According to Xbox World Magazine, the next Xbox controller will feature an HD touchscreen in the centre of it, with the usual Xbox 360 controller grips and buttons either side.

Apparently it’ll be more like the PS Vita than the “bulky” Wii-U and could be used for extra buttons; in-game information display; a web browser, or a remote for multimedia playback. There’s also the possibility it’ll allow you to take the game with you on just the joypad for a portable gaming experience of sorts. The magazine claims that the “touchcreen will be second only to Kinect in how you operate your console."

We’ve heard rumours of Microsoft going after the portable gaming market for years, but it’s never come to anything. Perhaps this is Redmond’s way of going about it; a 21st century version of the Dreamcast’s VMU maybe.

Unfortunately it probably means the console is going to set you back a pretty penny when it's available, with current speculation pointing to the £400 mark. Ouch. Still, a screen in the middle of your controller sounds awesome, especially if you can pack-up your game and take a mobile version of it with you. I wasn’t all that enthused by the thought of the next generation consoles until now. Even if it’s not real, come on Microsoft – make it happen. [CVG]

Image credit: CVG