A report from Try Hard Guides' Tom Henderson indicates that Sony might be working on a PlayStation 5 "professional controller," which could be unveiled as soon as late June.
Henderson (who has become known recently for scoops of high-level industry secrets, like the name of Hideo Kojima's next game) says that the codename of the controller is "Hunt." It will allegedly feature removable analogue sticks, trigger stops, and paddles on the back of the device. It also reportedly contains removable grips.
If those features sound familiar, it's because they're core parts of the Xbox Pro Controller. Sony's premium controller might also have some "significant" software updates.
Sony's advancement into the pro controller market would not only put it in competition with Xbox, but also Nacon and Scuff, two third-party controller manufacturers. Such controllers would be useful not only on PlayStation 5 devices, but also with PC games that support Dualsense controllers.
The market for that latter category is growing even bigger now that Sony Interactive Entertainment is ramping the release of exclusive PlayStation 5 games on PC.
Where might Sony financially benefit the most from the sale of these professional controllers? Well as you've probably heard, PlayStation 5 devices are still hard to find, meaning that there's still huge demand for the console going on two years after launch. If new customers decide to upgrade the controllers they're purchasing with each new sale, that's probably a boon for the PlayStation manufacturer.
It also cements that Sony intends to stay in the hardware production business. It's also working on the rollout of the PlayStation VR2, its next-generation VR headset. By contrast, Microsoft is beginning to experiment with cloud computing-based access to Xbox games, and Nintendo seems to be shying away from a hardware refresh.
We've reached out to Sony for a comment on this story, and will update it when the company responds.