    Why does this remind me of the DUKE controller???

    Needs a banana/Jose for scale.

    Well one thing is for sure, the controller looks somewhat less ugly from that angle.....

    I will admit that I am a bit worried about the whole no-thumbstick thing being a reality though, but I would gladly take this design over a touchpad only controller any day; especially if the screen was utilised properly.

      Yeah, no thumb stick would be a massive mistake in my view. However, I don't think it is likely and the evidence seems to suggest this is the controller.

    As Ross said. It looks pretty good from this angle.

    Not to get into a debate about the Dual Shock's pros and cons but that Controller just looks wrong compared to other Sony Controllers.

    But I can't put my finger on what's wrong. I mean besides the obvious start and select buttons missing.

      I think it's the shape. It looks square/boxy

        I was actually thinking the parts that sit in your palm look to rounded. Reminds me of the cheap third party controllers for PS3. It will be interesting to see the final design.

      The triggers look closer to the face buttons than usual - they're just jutting out, rather than being on their own little strut things. I think the thumbsticks look different as well - clearly a different model of stick, but they feel smaller.

      Doesn't actually look that bad to me - still very close to the classic, but a new model.

      maybe it's because the entire top surface is one plane now. ie, buttons, to touchscreen to d-pad, on all the old controllers, the button and dpad areas were distinct. It's lost the appearance of some depth.

    Well done, Sony. Once again you've shown your true passion for blandness and gone with another controller that at a glance could be mistaken for a PSX DualShock controller. Why not try something new?
    The 360's controller had a very similar layout to the standard XBOX controller, but was different enough, and vastly superior. Sony just says "Wow, that looks like the old one, but it's so good to hell with popular demand - let's KEEP IT! We'll just add a touch pad on the top and bottom and market it as a NEW controller!!!" *cue sadistic evil mastermind laughing ala Dr. Evil*
    As far as I'm aware, the public screams for a new design, yet those screams are met with nothing but silence.

      Maybe because why change something that isnt broken, the current controller is fine

        Isn't broken? the PS controllers may just be the worst controllers ever, so cramped and they cause the worst pains after playing for a while, Xbox and Wii U are nice and comfortable.

          i prefer PS3 controller over any other controller, so what. just because u didn't like it doesn't mean its overall bad. ps3 controller had been the same since PS1, nobody complained until xbox 360 fanboys like you started this "xbox controller is the best" myth

            The person that calls others 'fanboys' are normally the real fanboys, I said I like the Wii U AND 360 controller yet you call me an Xbox fanboy? you're an absolute idiot. Also, you are the real fanboy and the PS controller is terrible.

      Your kidding me right? This is a PROTOTYPE. Nothing more. Remember the Boomerang controller that was devised for the PS3? The final form of this controller will be somewhat different and more polished than what you see currently.

      I'm not the biggest Nintendo fan (I'm sure there are many people here who would believe that), but I hope this isn't the design. It just smacks of 'Nintendo has done this, so we better add it to the dual shock', which I know has always been Sony's controller design method, for better or worse. In this case, I'm guessing worse: the tiny touch screen just looks quite useless.

      That all said, it is just a prototype, so hopefully we get something a bit more functional.

    The Playstation Dual Shock layout gives Playstation its identity. They're just being conservative.
    Playing Playstation for 15 years I've seen the PS controller evolve and change from the wired PSone controller to the wireless DS3 its like watching a close companion growing up. I like to hold something I'm familiar with and also looking at new ways to play games.

    Last edited 16/02/13 3:36 pm

      "Sony likes to keep traditional and in the same time being innovative which I like."

      More like they don't want to change, but want to cram in whatever Nintendo's started using. I still remember that shoe-horned 'motion' of the Sixaxis (which remember, had no rumble because that's so last gen tech)

        Can't beat them copy them.

        Last edited 16/02/13 3:46 pm

          I like Sony, I do. If they copying, that would be fine, but really they've just tacked stuff on half-heartedly, until we've hit our current situation: a pad with no real consideration of ergonomics since 1996.

    It's not like they're exactly copying WiiU touchpad controller. The touch pad in the middle is not a HD LCD touch screen or act like a 'dual screen'. Sure it's similar but not the same. I like this idea but people are just scared of new things and 1st reaction is to hate it but that's normal that's human nature but until you use it for yourself then that scepticism will fade away.

    Also the touchpad in the middle can have many uses for example just like the PS Vitas rear touch pad doing a action like sweep, tap or hold could add something how to play and navigate games. The touch pads can act for games that need that extra feature just like the sixaxis feature in DS3 you play in GTA4 even it's rarely used but its there if you wanna use it.

    It's too early to judge this control it is a prototype and what this new feature (touchpad) will do but I'm looking forward in different ways to play games.

    Last edited 16/02/13 5:08 pm

    why would they put a headphone port in the controller? i don't want that, what they have now is fine

      Well if you don't want it I'll alert Sony and tell them that Botchy doesn't approve and they should remove it immediately.

        but seriously why would you want it, the set up that they have now is perfectly fine. if it is so that everyone can have a mic than they should be just giving mics away when you buy a PS4

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