A new Sony Interactive Entertainment patent has surfaced online, and it appears to possibly suggest the PS5's controller -- the DualShock 5 -- has more new features that PlayStation hasn't talked about yet. As you may know, Sony has already confirmed the PS5 controller with have advanced haptic feedback with dynamic triggers, which alone is a considerable improvement on the DualShock 4. However, it appears there's more improvements in the works at Sony, and these ones are a bit more experimental.
This generation Sony has really doubled down on single-player, narrative-driven games. And it's worked for the PlayStation makers. From God of War to Marvel's Spider-Man, PlayStation first-party has churned out -- consistently -- some of the best games of the generation. Not only did these games review well, but they also sold quite well. And there's a good chance Sony will continue this approach with the PS5. After all, there's no reason to change a winning formula. That said, the market has made it clear that multiplayer games and shared experiences are the future. There's no denying this. Just look at the most popular games of the last decade: Fortnite, Grand Theft Auto V, Minecraft, every Call of Duty, all of them are either multiplayer games, single-player games with multiplayer elements, or are at least made to be shared and experienced with other people.
Perhaps noticing this trend, back in 2018, Sony Interactive Entertainment filed a patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a "Bifurcation of shared controls and passing controls in a video game." Approved earlier this month, the patent essentially reveals that Sony is looking into adding multiplayer elements to single-player games via the DualShock 5.
According to the patent, Sony is working on two ways of achieving this. The first is dubbed "split-controller gameplay," which does exactly what it sounds like it does: splits up the controls into different sections and assigns sections to different players. For example, I may be in charge of the pedals of a car via the triggers, while another player controls the car with the analogue sticks. It's a pretty simple concept and a way to turn single-player experiences into a shared experience (locally and online) or onboard people not very familiar with video games and how to use controllers. As for how sections are divided up, that will apparently be up to the main player. Further, if you have three players, but a certain section only involves two players, the unneeded player can silently observe.
Of course, it's possible this could be implemented across every game or be a feature that developers specifically make games for. Alas, the patent doesn't really make it clear on what the software intention around the patent would be.
The patent also makes note of a different approach, where different players can take turns controlling a character in a game. It's a bit more ambiguous how this system would work, but it sounds like it could work in a variety of ways, such as putting a timer on each player. Unlike the other design, this sounds like it would need to be for games specifically made to utilize the feature.
Of course, it's important to remember hardware makers like Sony patent all sorts of things, and more often than not these patents never come to fruition. In other words, this could be nothing more than Sony spitballing. That said, we should be hearing more about the PS5 and DualShock 5 in the coming months, so thankfully we don't have to wait long to see if there's anything to this new patent.
Source: Let's Go Digital