A photo of what's claimed to be a PlayStation 4 dev kit and a prototype controller has surfaced online.
The photo, which seemingly first appeared on Destructoid from an unknown source, shows a DualShock-like controller with what appears to be a touch pad in the middle where the Start and Select buttons are usually located - as previous rumours have suggested.
The controller is connected to what one would assume to be a PlayStation 4 dev kit.
While its validity is unconfirmed, Kotaku reports that an 'industry source familiar with the new system' has told the site the device in the image is the 'real deal'.
IGN corroborates, citing a 'trusted source', but adds that it's an 'early prototype' that is likely to change before its final release.
As well as the front-facing touch pad, the prototype in the picture also appears to feature a grill below the touch pad for an internal speaker or microphone, an illuminated panel along the top which could be related to built-in Move-like functionality, and two buttons on either side of the touch pad, which may be new Start/Select keys, or related to a rumoured Share button feature.
The controller also shows revised analogue sticks, a bulkier d-pad than the traditional PlayStation 8-way, and what appears to be an earphone port on its lower surface (or, again, a possible microphone port).
In January, a senior games studio source working on an upcoming Sony game told CVG that the new system's controller has undergone numerous iterations, few of which resemble the DualShock build that has become synonymous with PlayStation. Versions of the new PS4 pad include biometric sensors on the grips and an LCD touch screen, they said.
Edge has also claimed that the next generation console will launch in Japan and the US by the end of 2013 but will not be released in Europe until "early 2014".
Sony is expected to reveal PlayStation 4 at an event taking place in New York on February 20.