The biggest problem with the PlayStation 3 is their cheap controller that has always felt like a child’s toy to me, granted that’s just an opinion but it is an opinion shared by many people in the industry. Sony looks to have solved that problem in a big way with the DualShock 4.
The new DualShock 4 is in essence the same as the DualShock 3 with the analogue sticks, d-pad, buttons and basic shape still all the in same configuration and place but there are some major changes.
Sticks and Buttons
First up the analogue sticks are concaved on top to increase grip and control during those all important FIFA or Call of Duty matches.
The triggers and bumpers have been slightly tweaked but still do not appear to be as comfortable as the Xbox versions but we really won’t know about that until we get some hands on time with the new device…
And now onto the brand new additions.
The most surprising new addition is a new share button on the actual controller which showcases exactly how important the social aspect of the new PlayStation 4 will be.
Apparently with this button you will be able to upload video’s, screen grabs and other assorted things to Facebook and other social places with the click of a button.
Really they should just say “Thanks to Xbox for showing us this” as it really is quite logical but the new DualShock 4 now has a headset port on the controller so we are no longer limited to Bluetooth headsets. It’s a simple change but one that speaks volumes. With the SIXAXIS Sony tried to change the way gamers play while saving costs at the same time.
This time around they appear to really be listening to the industry and their customers. Yes there are better ways to hook up a headset but really that isn’t any reason not to cater for the simple standard.
The PS Vita finally has a use, it has given its amazing back touchpad to its big brother and that amazing touchpad has now taken pride of place on the front of the new DualShock 4. How it is going to be utilised is still unknown.
But what is nice is that these additions are part and parcel of the controller and as such can be used or ignored.
The PlayStation Move was a complete failure. This is a fact. Technically it was brilliant but the implementation really left a ton to be desired. (Update: the Move will still exist but we are talking about the DS4 here and that is the only one that should exist)
However Sony has been incredibly smart and instead of throwing the baby out with the bathwater they have decided to embed the Move technology into the controller. The first thing I’ve thought off is a true motion controlled karting game where that leaning now really does make a difference.
Sony have also decided to finally dump that ugly PlayStation Eye and once again taken a page out of Microsoft’s book with a new Kinect like device that will track with DualShock 4 in full 3D.
Last and probably least is what appears to be a speaker that has been embedded in the controller, this time a nod to Nintendo who embedded a speaker in their Wii which was a great addition.
All in all it seems like Sony decided to climb off their ivory tower and look at what gamers wanted and what the industry was doing right. In doing so they have possibly made the best controller the industry has ever seen and the only thing I need to know now is that the controller has a bit of weight to it.
So what do you think of the DualShock 4, a great enhancement of the controller or have they lost the plot?
What we don’t know
What we don’t know yet is whether it still works on BlueTooth for its wireless ability (I expect it to), whether it can have its battery replaced (doubt it) and the all important question around cost (I think expensive)
I'm cranky, arrogant and ever so amazingly annoying but when you get to know me you will also realise I'm honest and incredibly good at describing myself... now pass me that beer