Some recent patent filings from Sony have driven excited speculation about what the company could have in store for the PlayStation 5, but a new listing suggests that PSVR could also be due for a substantial controller upgrade.
UploadVR analyzed Sony Interactive Entertainment's new patent filing for a one-handed "controller device," published via the World Intellectual Property Organization last week and reported on by 91mobiles. The diagrams included in the filing show a small controller with an adjustable knuckle strap, buttons and a trigger for the thumb and index finger, and three sensors for the middle, ring, and pinky fingers along the grip.
In theory, this design would support finger tracking comparable with Valve's Index controllers or the Oculus Touch controllers. Individual finger tracking is still only supported by a limited number of virtual reality games on the PC, but with Oculus set to debut an experimental form of no-controller hand tracking for the Quest soon, it's likely that more VR developers will move to embrace it.
Sony hasn't disclosed much about its future plans for PSVR beyond the fact that current headsets will be compatible with the PS5. A recent article from Bloomberg indicating high manufacturing costs for Sony's new console also reported that a new PSVR headset is planned for release sometime after the PS5's launch.
Last May, Sony's vice president of research and design Dominic Mallinson discussed what he believed to be "must have" features for next generation VR hardware, but mainly focused on display quality, wireless functionality, and eye-tracking. If Sony does invest in a new generation of VR hardware, it would make sense for it to develop a new input method, as the PlayStation Move controllers used with PSVR today date back to 2009.
If Sony does come out with a new generation of PSVR gear, it might not be the only peripheral upgrade the PS5 sees. Another recently filed patent suggests that the PS5's main controller might come with two additional buttons or paddles on the back. For more on what we've heard about Sony's next console, check out our guide to everything we know about the PS5.