According to a recently filed patent brought to light by Twitter user SpawnWaveMedia, it seems that the controller for the upcoming PlayStation 5 (likely to be called the DualShock 5) will make use of a built-in microphone to allow the player to ask questions as well as navigating the console’s menus. This will be with the help of a virtual assistant akin to something you might see on a modern smartphone.
The patent, which was published just yesterday, shares some details about the controller, albeit in poorly-translated English. One such detail is the mention of “a tactile presenting device” which would introduce “tactile stimulation to the user’s hands.” This is likely about how the PS5 controller will provide tactile feedback in the triggers to increase immersion. Interestingly, the patent also seems to suggest that the controller will “suppress” speaker sound and tactile feedback whenever the user is speaking into the microphone. It might be safe to assume, then, that you’ll have to push a button of some kind to make the microphone work. Having controller features stop working whenever sound is detected seems like it could become annoying without some kind of affirmative activation.
This won’t be the first time we’ve been able to control our consoles with our voice – the Xbox 360 was capable of this with Kinect, as was the Xbox One. Even PlayStation has achieved this themselves with the PlayStation Camera’s voice commands feature. It will, however, be the first time we’ve seen a microphone integrated into an official controller. It’s also interesting to consider how they’ll go about approaching the “digital assistant”. Will they give it a name? A personality, even? Here’s hoping it’s more Cortana than Clippy!
It’s also worth considering the possible gameplay applications of having a built-in PS5 controller microphone. Certain gameplay interactions might be made more interesting, humorous or immersive if they required the player to make noise into the controller. You wouldn’t be blamed for even being reminded of the microphone capabilities of the Nintendo DS. Perhaps this could even be the catalyst for a resurgence in karaoke games – Singstar in 2021, anyone?
You can read the full patent here, but reader beware: much of it is in Japanese, and translating doesn’t help much.
What do you think of this patent? Do you think a microphone would be a good addition to the PS5 Controller? Let us know in the comments!