Patent watch

PS5 DualSense could add 2 highly requested features post-launch

New Sony patent reveals another next-gen feature that could be on its way.

The PlayStation 5’s DualSense controller will be unlike any other PlayStation controller to come before it. Sony has dropped the DualShock moniker, completely redesigned how it looks, inverted the default color scheme, and developed futuristic features like improved haptic feedback and triggers so players can feel the virtual worlds they’ll be interacting with.

Now, a company patent has revealed the designs for a DualSense attachment that could give the controller two of the most frequently requested features.

Sony was granted a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Thursday for an upgraded version of the DualShock 4 Back Button Attachment that can also make the DualSense controller capable of wireless charging.

Much like the original $29 peripheral that Sony released before the end of 2019, the designs of this new attachment show that it’ll attach to the bottom of the DualSense and add two extra buttons that players can assign button commans to. But now Sony also seemingly aims to house wireless charging coils inside the attachment so players can drop the DualSense on a charging mat or even the PS5 (if it comes with its own charging coils) to juice up for their next gaming session.

A diagram of how the proposed wireless charging attachment will snap on to the DualSense USPTO

Here’s the patent summary:

“A wireless charging adapter that can snap onto a computer game controller can be inductively coupled to a charging base to wirelessly recharge a battery in the controller. The adapter also can include keys that mirror keys on the controller so that a gamer can remove the adapter with [the] controller from the charging base, keep the adapter on the controller, and use both the controller keys and adapter keys to control a computer game.”

It’s no secret that certain gamers want extra buttons for their console controllers, third-party brands and Microsoft have been offering rear paddles on their controllers for years. Wireless charging, on the other hand, is more of a smartphone trend, but there’s still some interest in it among the console gaming community.

Third-party companies are already selling kits to make gamers’ DualShock 4 wirelessly capable, plus some gamers have even made their DualShocks capable of wireless charging by using a few smartphone accessories. So why didn’t Sony include these features in the DualSense to begin with?

A diagram of the DualSense wirelessly charing on top of what is assumed to be the PS5. The console would need its own charging coils for this to work.USPTO

The Inverse Analysis — It would be a safer bet for Sony to release a barebones version of the DualSense to keep the price of the PS5 as low as possible, especially since there have been reports suggesting the upcoming consoles could come with a steep price tag.

It’s estimated that each PS5 unit will cost Sony $450 to manufacture, which might drive the price to $500 or even higher, according to a Bloomberg report. Adding rear buttons and wireless charging to the DualSense from the get-go could cause Sony to relive the pricing snafu of the PS3, which was originally $100 more than the Xbox 360 and experienced sluggish sales.

Instead, selling these features as part of an optional peripheral for more hardcore gamers serves both a niche market and console gamers as a whole. In fact, the PS4’s Back Button Attachment has sold out as of May 27, so gamers are clearly interested in buying peripherals to soup-up their PlayStation gear.

However, just because Sony was granted a patent for a new Back Button Attachment doesn’t mean it’ll ever make it to market. Companies patent countless concepts, ideas, and designs that never turn into finalized products. But seeing how popular the original Back Button Attachment is, it’s very likely that Sony will release a version of it for the PS5.

The PlayStation 5 will be released during the 2020 holiday season.

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