More DualShock 4 Details Announced; PS4 Supports Current Move Controller, but not DS3

2 years ago by  

Despite Sony’s message that the gamer (not the living room) was the centerpiece of the PlayStation 4 experience, it was the DualShock 4 which stole much of the spotlight at last night’s Future of PlayStation event. In a conference that saw surprisingly little revealed about the PlayStation 4 itself, an abundance of time was devoted to its brand new controller — the center touchpad, the share functions and its even its LED player log-in light-bar.

Following the initial reveal, though, Sony has issued a more comprehensive breakdown of the DualShock 4 — and the PS4’s broader range of peripherals — through a series of press releases and screenshots.

As the gallery below illustrates from all angles, the DualShock 4 is the result of a profound facelift; it’s more aesthetically evolved over its predecessor than any of the controller’s iterations ever have been. Discarded are the L2/R2 buttons resembling lumps, replaced instead by concave triggers that conform to their main role as, you know… triggers. Longer, wider, more formidable hand grips have been added in place of the DualShock 3’s shorter stubs — which should offer more stability when reaching, and/or rubbing on the center touchpad. The venerable d-pad buttons have been laced with an extra inner groove, as have the dual analog sticks, which now bear the Xbox 360 controller’s inverted-thumb-grip design.

Dual Shock 4 PS4

Built into the top of the DualShock 4 is also a speaker and a headset jack which Sony says deliver “high-fidelity” sound effects from gameplay. Ordinarily, such a feature might seem trifling compared to the more prominent additions, but Sony announced today that headsets will be bundled with every PlayStation 4 when it launches this Holiday season. Headsets were absent as add-ins with the PlayStation 3, and voices in public game-chat lobbies followed suit. With Microsoft and Sony both aspiring for greater online connectivity in the next-generation, it’s only logical to help reverse the deafening trend by equipping each gamer for chat right out of the box.

As for the DualShock 4’s sleek LED light bar, not only can it emanate multiple colors, signalling which logged-in player it currently belongs to  — the colors can be sensed by PlayStation Eye, the console’s new motion-sensing camera apparatus, to provide greater accuracy in mapping out a user’s location within a room. PlayStation Eye will also communicate with PlayStation Move, a link that Sony believes will increase the  verisimilitude of in-game, motion-based animations.

And speaking of PlayStation Move, it seems that the original wand-shaped apparatus Sony first debuted in 2010 has been well-proofed for the future. It’s entirely possible that Sony is developing a second generation of the peripheral for PlayStation 4, but Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida confirmed to Polygon that existing Move controllers will still be functional with the upcoming console.

Unfortunately, he couldn’t say the same for DualShock 3’s — their support was flatly ruled out. It’s unclear whether the DualShock 3’s Bluetooth 2.0 technology simply can’t synchronize with the PlayStation 4 (which uses Bluetooth 2.1 to communicate with the DualShock 4), but it’s hard to imagine Sony not developing certain games specifically around the DS4’s unique capabilities. Precluding any controller without a touchpad and an LED light strip is a fast way to bring audiences on board with the console maker’s new direction.

The PlayStation 4 — the console itself — might still be an enigma, but the DualShock 4 has offered a curious glimpse into Sony’s peripheral future. How important do you think the controller will be to next-generation gameplay?

Follow Brian on Twitter @Brian_Sipple.

  • Dovahkiin

    I’m honestly happy that the controlers wont be compatible. It seems that there are a lot of differences and could screw stuff up if you used the DualShock 3

  • Varteras

    Looks like Sony really took notice of how much people enjoyed the 360 controller. The curvature and size of the handles plus the concave trigger buttons are two of the things that definitely made me prefer the 360 controller to the Dualshock 3. I’m really curious to see the applications for the touchpad, how effectively they use the lightbar, how much more responsive the Six-Axis tilt function is, how the speaker will be used, and what exactly they’ve improved about the vibration feature. One thing is certain though, this controller is loaded with features.

    • COREY_1993

      i wouldnt really compare it much to the 360 controller. i think they have just evolved it naturally with fan feedback. everybody wanted it to have trigger like L2 & R2 and be a heavier and bigger though thats probably due to the xbox influence but not a direct copy on sonys part, just feedback.

      • Varteras

        It wouldn’t be a problem if it was a copy since that kind of thing happens all the time. There’s nothing shameful about it, really. The concave trigger buttons, the indented thumbsticks, the curved and enlarged handles… all of these were form features found on the 360 controller. I don’t really think there’s much room for doubt. Regardless of if it was Sony deciding for themselves or fan feedback influenced by the 360 controller, Sony would have to be blind or lying to themselves and everyone else if they attempted to say the new design had no 360 influence or that they weren’t aware that players were essentially asking for a more 360-like controller.

      • Varteras

        I don’t mean to sound like a jerk at all so please don’t take it this way, and sorry for the double-post, but I wouldn’t buy in the least bit someone telling me that the Dualshock 4’s new form features were not based on the 360 controller. Sony went with that same form for three generations. During the third generation their competition uses a controller that seemed to gain universal praise for its physical design and then the very next generation Sony makes alterations to a controller they had been using for about 15 years that are remarkably similar.

        • Babbage

          thats fair enough im just f***ing glad that they didnt move the left joystick to the d pad position i cant stand that about the xbox, and also i think based on looks ps4 took xbox360s concave joysticks and made them better by not making them completely concave if you know what i mean

  • COREY_1993

    untill i properly get my hands around this thing i cant say its better than the DS3 but im positive it is. Its got a wider look and it seems to be bigger, a rubber back for better grip, concave thumbsticks, trigger like L2 & R2 (probably most peoples biggest improvement) and i really hope its got some weight… that was my only problem with the DS3.

    i dont think the DS3 needed to change much but everything they seem to have sone is just improved it and im really happy with this. really cant wait to see the system itself too.

    make your move microsoft…

  • JT

    Dammit, I liked the L2/R2 bumps. Triggers feel weird on controllers.

  • ATG

    Maybe I’m just a fanboy, but I’m really digging everything Sony has shown. Can’t wait to see what Microsoft has planned.

  • Poncho

    That is the second sexiest controller I’ve ever seen.

  • Cool

    Sony copied Microsoft? So i suppose that it is safe to say that microsoft copied Dreamcast right? Your right when it comes to influence and other consoles @Varteras

    • Varteras

      Yep. The entire industry works that way. Someone makes something good, the players like it, you follow suit. Hell, business in general works that way.

      Even if the 360 controller was not the first to do any or all of the things it did the fact remains that Sony had not changed the design of their controller for a decade and a half until the generation after the 360 and started incorporating the physical features of it into their own. They had every opportunity prior to this generation and didn’t budge until their competitor received such praise.

      I’m more or less pointing out that I’m happy they decided to go with form factors that were praised of the 360 controller so much.

      • Varteras

        any one* or all

        • Mike

          I know exactly what you’re saying and agree 100%. That’s how innovation works, one company tries something new, if it works another company comes along, takes the idea, changes it, adapts it, evolves it and things grow from there. It is not a bad thing or something to be denied, it’s how we advance and I commend Sony for taking note and adapting to what players enjoy.

  • Dante

    I personally don’t see a problem with “new console, new controller”. I have purchased new controllers for all of my consoles, why would this be different?

    In fact, in my 25+ years of gaming, I have NEVER had a console that used an old consoles’ controller. If you were to go to IGN you’d think being backwards compatible with a controller was some sort of standard.

    If I want a new console, I want a new controller – simple.