Sony has filed for a patent that essentially splits the input of one controller to multiple other controllers. It’s an odd patent to be sure, though it could make for a good party game experience.
Specifically, the patent describes two different scenarios. One is closer to the literal splitting of controller input among multiple players, called “split controller gameplay”. Imagine a scenario where one player manages the input of the analog sticks, another handles the face buttons while a third takes care of the shoulder buttons.
The second scenario described by the Sony patent is a lot more straightforward. This one simply involves multiple players’ controllers taking turns in actually playing the game, as it were. Rather than simply passing one controller to the next person, the patent suggests that this is done over the cloud. This can also apply to the first scenario, where a single controller’s input is cut up and divided over multiple controllers over the internet.
Between the two, the second scenario makes some sense. If you’re playing party games over the internet, it functions the same as passing the controller to the next person. But it’s difficult to imagine anyone wanting to share their controller’s input with others. Never mind doing so over the internet, and possibly with strangers.
Either way, it’s a possible additional feature that Sony could add to what could be called the DualShock 5. The company already has a patent for a controller describing adaptive triggers which have variable resistances. But it remains to be seen whether Sony will implement either of these features on the PlayStation 5 controller. We’ll just have to wait until the end of next year to find out.