This is more interesting than I had originally thought. Sony filed a patent last year (it was only unearthed today or yesterday) describing a universal video game controller. You know how there’s universal remote controls (like this one I used), smart devices that can control a TV, cable box, DVD player, etc.? It’s the same principle here: a single device that’s about to function as a video game controller for all sorts of consoles.
A universal game console controller that has an LCD presenting, depending on what type of game console a user has input, a controller key layout for a first type of game console or a controller key layout for a second type of game console.
The picture does a pretty decent job of describing the controller. You’d have a “controller” in your hand, and on that controller would be a touch-sensitive LCD. Various controller layouts would be placed on the LCD. So, you’d have a GameCube button layout when in GameCube mode, a Dual Shock layout when in PS1 mode, and a DreamCast layout when in DreamCast mode.
Depending on how responsive the LCD is, and how comfortable the actual plastic is in your hands, it could be a nifty little thing.
But, why should Sony want to create such a controller? Is there really such a demand for universal video game controllers that it was worth it to Sony to A) come up with the idea in the first place, B) draw up schematics, and C) file all the paper work with the U.S. Patent Office? It’s not like all of that can be done in some guy’s lunch break.
Let’s say there’s not a demand. Why do I need a device that can emulate the “look and feel” (well, kinda) of an SNES controller?
PS3 Virtual Console!
Now, there’s zero proof to that effect, but it would certainly make sense in the “why bother with such a controller” department.
That said, a PS3 Virtual Console would be legitimately neat, I think.