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Next Gen Controllers Could Have Joysticks That Tug At Your Thumbs

Next Gen Controllers Could Have Joysticks That Tug At Your Thumbs

By David Ponce

Current generation consoles are old. Hella old. It used to be that we’d get new ones on a 5 year cycle, but it looks now like it’s a 7 year cycle we’re on. The next Xbox for example is rumoured to be scheduled for 2013, a little over 7 years since it was launched at the end of 2005. We don’t know what specs it’ll have, but if some folk at the University of Utah have their way, the next generation of controllers could have some added haptic feedback, besides the usual rumbling. The idea is that the thumbsticks could have a “round, red “tactor” that looks like the eraser-head-shaped IBM TrackPoint or pointing stick now found on a number of laptop computer brands.” This extra nubbin would tug at your fingertips in different directions, “simulating the tug of a fishing line, the feeling of ocean waves or the recoil of a gun. If a gamer’s avatar runs into a wall, the tactor under the thumb moves back to mimic impact. Both tactors can move from side to side to mimic ocean waves.”

There doesn’t seem to have been any actual contact between the researchers and anyone at Microsoft or Sony, so there’s no certainty any of this will ever make its way into our hands. But with several months before anything is due, who knows what ideas might trickle into the right offices…

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