A patent filed back in June of 2012 was published by Sony earlier this month. The patent describes a controller that is similar in design to the original PlayStation Move, but has a few different functions. The controller has a different button layout and a touch surface.
Directly below is the first section of the patent, which describes the controller. Below that is a section found later in the patent that talks about its joystick-like function.
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.
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.
The original Move launched in 2010 and 15 million were sold by November of 2012. The joystick function certainly makes this interesting, but we’ll have to wait and see if Sony decides to release a new version of their motion controller.