WTF?! While game controllers have become more advanced over the decades, their basic form and functionality have changed little. But a Sony patent describes something that's far from conventional: a controller that can change shape and temperature based on the game you're playing.

The patent, first spotted by gaming website Exputer, mentions a controller that includes a sensor using an elastically deformable "elastic member." This can detect when players deform the controller by touching, pressing, twisting, pinching, squeezing, or rubbing it. The grips change shape or hardness using a magnetic fluid mixed into the material of the elastic member.

"The shape or hardness of the portions of the elastic members (grips) changes in response to a process performed by the information processing apparatus such as a game, which makes it possible, for example, to present the material of a virtual object in a game space to the user as a haptic sensation, present the temperature of the virtual object as a warm/cold sense, or the like," states the patent.

The idea of a thermoelectric heat pump in a controller sounds interesting. Imagine your hands getting colder as you walk through the snow in God of War, or heating up when your character takes fire damage in a game. The patent also suggests that the temperature could change even further the more a user squeezes and deforms the controller.

Elsewhere, the patent describes a way in which parts or sections of a controller could be torn off and stuck back together again. This would presumably require a game specifically designed to take advantage of such an unusual feature.

The images in Sony's patent show that the basic shape and layout of the controller remain the same; it's just that this one can bend, twist, change shape, heat up, cool down, and be pulled apart/reattached. That would likely make it more appealing to gamers who don't always embrace major redesigns; the Steam Controller, for example, never became as successful as Valve expected.

The caveat here, of course, is that this is just a patent. Companies file weird and unusual designs like this all the time, and most never end up becoming actual products - they often do it just to prevent rivals from creating something similar. Moreover, it's likely that if this controller ever did reach the market, its price would make the PlayStation DualSense Edge look like a bargain.