The DualShock 4 controller launched alongside the PlayStation 4 back in 2013 came with a touchpad. It allows for a whole host of other functionality. Never before did a PlayStation controller have a touchpad. The company may be willing to take it a step further by putting a touchscreen in its place on future models.
Sony has patented a PlayStation controller with an integrated touchscreen. The patent diagrams show a controller that’s quite similar to the DualShock 4 but has a touchscreen display instead of a touchpad. This patent was published in October but Sony originally filed for it in 2017.
The patent description explicitly mentions the touchscreen multiple times. “A touchscreen defined along the top surface of the main body between the first extension and the second extension,” is one such example taken from the description.
A touchscreen display in the place of a touchpad could allow for more interactive functionalities. The display could work with apps and allow for gesture controls right on the controller’s surface.
The thing with patents is that even though what they often describe looks entirely plausible, there’s no reasonable way of ascertaining whether or not that’s actually going to happen. So while Sony has patented a DualShock 4 controller with a touchscreen display, it’s hard to say if the company will ever release one.