A new PlayStation patent could bring the DualSense PS5 controller's improved haptic feedback - and even more out-there sensory experiences - to streams and other recorded entertainment.
The patent, which has the extremely futuristic-sounding title of "Haptics Metadata in a Spectating Stream" (opens in new tab), comes from Sony Interactive Entertainment and was published on February 4, as spotted by SegmentNext (opens in new tab). It covers the idea of embedding haptic feedback into streams in addition to the standard audio and video, allowing users' to feel the gameplay experience on top of seeing and hearing it. Sony first submitted the application for the patent back in July 2019
The patent notes that it could include "tactile information and other sensory information" supplemental to the main audio and video stream. This could allow your DualSense controller to replicate the experience of playing the game, but the patent doesn't stop there. It could also be used to relay information related to taste, scent, temperature, wind, magnetic, acceleration, and moisture "without limitation".
Your DualSense controller isn't going to do all of that (unless it has some secret scent glands that nobody's found yet), though the patent uses a headset of some kind as an example in its summary and its drawings. This technology could also be used to make virtual reality streams even more immersive beyond sight and sound.
The patent stipulates that the extrasensory information could also be represented through closed captioning on-screen with labels for events like "rumble", allowing players who can't or simply don't want to experience the additional sensory elements to be aware of it too.
Just because Sony has patented this technology doesn't mean it will come to PS5, or any other consumer device from the company. But now we know that making streams a more sensory experience is something Sony's interested in, and it smells good to us.
We may or may not be able to taste gameplay streams on Sony hardware in the future, but we know these upcoming PS5 games are worth getting excited about.