updated 01:15 pm EST, Fri February 19, 2010
Sony files patent for touchscreen controller
Sony has recently filed a patent with the US Patent and Trademark Office for a gaming controller with a touchscreen LCD screen that can be used with more than one type of gaming console. Whether the different types of consoles include Microsoft's Xbox 360 or Nintendo's Wii isn't being specified, but it technically could and the technical drawing included in the patent does bear the Nintendo and Xbox names.
The display can mimic the button layout and configuration of nearly any controller currently on the market, as long as it's preprogrammed into the device. The virtual layout also has plural keys that can be selected by the user to input commands to a game console.
With some users owning more than one game console, this could prove to be useful, though how practical virtual buttons would be instead of a physical button with its tactile feedback remains to be proven. There is no indication of when or even if Sony will move ahead with the release of such a controller. [via GoRumors]