Leak Claims PS4 Controller Features Capacitive, Multi-touch Touch Pad

Remember when we talked about the PS4 controller back on the 3rd of January, and suggested it will probably have a touch pad of some sort?

It looks like we weren’t too far off the ball. In fact, we were pretty much spot on. Lucky guess? Coincidence? We’ll let you decide on that one.

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“Whilst we don’t think there’ll be a touch screen on the new controller, there might be a touchable surface, populated with the same little icons that the Vita’s rear touch pad is,” we said.

“It could be on the back, in the middle, but it could also be on the front. If it is, this’ll expand the potential control possibilities without forcing an entirely new change of direction.”

“Try it: hold a Dual Shock 3 – your thumbs can just about reach that bit in the middle with the PS button that does nothing of any merit during a game other than to bring up the XMB. Imagine if that area around it was a little square that you could interact with, pulling apart, swiping, twisting. It’s a gearbox on Gran Turismo, a weapon changer on God Of War, a sniper zoom in Killzone.”

Well, it appears that’s exactly the case, at least on the current dev kits.

According to Kotaku, who appear to have a considerable leak of “90 PDFs”, there’s a “capacitive touch pad” exactly like the one on the Vita, that can recognise two-point multi touch. It’s also clickable.

The leak also points to tilt correction, vibration, and a “share” button.

There’s also, separate from this particular leak, the notion of fully integrated Move technology. It’s also possible that PSN accounts can be tied to individual controllers…

For more on what we want to see from the PS4, click here.

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36 Comments

  1. PSN on controllers is a strange but nifty feature. Did/does the Wii not have something like that? Your Mii can be stored in the controller.

    • I don’t think they mean like that. I just think it means that when you play couch co-op the PS4 will allow on an OS level each player to sign in with their account so they all can earn trophies. Just like some games on PS3 on software level allows it.

  2. Seeing as i loathe all touchscreen tech, i will end up hating the PS4 controller and can see myself accidentally pressing the touchscreen thus causing me to die on a boss that i’m able to defeat thus earning the game a few months on the shelf or taking it out on a random TSAer. I really hope there will be a DS4 for people like me. Oh god, if it’s linked to PSN, we won’t be able to play the games 90% of the time due to SCEE’s habit of doing maintance at random/goingdown/cocking up.

    • I don’t think maintenance will cause issues. It’s more, if you came round to my house, bring your controller and we can play coop with your PSN and mine. It’s like a memory card for PSN I guess.

      • Is that not what a sign-in ID and password does already?

        All you have to do is add them as a User on the PS3.

      • True, but that’s a pretty major hassle when comparing it to Xbox’s sign in style.

      • That makes sense.
        Also, Steven, I’m pretty sure you’d be able to disable touch controls on pretty much any game, as is mostly possible with the Vita.

    • Staggering overreaction, Steven! The rest of the controls are still on the damn thing, you muppet! :-)

      It’ll be there to augment things.

  3. I think there was also a mention of multiple accounts being able to be used at once on one console, so multiple people can get trophies, continue to progress their own character during co-op games etc… essentially what the 360 has done since release! (Still, nice to see Sony recognising that it’s a good idea!)

    • Yes, the accounts won’t be tied to specific controllers, but when a controller connects, the player selects an account. Like on the 360.

      • Doesn’t LBP already do this?

      • Yip and a couple of other games. If it becomes built into the framework of the hardware though, it will surely be easier to implement it into the software. And that’s the hope I guess. All coop games on split screen allowing this would be a great feature to have.

      • Totally agree. That was Sony’s biggest mistake, making too many things optional to developers. Get these sort of features in at the ground level would be very welcome

  4. “Try it: hold a Dual Shock 3 – your thumbs can just about reach that bit in the middle with the PS button that does nothing of any merit during a game other than to bring up the XMB. Imagine if that area around it was a little square that you could interact with, pulling apart, swiping, twisting. It’s a gearbox on Gran Turismo, a weapon changer on God Of War, a sniper zoom in Killzone.”

    The clip on mini keyboard makes the controller awkward to hold and not very balanced so hopefully it will be something built into the pad, dont fix what aint broke

    • pretty sure it’ll be right in the centre.

    • Hopefully Sony won’t do the “I think we must include this for the new generation of gamers” but then half-arse it with such atrocious compromise that it’s crap from day one. Sony are good at things like this, I swear! :-\

  5. There’s a touch pad on the official ps3 txtpad – but aside from the browser it’s never really been supported, not that it was that good anyway.

    • I’ve had a official ps3 txtpad for a couple of years but never used the touch pad option.
      As long as the developers etc make use of it on the controller I think it will be very useful.

  6. The share button sounds ominous, I’m thinking more shoved-down-your-throat social networking. The Vita has it right, the social apps can be avoided if you want and there’s no physical social buttons to promote having friends. I prefer to have no friends. Bah humbug.

    The touch pad, however, sounds great. I really like the Vita’s back, my laptop has a similar textured multi-touch pad which feels great and is easily cleanable when you get manly finger sweat all over it. That’s practical, cheap and useful gadgetry!

    • I meant manky, not manly!!

      • Haa! My girlfriend gets hot at the thought of me getting manly finger sweat as it only means one thing!
        Thats if I had a girlfriend… Im just saying.

  7. I can’t see a touch pad in the middle of the controller being of any use. I can already zoom with the press of a shoulder button without having to let go of the sticks. It’s awkward enough to press the PS button so any touch input would be a streatch and not something intuitive. It’ll be even worse if it’s on the back like the one on the Vita. I only ever touch it by accident.

  8. Not sure what to think about this really, sounds good but its for devs to implement it, and what would it be used for in most games?

    • “Try it: hold a Dual Shock 3 – your thumbs can just about reach that bit in the middle with the PS button that does nothing of any merit during a game other than to bring up the XMB. Imagine if that area around it was a little square that you could interact with, pulling apart, swiping, twisting. It’s a gearbox on Gran Turismo, a weapon changer on God Of War, a sniper zoom in Killzone.”

      Just some ideas I had.

      • I appreciate you sharing your ideas, and I do think youre close with your guess but, moving your thumbs off the sticks and to a touchpad where the XMB button is, is kinda clumsy. It requires you to reach over the analog sticks to swipe the touchpad, in a fast paced situation the odds of having your thumbs accidentally move a stick are too great. imagine zooming in on a snipper rifle or trying to shift gears and having your thumbs accidentally move the sticks causing your character or car to quickly turn. If theres going to be a touchpad on the front of the controller it should be below the sticks slightly to the side, so you just need to move your thumb down (away from the analog, not over it) to access it. but thats just the opinion of my fat clumsy thumbs. ;-)

  9. The only reasonable use i’ve found for a touch pad in a core game so far is zooming the camera in Uncharted – it’s not ideal but it works and it’s only there because of a lack of shoulder buttons. I’m really not interested in touch controls in my core games – i’ll tolerate it on Vita to an extent due to the lack of sufficient buttons but i’m not really interested in replacing instant button-presses with some fudgy touch gestures which don’t give me any tactile feedback.
    Please devs make all and any touch features in PS4 OPTIONAL!

    • Agreed. Not too worried about it TBH. Think/hope it’ll be a flash in the pan.

      Remember when the Sixaxis DS3 controller was going to be the next big thing? Don’t think I’ve used them since Heavenly Sword! Oh yeah and flower…
      Of the hundreds of games over the last 5 years they’re the only two that spring to mind that were actually any good or worth using.

      • * Sixaxis DS3 controller motion controls were…
        :/

  10. As I have only ever been able to score goals on FIFA using the Vita touch pad, anf am totally inept at scoring with a normal controller, I am all for this.

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