Sony PS4: Leaked photo of PlayStation shows touchpad controller

Gaming console

A picture has been leaked on a website, which claims to show a prototype of the touchpad controller for Sony's yet-to-be announced PlayStation 4 (PS4), reports The Telegraph.

The photo, published on the Destructoid website, showed a DualShock-style controller, with what appears to be a touchpad on top and a blue light on the back.

The apparent touchpad correlates with speculation about the PS4 controller, and the blue light bears resembles that on Sony's PlayStation Move motion controllers.

Sony Corp plans to release its new PlayStation 4 (PS4) home console this year for around $430, giving the successor to the popular PS3 a touch panel control and easy access to social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, according to media report.

Sony's game chief, Andrew House, will reveal the new features at a PlayStation meeting in New York on February 20. The gathering will be the first major PlayStation meeting in two years. The last time Sony held such an event it revealed the prototype for its handheld Vita in in January 2011. The meeting before that in 2005 came two months after it revealed its concept for the PS3, which sold 70 million units.

It has been more than six years since Sony launched the PS3, a longer gap than between the PS3 and its PS2 predecessor. The gaming market has since been transformed by the rise of tablet PCs and smartphones that are wooing away casual gamers with free or cheap games.

The shift to mobile devices has forced console makers such as Sony, Nintendo Co Ltd and Microsoft Corp to try to find new ways to win back consumers to consoles.

In a sign of the competitive pressure they face, Nintendo last month cut its sales target for the Wii U, successor to its 100 million-selling Wii, to 4 million machines by the end of March from its launch in November, compared with an earlier forecast for 5.5 million.

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