The PS5’s controller may have a secret extra function, allowing multiple people to control the same single-player game.
A new patent for the PlayStation 4’s DualShock 5 controller describes a previously unsuspected ability: the option for multiple people to play the same single-player game.
The ‘split controller gameplay’ allows for up to four people to play the same game or character, by splitting up the controls so that one person is using the analogue sticks, one the face buttons, and so on.
That doesn’t seem the most practical idea in the word, especially as the illustration in the patent is for a one-on-one fighter, but no doubt it could make for some fun party games.
It is a weirdly specific feature, but it seems to be a combination of Sony’s PlayLink, which allows multiple people to play PlayStation games with their phone as a controller, and Share Play, which allows others to take over your game remotely.
Neither option has ever been particular popular but narrative-based games like Until Dawn have certainly proven successful by having people argue over which decisions should be made.
What’s being suggested by the patent seems a lot more involved than that, but whether it’s meant for serious games or just party games we’ll have to see when the first titles are released.
But potentially it could be an option to make any single-player game multiplayer, if you’re sitting playing it with someone else on the same couch or online.
An alternative use for the same tech is for control to constantly be switched between each player, something like Man Of Medan (by the same developer as Until Dawn), but again that seems a bit gimmicky.
Of course, just because there’s a patent for something doesn’t mean a company will necessarily use it and there’s no guarantee any of this will come to anything.
None of it seems to require any special hardware, but then previous patents for the DualShock 5 suggest it’s not too different from the current model, just with better force feedback, an in-built microphone, and (glory be!) no light bar.
The render by LetsGoDigital at the top of the page suggests the touchpad will be turned into a tiny touchscreen device, but so far there’s no confirmation of that happening. Apart from anything it seems very expensive, drastically decreasing the chance of anyone having multiplayer controllers in the first place.
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