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Prototype PS4 controller photographed with touchpad interface

A prototype PS4 controller has leaked online ahead of next week’s expected PS4 release date announcement, showing off the device’s heavily rumoured touchpad interface.

Offering a visual insight into the next-generation console’s controller, the newly leaked images seemingly confirm recent rumours, with the prototype controller shown playing host to a new, touchpad interface in place of the current Start and Select buttons.

Hitting the web via Destructoid, the claimed PS4 controller has emerged courtesy of unnamed sources, with latest rumours suggesting the snapper peripheral is “an early prototype” of how the eventual touchpad toting PS4 controller will turn out.

Retaining the same D-Pad and four button controls found on its predecessor models, the claimed PS4 controller shows a wide touchpad panel line up on the device’s middle, sitting underneath a large blue light that serves an as yet unknown purpose.

Adding to recent suggestions that the PS4 controller would be “more or less” the same size and shape as the current PS3 input offering, the photographed prototype shows a slightly beefier controller over past models with the dual analogue sticks remodelled into a slightly bulbous form.

Bringing added backing to the latest PS4 leak, gaming outlet Kotaku has quoted “an industry source familiar with the new system” in suggesting that whilst “the photo is the real deal,” due to the prematurely outed add-on being an early prototype, “it may not represent the final form of the controller.”

Interest in the upcoming PS4 controller has grown in recent weeks after gaming publication Edge printed reports that the console’s input device would play host to a touchpad input offering as well as a “Share” button allowing users to exchange in-game action with friends instantaneously.

“Source close to the hardware have revealed to us that PS4 will ship with a redesigned controller which is the same size as an existing DualShock but features a small touchpad in place of the existing Select, Start and PS buttons,” the reports suggested. “The tech is based on Vita’s rear touchpad, and is similarly responsive in use.”

They added: “A new Share button on the controller will, when pressed, launch a new feature that will allow screenshots and video to be distributed online.

“The PS4 hardware will continually record the most recent 15 minutes of onscreen action (with no processing penalty, claims our source), which users will then be able to edit and broadcast via the internet.”

Providing further insight into the potential of a touchpad hosting PS4 controller, further reports have claimed the new input option “will be a two-point multi-touch capable “pad” similar to the one on the back of the Vita.”

Although currently far from official, the newly leaked Sony PS4 controller is expected to be formally unveiled alongside the next-gen console in the coming days, with Sony revealing that it will host a PlayStation themed event in New York on February 20.

Teasing the arrival of the Nintendo Wii U and expected Xbox 720 competitor, the Japanese gaming giant has suggested the upcoming event will allow the world to “see the future” of PlayStation.

What do you make of the snapped PS4 controller prototype? Would you be tempted by touchpad gaming options? Let us know via the TrustedReviews Twitter and Facebook feeds or through the comment boxes below.

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