PlayStation 4 – The Controller


The Controller

Usually when a new console is released, a new controller follows suit.  Sony have stuck with the same design since the original PlayStation making little additions here and there.  Despite the built-in battery and Bluetooth connectivity of the DualShock 3, it came in for some criticism when compared to the more ergonomic Xbox 360 controller.  The new DualShock 4 resolves these criticisms with several new features.  The boldest is the addition of a two point touch pad on the front, which is clickable.  Fortunately I was able to test this feature on The Playroom, Killzone Shadow Fall and Lego Marvel Super Heroes, the latter being used for scrolling around the city map (very cool!).  I can’t wait to see how this will be used in other games, especially from what I’ve heard for the future release of Watch Dogs.

The controller has motion detection via a six axis gyroscope and accelerometer.  It also features a lightbar on the front, which can be used to communicate low health to a player by showing red or, if you have a PlayStation Camera and multiple players, it can detect which player is where in the room.  It’s an existing technology that was used with the PlayStation Move controller, which you’ll pleased to hear is going to be supported on the PS4.  I also found the lightbar useful when wanting to illuminate dark corners of the sofa so I could retrieve the TV remote.

I love how the DualShock 4 now fits in the palm of your hands.  Sony have increased the handle size and added an etched plastic back for improved grip, and the controller has finally been given concave analogue sticks and back triggers.  Also, the thumbsticks are more resistant, which meant that aiming on a first person shooter like Killzone Shadow Fall was more accurate.

The controller also features wireless audio through a mono speaker just below the touchpad, which we have previously seen on the Wii remote.  I found it really cool when playing Killzone and hearing log reports through the controller or playing Resogun and being told where humans were in danger.  There are also a few connection ports to enhance your gaming experience.  There’s a stereo jack that allows you to connect the bundled earphone and microphone piece (or any other earphones) so you can talk to other gamers when playing online.  Lastly there’s a micro USB slot to charge the controller, which can now be done even when the console is turned off.

I’m sorry to say but the Start and Select buttons have been retired and replaced with Options and Share.  Options is simply the new pause button that brings up an in-game menu.  Share on the hand is an amazing new feature that gives players the ability to upload videos and screenshots of gameplay to social networking sites.  So far I’ve managed with relative ease to upload a video onto Facebook of me playing Killzone.