A second photo of a possible new Sony PlayStation controller?

Rumored Sony PS4 controller shows new thumbsticks

As the speculation on Sony's next game console is ramps up ahead of next week's press event, a pair of images have surfaced, purporting to show details on a new PlayStation controller.

The first image was posted by Destructoid, which noted that it may be one of several prototypes that Sony has tested. IGN and Kotaku have also confirmed the authenticity of the photo with their own sources, while pointing out that it is an early prototype. A second photo appeared on the GameTrailers forums Friday.

The most noticeable feature is what appears to be a touch pad at the center of the controller. The pad itself may be clickable, according to both Kotaku and IGN.

This means we could see some touch controls shoehorned into games, as we've seen on Sony's PlayStation Vita, but the pad also could come in handy for navigating on-screen menus or web sites. A speaker or microphone grille just underneath the touch pad could allow for voice commands.

The supposed prototype also shows a glowing strip along the top edge of the controller. This could be evidence of PlayStation Move motion-control integration, working in conjunction with a camera that tracks movement.

Thumbstick design is of interest

To be honest, though, none of those developments would interest me as much as the design of the thumbsticks seen on the prototype. Sony has been using convex-shaped surfaces ever since it started adding thumbsticks to its original PlayStation controllers. The surfaces of the prototype sticks are concave, similar to those of Microsoft's Xbox 360.

Granted, we're talking about a prototype—and an unconfirmed one at that—but redesign of the controller thumbsticks would be a big change for players of first- and third-person shooters.

Possible new Sony PlayStation controller?Gametrailers.com
An image of a possible new Sony PlayStation controller

Sony's controllers have always felt a bit looser than Microsoft's, with a larger degree of throw to them. The difference is a matter of preference, of course. (Sony's controllers have been a little too unwieldy for me, as the convex shape allows my thumbs to shift around during play).

The use of concave sticks would help, even if the actual controls aren't any tighter. At the very least, it looks like Sony is thinking about shaking things up for once.

Sony will hold its press event in New York on February 20, at 6 p.m. ET. The company hasn't said what the event is about, but it seems obvious that new console hardware is the topic.

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