Sony has filed a patent for a game controller that would work with any console.
The patent application describes a device with a touch-sensitive LCD screen showing different button layouts depending on the device it is emulating. It can also mimic an alphanumeric keyboard.
The patent lists a number of controllers which the new device could replace, including those for market leading consoles from Sony's competitors. The device would be able to store up to three controller types at a time.
"This document describes an adaptable or universal game controller which can be used to emulate the controllers of popular game consoles, such as, without limitation, the PlayStation made by Sony, a controller made by Nintendo, X-box game controllers made by Microsoft, Amiga CD-32 controllers, Atari Jaguar controllers, Gravis Gamepad controllers, Sega controllers, and Turbographics controllers," it says.
There are rumble functions included, and integrated speakers.
But with console manufacturers increasingly looking at alternative input devices, the universal controller might find its biggest market amongst those who have lost or broken the controller for an old machine.