After last year’s DualShock 4 back button attachment, many assumed the DualSense controller would launch with back buttons as a default. That turned out to be incorrect, but there may be hope for PS5 players wanting back buttons on their DualSense controllers. A newly published patent appears to show the DualShock 4 back button attachment, but the publication date of February 4th has many thinking this could be intended for a theoretical DualSense back button attachment. Sony has yet to announce such an accessory for the DualSense controller.
However, there are some complications that may suggest otherwise. Nothing in the patent specifically calls out the PS5, DualSense, or otherwise unique identifying features that may out this as a DualSense back button attachment. While a patent is not a precise blueprint, the images in the patent are clearly of the DualShock 4 controller and the existing DualShock 4 back button attachment, down to the configuration of the connectors to the unique DualShock 4 port, which would not fit the DualSense.
However, due to the way patent applications work, most companies won’t file for patents after a product has already been released. The US has some leniency on when patents can be applied for, but international applications are a lot more strict. This international patent was filed by Sony on June 29, 2020, which was about six months after the DualShock 4 back button attachment went on sale. The exception, however, is if a patent has already been filed, and the new application is taking priority over the old patent.
The description text notes that this patent is linked to four other Sony patents, all filed in July 2019:
- Claims priority over “CONTROLLER ADD-ON DEVICE WITH CUSTOMIZABLE PRESETS.” (This was the original patent for the DualShock 4 back button attachment.)
- Cross referenced with “METHOD FOR PROVIDING CUSTOMIZED BUTTON MAPPING PRE-SETS”
- Cross referenced with “CUSTOMIZABLE CONTROLLER ADD-ON SYSTEM”
- Cross referenced with “CONTROLLER ADD-ON DEVICE”
With this new patent titled the same as the original DualShock 4 back button attachment patent and being filed as a priority application over that previous filing, what we’re most likely looking at here is an update to the old DualShock 4 patent, not an indication that Sony is working on a DualSense back button attachment.
While I don’t doubt Sony’s teams have at least looked at the possibility of releasing a DualSense back button attachment, given the popularity of the original accessory, it doesn’t appear this particular patent is direct evidence of that. For now, you’ll still ahve to settle for playing PS5 games without back buttons until we either get a proper DualSense back button attachment or new custom pro controller releases from a company like Mega Modz, SCUF, Evil Controllers, or others.