Supposed PlayStation 4 Controller and Prototype Dev Kit Emerge Online
The curious photo above appears to be a prototype controller for Sony's fabled PlayStation 4, according to Destructoid.
At first glance, it looks like a possible contender. While early speculation suggested that Sony may ditch their standard controller for a controller with a prominant touchscreen or some kind of biometric input device, Sony has never deviated far from the PlayStation's DualShock design, and this certainly makes more sense those other ideas.
While this prototype seems a shade bulkier than current gen controllers, it looks more-or-less to be of a similar size, which would have its own share of pros and cons. Change is seldom welcome, so keeping the controller to a similar model will no doubt be appreciated by fans. However, this would also limit the size for the touch screen to a little more than two inches wide. Most smart phones today are almost double this size, as is Sony's own Vita.
The analog sticks seem to have a rim of some sort, but the most notable difference is obviously the glaring screen between the analog sticks. As indicated in recent rumors, the controller appears to have a small touchpad, similar to one on the back of the Vita, where the start and select buttons have been traditionally.
As Polygon notes, the blue bar at the top of the controller "resembles the light used in Sony's PlayStation Move controller... Last year, Sony filed for a patent that appeared to combine the Move's motion sensing capabilities with a traditional PlayStation gamepad." However, both the location and the method in which the controller would make motion control gameplay awkward to say the least. As for the wire, console development kits can sometimes require a wired controller. None of this generation's home consoles demand wired controllers: The idea that Sony would go re-introduce them is, frankly, absurd.
It must be said that this could just be an early model for demonstration's sake, as Sony has done in the past. Consider the PS3 "boomerang" controller originally said to be the defualt controller for the PlayStation 3.
If this is indeed legitimate, Sony isn't saying, opting to wait until their big event next week to supposedly put all their cards on the table. It's generally accepted that the company will debut the PlayStation 4 in New York, February 20. Since not everyone will be able to make it in, Sony will be livestreaming the event online.