Rumblings have emerged from the internet that a picture published by Destructoid shows a prototype version of the controller for the next PlayStation console. The device contains a small touchpad-like device and what looks like either a speaker or an in-controller microphone, breaking away from the DualShock standard design that has been around in one form or another since 1997.
The change is likely an attempt to move towards less traditional methods of control, as seen in the use of similar systems in the PlayStation Vita handheld. Alternatively, it could be a sign that some sort of inter-compatability will exist between PS4 and Vita, a scenario that is also rumoured for the Wii U and 3DS. However, Sony’s control innovations have not always been as successful as dual analog control. For instance, removing force feedback from the early PS3 controller (of which I am a proud owner) or their motion control device, Move, which failed to make much of an impact against Kinect and the Wii.
In his FDR-inspired ‘Fireside Hangout’ on Google+ with several guests, including esteemed author John Green, United States President Barack Obama expressed support for the inclusion of programming in high-school syllabi in order to create a strong technological sector in the USA’s economy. The move will be welcomed by many including Mark Zuckerburg, who Barack Obama cited as having learned to program because of his interest in game. The president feels there are many children who would be creating great games but are held back by being unable to access high-quality education on the subject until at least college level. A base level of understanding of how games are made could drive players to look into the things they play more deeply and be a net positive for the industry as a whole. Here’s hoping!