Sony May Add A One-Hand Mode To PlayStation Controllers

A single hand could be enough to make use of every functionality on a controller.

Story Highlights

  • Sony recently published a new patent that can allow PlayStation controllers to be used with a single hand.
  • The user can apply a specific motion to the controller to make the left side accessible while holding the right side. 
  • It will also allow the user to set certain motions that can trigger the ability to access the other side if implemented.

Sony PS controllers have improved at a speedy rate in recent years, but using them with a single hand is still quite a tough endeavor. The feat either requires special devices or other complex means, which has prevented a singular solution from being adopted so far. However, Sony may just have figured it out. A new patent published by the company wants to add an option that lets gamers use PS controllers with a single hand.  

The legal doc dubbed “SELECTING AN INTERPRETATION OF INPUT ACTUATION INFORMATION RECEIVED FROM A CONTROLLER” states adding an ability for controllers to work with only a single hand using a “particular motion. For instance, a user holding a DualSense Edge on the right side could put it on an angle and then use the right side to control the buttons on the left side; vice versa also applies, as explicitly stated.

The user may apply a particular pattern of motion to the controller to indicate that detected actuation of one of the controls on the right-hand side of the controller should be interpreted as if a corresponding one of the controls on the left-hand side was actuated,” reads the patent.

The figure shows how a handheld controller can be used with a single hand.
The figure shows how a handheld controller can be used with a single hand.

After using the option, the user can opt out by doing another pattern or by holding the controller still to make the controller work like normal. Sony argues that using a controller with two hands can be impractical for gamers who have a single hand or are affected by mobility issues. It is impossible to reach the buttons on the whole controller by using one hand; the company has secured the patent after analyzing these factors.

[It] can be problematic for users who are unable to operate the handheld controller 80 with both hands simultaneously, since it can be difficult to reach all of the controls on the controller 80 when holding the controller in one hand or when one of two hands is not fully functional.”

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The flowchart shows an example method of switching between both modes.
The flowchart shows an example method of switching between both modes.

To elaborate a bit more, a button on the lower right-end side would work as the button on the lower left-end side after the motion is applied, making the feature easily switchable during games for players who are used to playing with a generic layout. Additionally, the controller can identify the movement in all the X, Y, and Z axes. It means that the motions needed to change into single-hand mode will be natural and easy for all PS users.

Furthermore, the user can select what sort of motion they want to apply on their controller by setting a “control value” in PS5 settings. The proposed system is a significant step toward improving the accessibility options the giant conglomerate has pursued in recent years.

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Shameer Sarfaraz is a Senior News Writer on eXputer who loves to keep up with the gaming and entertainment industries devoutly. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science and several years of experience reporting on games. Besides his passion for breaking news stories, Shahmeer loves spending his leisure time farming away in Stardew Valley. VGC, IGN, GameSpot, Game Rant, TheGamer, GamingBolt, The Verge, NME, Metro, Dot Esports, GameByte, Kotaku Australia, PC Gamer, and more have cited his articles.

Experience: 4+ Years || Education: Bachelor in Computer Science.

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