A blue light bar on top of the controller may indicate built-in PlayStation Move technology, which would turn the traditional gamepad into a motion-control device, a little like the Nintendo Wii Remote.
Also absent are the usual start and select buttons, while a small loudspeaker appears to be integrated into the pad's front face.
Two analog sticks, four shoulder buttons, a directional pad and Sony's usual square, triangle, circle and cross face buttons remain intact.
Like Microsoft's improved Kinect sensor, an upgraded PlayStation camera is believed to utilize two lenses rather than just one, and the rack-style development kit appears to support this theory with a black lens housing on either side.
Whether this is the final controller design or one of several in-development options remains to be seen: Sony's PlayStation Meeting on February 20 is expected to reveal all about the PlayStation 4 project.