It seems Sony likes the idea of an advanced game console controller with an LCD display and sophisticated functionality.
That's the jist of the company's latest patent as uncovered by Engadget. Here's the thing, though - this concept was already demonstrated by Nintendo. In fact, it's this kind of controller that is the crux of the company's impending Wii U system.
The Wii U controller is a revolution in the way players interact with a home console, and in fact it is a step in the completely opposite direction of Microsoft's Kinect strategy.
Instead of emphasizing the idea of getting rid of a controller, Nintendo is putting more emphasis on the controller. It sort of acts as its own independent gaming device, complete with a large display, buttons, and local wireless connectivity.
The new Sony patent describes a "position-dependent gaming, 3-D controller, and handheld as a remote" which is used as an "input for video game." Obviously, when a patent is first unearthed, it is usually years before anything ever comes of it, and that's assuming something will come of it at all.
What's curious is whether this patent is relating to the PS3 or some other console down the road. After all, the Playstation Vita can function as a controller for the PS3 so this seems counter-intuitive unless it's part of a strategy far into the future.