Is Sony removing the DualShock’s light bar? 

A new patent filing suggests Sony might be ready to do away with one of the DualShock’s most iconic features: its light bar.

As spotted by VentureBeat, the Japanese filing features a number of changes to the DualShock controller design, including the previously confirmed USB-C charging point, an apparent microphone below the controller’s touchpad, and larger triggers with haptic feedback, replacing the “rumble” technology used to date. 

It’s the loss of the light bar that’s most interesting, though. Whilst often used to indicate life status in games and little else, a number of PSVR titles use the light bar to track the placement of the controller when players don the VR helmet. 

As Sony has already clearly reconfirmed its commitment to PSVR, it’ll be interesting to see how the developer mitigates the impact of this design change going ahead.

“There are two key innovations with PlayStation 5’s new controller,” Sony’s president, Jim Ryan, said when the PlayStation 5 was revealed in October. “First, we’re adopting haptic feedback to replace the “rumble” technology found in controllers since the 5th generation of console.

“With haptics, you truly feel a broader range of feedback, so crashing into a wall in a race car feels much different than making a tackle on the football field. You can even get a sense for a variety of textures when running through fields of grass or plodding through mud.

“The second innovation is something we call adaptive triggers, which have been incorporated into the trigger buttons (L2/R2). Developers can program the resistance of the triggers so that you feel the tactile sensation of drawing a bow and arrow or accelerating an off-road vehicle through rocky terrain. In combination with the haptics, this can produce a powerful experience that better simulates various actions. Game creators have started to receive early versions of the new controller, and we can’t wait to see where their imagination goes with these new features at their disposal.”

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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