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Sony's next PlayStation controller will have a Vita-based touchpad, says report

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Following Sony's announcement of its February 20th event — at which the company is expected to unveil the next PlayStation — more details about the next-generation console have surfaced. According to Edge, the next PlayStation, reportedly codenamed Orbis, will be more powerful than Microsoft's new Xbox and feature a redesigned controller.

Familiar controller, new features?

In line with Sony's past PlayStation controller refreshes, Edge claims the new controller will remain the same size and shape as the DualShock, but will have a small touchpad — based on technology used in the Vita's rear touchpad — in place of the current Start, Select, and PlayStation buttons. The publication's sources also say the controller will have a new "Share" button that will allow users to share screenshots and video online, which lines up well with reports from The Wall Street Journal that Sony plans to "incorporate more social gaming aspects into the new machine." Sony is also rumored to be working on a new version of its PlayStation Eye peripheral, says the report.

Also in line with information from the WSJ and Polygon, Edge claims that the next-generation PlayStation will launch in the US and Japan by Christmas, likely in time to compete with Microsoft's new Xbox. However, Edge reports that the console won't launch in Europe until early 2014, citing "complexities involved in European distribution."