[UPDATE: a larger picture (see above, click to enlarge) as been released that shows the controller from another angle. A bit more information as come to light as well including that the touch area on the front of the controller also functions as a basic screen, that the touch area is single-touch, that the honeycombed area below the mini screen is a microphone (not necessarily a speaker as we originally supposed), and that the triggers on the back of the controller are more like those on the Xbox 360 controller than those on the PS3 controller.]
Destructoid got their hands on a picture (which you can see after the jump) of a supposed PS4 controller prototype that is being distributed with the PS4 dev kits. It’s appearance, while quite bulky and non-ergonomic from the looks of it, match many of the stronger rumours surrounding the upcoming console’s controller.
In the center, you’ll see the rumoured clickable touch panel (which is apparently not a screen) as well as a glowing blue bar on top which hadn’t been mentioned in any of the rumours, but seems to be similar to the light on the PS Move controller and could be used to similar effect.
Other things of note here are the grooves in the joysticks, signifying at least that Sony is considering altering their very divisive convex sticks that have been around since the first Dual-Shock controllers. The D-pad also seems to have undergone a change, but mostly just looks cheaper in quality than its predecessors at this stage. There seems to be a speaker in the middle of the controller, likely Sony’s delayed response to the often neglected speakers in Wii remotes and then the Wii U’s GamePad. You can bet that if it is a speaker, Sony will come up with some way for it to be “better” than Nintendo’s controller speakers, either by having two drivers or some other kind of minute and pointless hardware advantage. The ridge of what may well be a headphone jack can be seen at the bottom of the controller under the Playstation logo button and this could either again be a copy of the GamePad’s audio delivering features or of the Xbox 360 controllers’ headset connectors depending upon how you look at it. Finally, the top of the controller seems to suggest that a good deal of extra bulk has been added to the controller. This may just be to accommodate the Move-like light, but may also hint at a also rumoured back touch panel on the controller similar in function to the one on the PS Vita.
Could this be a controller picture leak similar to the one experienced by Nintendo before last year’s E3, is it a cleverly constructed fake, or is it simply a very early prototype of the more mature (in its development process) controller we’re likely to see when the console is unveiled? We will likely know one way or the other in a mere six days when Sony is expected to announce the PS4 at their future of Playstation presentation on Feb. 20th. We’ll keep you updated as more information comes to light.