PlayStation 5 Retro Controller Patent – Hot Take

Another Sony patent has been published. This time for something that looks like an old style gamepad. This patent has inspired the idea for a retro style controller for Sony’s upcoming PS5. Let’s talk about the supposed PlayStation 5 retro controller patent.

The patent in question, for an “information output system and method”, was filed on July 24 in the US and published on November 28. And with all the hype around the PS5 people really wanted this patent to hint at the new console’s features. LetsGoDigital in their report on the patent even positioned the turnaround time between filing and publishing to be significant. However, if you take a closer look the patent isn’t what it appears to be.

The patent isn’t new

On the patent, under Foreign Application Priority Data, it says, “May 8, 2006 (JP)”. This patent was originally filed in Japan over 13 years ago. Therefore this patent is far from new. And under Related US Application Data we can see that in the US it has been filed and continued two separate times. So it would appear this filing and its quick turnaround were just refreshing a previous patent to retain ownership. Another indicator this patent is not new is the name on it. The listed inventor hasn’t worked at Sony since the launch of the PlayStation 3, Ken Kutaragi.

What would it be used for

This patent can’t be intended to work with the PS5 since we’ve established it was designed 13 years ago. And just as well because its use case is far from clear. It does look like a NES style retro controller but what good is that with a PlayStation? Even early PS games, that were designed with the original pack-in controller, require more buttons than this gamepad allows. What games would use it? It’s not compelling to believe Sony would start selling their competitor’s old games on their new system with a special controller. 

The patent indicates this device was intended to work with some version of cloud technology. Maybe their decision to refile this patent was to retain that functionality for upcoming devices? With the new importance of cloud based gaming tech this would make a lot of sense. But don’t expect to see this controller on store shelves alongside the new PS5.

Hot Take is a live-streamed show where two of our hosts jump in-front of a camera to discuss the latest gaming news and trends. These videos are personal opinions and not intended to be news reports.

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