PlayStation 5 players may get to embrace the back paddle controller lifestyle out-of-the-box. A patent filing discovered over the holidays depicts a design similar in most respects to the DualShock 4, save for the conspicuous addition of two buttons on the back side.
First spotted by users on Reddit and later reported on by Polygon and Bleeding Cool, the patent was filed in late December with the World Intellectual Property Organization. It looks like the two buttons on the controller's back are intended to be mappable to other functions of the controller, much like those of Sony's upcoming Back Button Attachment for the DualShock 4. A representative for Sony has confirmed to USgamer that the Back Button Attachment is only designed to be compatible with the DualShock 4, not the PlayStation 5's controller.
If the PlayStation 5 does launch with a controller that has two additional buttons, then perhaps DualShock 4 controllers will be forward compatible with the use of the Back Button Attachment. It's important to note that patents don't always line up with the final device—another Sony patent from November of last year showed a DualShock 4-esque controller with no rear buttons, and fans still remember the silver "boomerang" controller that was replaced by the Sixaxis well before the PS3's launch.
So far, we do know that PS5's controller will boast some new feedback features. Wired tried out a version of the controller a few months ago that resembled a DualShock 4 with new "adaptive triggers" and haptic internals that provide better response than a standard rumble motor.
Whether or not Sony's next controller is a significant evolution of the DualShock, controller forward compatibility may factor into your next-gen purchasing decisions. Microsoft has confirmed that all Xbox One controllers will work with its next console. The Series X will come with a revised controller that features a new share button.
If you want to know more about Sony's next console, the hardware, and the games you'll be able to play on it, check out our guide to everything we've learned about the PS5 so far.