A Sony patent reveals that the company could be developing a mobile gaming device. Rather than operating like their most recent handheld, the PlayStation Vita—a fully self-contained console—this controller appears to leverage the user’s smartphone for gameplay.
The source doesn’t have any details about a release date because all the patent includes are drawings and lots of text about how it works. It says it has a “left side grip portion and a right side grip portion gripped by the left and right hands of the user, and a direction button and an operation button arranged on the front surface of the controller.”
It sounds like a device that will function as a controller attached to your phone, which significantly shaves down the price compared to other handhelds that include the actual console portion.
The idea of a mobile controller that hooks up to your phone isn’t new, so we can look at similar products and assume that Sony’s version might cost around $100. The Razer Kishi and Backbone One are around that price point.
There’s little reason to believe that it’ll be much more than that. The Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch OLED are decent comparisons since they also work as handheld gaming devices. But they have more powerful, on-device functionality and are only a few hundred dollars more than those controller-only devices.
Without a precise release date, there’s no way to know when pre-orders for the PlayStation mobile controller will commence.
We’ll keep an eye out for announcements from Sony and update this page as we learn more.
PlayStation Mobile Controller Features
The most likely reason Sony is developing this is to introduce another method for users to access Remote Play, its cloud-based gaming mechanism where you can stream PlayStation games to your phone and other devices.
PS Remote Play is already available on Android and iOS devices, and you can use PlayStation controllers with it. This new Sony patent presumes to provide a compact controller that you can easily tuck away in a bag and pull out and attach to your phone to game anywhere.
While Bluetooth is the current way Remote Play works with DUALSHOCK or DualSense controllers, this new method might involve a physical connection for smoother playback. Plus, since there’s a built-in holder for your phone, you don’t have to find a good place to prop up the screen.
PlayStation Mobile Controller Specs and Hardware
Right now, we only have the patent to understand how it works. One part says the controllers have a shaft portion that the user can tilt and can detect the tilting direction and amount of tilt.
This wording might mean it’ll be suitable as a gesture-based controller for games that would benefit from a gyroscope, such as racing games.
We’ll know more about the hardware if and when other details emerge.