The success of the PlayStation 4 could be the reason for the publication of a June 2012 Sony patent for what it's calling a 'Flat Joystick Controller'.
The original patent was filed
in the USA on June 4th 2012 but has only come to public view in the recent fortnight.
The controller (pictured
) is said to be:
"A controller device to interface with a computer gaming system includes a body having a handle and an object disposed at one end of the handle. A touch surface is disposed on one side of the handle. The touch surface has an indicator that is identified by a surface characteristic on the touch surface. The touch surface provides an area for receiving directionality control in response to interfacing by a finger of a user.
"In addition to the touch surface, a plurality of buttons are disposed on the body. A circuitry is disposed in the body of the controller. The circuitry is configured to receive data indicative of a directionality control and transmit the data to a game console for impacting an action by a program executing on the computer gaming system."CVG
notes that the patent states, ""In a traditional joystick, it's hard to keep a user's thumb still while the user provides input by engaging various motions with the joystick. This is due to the fact that in the joystick, the thumb's support moves. However, using a touch input surface, the thumb can be kept still while continuing to provide the user's input by pressing on the input surface. The pressing of the user's finger on the input surface causes friction that is recognized."
About time too?