The PS4's DualShock 4 is one of the best gaming controllers ever, but its short battery life can be extremely annoying during long gaming sessions. Thankfully, this may not be as much of a problem once the PlayStation 5 rolls around this holiday as a new patent suggests that the DualShock 5 will support wireless charging that still functions when you are playing a game.
The patent was first spotted by Segment Next on Thursday after Sony initially filed it in July 2019. Basically, the patent is for a charging adapter that can be snapped onto a controller via USB and still charge it after being removed from a charging base, sort of like a mobile battery pack.
"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 patent explains in more complex terms. "The adapter also can include keys that mirror keys on the controller so that a gamer can remove the adapter with 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."
The wireless adapter may even have the ability to let players know their controller's battery life as the patent mentions that "the adapter can include one or more lamps to indicate a state of a battery in the game controller, and/or to indicate a functional mapping of game controller keys to adapter keys." While the images and description for the patent reference a DualShock 4 controller, the fact that the patent was made so late in the generation's life cycle suggests that it will actually be used with the PS5's controller.
The Inverse Analysis:
We already know the PS5 controller it will use USB-C for a wired charge, but the ability to wirelessly charge a controller would still be extremely helpful. It could also make the DualShock 5 one of the most interesting controllers on the market when coupled with its other features.
An October 2019 PlayStation Blog post teased Sony's next controller, confirming that it will have "haptic feedback" that would vibrate in different ways depending on the surfaces a player is traversing in a game as well as "adaptive triggers" that could give add resistance in required scenarios. Other patents tease even more features, like a built-in microphone that could be in the controller and a way to track the player's heart rate or sweatiness.
These features all sound nice, but they also have the potential to be battery-draining. As such, it's a good idea for Sony to create a way to wirelessly charge the PS5 controller so it doesn't frustratingly die on players after just a few hours.
The short battery life is one of the most annoying aspects of the PS4, so it's good to see Sony taking steps to fix one of its controller's pitfalls in the near future — even if it's just in unconfirmed patents. The DualShock 4 is great, but there's still plenty of room for improvement. Especially when it comes to battery life.
The PS5 will be released during Holiday 2020.