PS5 patent photos reveal Sony's plan to solve a major DualShock headache

The DualShock is leveling up.

playstation controllers dualshock

Sony Interactive Entertainment is a year away from launching the PlayStation 5. The company recently peeled back the curtain on its long-awaited next-generation console, teasing its specs, features, peripherals, and exclusive games. Now, SIE might have revealed another piece of the PS5 puzzle.

Designs of what appear to be the DualShock 5 controller were published on the Japanese Patent Office Monday. SIE has yet to detail exactly what the PS5’s controller will look like, but the patent blueprints line up with a majority of what CEO Jim Ryan told Wired about the device back in October. The article described the controller as “an unlabeled matte-black doohickey that looks an awful lot like the PS4’s DualShock 4.”

While largely similar to the DualShock 4 at first glance, the patents hint the new controllers will make much better use of their battery life. That means gamers will spend more time playing wirelessly instead of tethered to their console.

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The new patent image (top) compared to the DualShock 4 blueprint (bottom).

Improved charging speed

The light bar at the top of the DS4 has been completely removed, and the Micro USB port has been replaced by USB Type-C port for faster charging.

SIE confirmed the DualShock 5 would support USB-C and come with new haptic motors to deliver unique tactile feedback. These motors will likely require more battery, which could be the reasoning behind removing the DS4’s light bar and improving charging time.

PS4 controllers now deliver a general vibration for various in-game occurrences, like getting punched or driving off-road. But the PS5’s controller will detect what’s happening on-screen to deliver a much more realistic sensation. Eliminating the light bar will let the controller dedicate more battery to this marquee feature.

playstation 5 dualshock patent
The light bar has been completely done away with and the DualShock 4's micro USB charger has been replaced with a USB-C port.

There’s a microphone now

The patent images suggest the DualShock 5 will feature a built-in microphone that wraps around the bottom, along with what appear to be two headphone jacks. SIE has previously side-stepped questions about whether or not the DS5 will come with a microphone, but Monday’s patent release as seemingly confirmed the feature.

“The part indicated by the solid line in the drawing is the sound collection for the microphone,” reads the summary of the latest patent, translated by Google. Back in September, the United States Patent and Trademark Office published an SIE patent for an A.I. voice-assistant. The DS5 will seemingly keep its front-facing speakers, allowing a potential digital assistant to communicate with players even without headphones plugged in.

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The controller's microphone will be wrapped around the bottom. 

The notion of voice assistant built into a gaming controller was introduced by Google Stadia earlier this year. The cloud-gaming service’s controller will come with a dedicated button to activate unique gameplay features or ask for help when they’re stuck on something. It seems Sony will likely do something similar with the PlayStation 5, using the latest DualShock as a way to deliver unique gaming experiences.

PlayStation 5 is slated to release in late 2020.