Although console generations are typically about moving forward by building upon a previous generations’ success, occasionally to move forward also means eliminating useless or unnecessary features. With Sony’s PS4, for example, the console maker is making some substantial changes with its DualShock 4 controller, both by adding new design tweaks, and eliminating unsuccessful features from the DualShock 3.
One such feature that Sony has decided not to include in the DualShock 4 is analog face buttons. Analog face buttons were introduced with the DualShock 3/Sixaxis and registered not only that a gamer pressed a button but also how hard they pressed it.
At first, the concept of analog face buttons seemed like a smart move for controllers, as it gave players yet another form of precision while gaming. However, as it turns out, the feature wasn’t utilized quite as often as Sony hoped. As a result, they decided it best to abandon pressure-sensitive buttons with the PS4‘s controller.
Instead, the DualShock 4 will feature the much more common digital buttons, which only have two states: on or off. These types of buttons can’t register the intensity of a press, simply whether or not they have been pressed.
The elimination of analog buttons with the DualShock 4 might seem like a big change for the controller, but aside from racing games like Gran Turismo, very few titles actually used the feature. Moreover, we’ve handled the DualShock 4 several times, at E3 2013 and special press events, and never noticed that analog buttons were missing. It may have been a useful feature at one point, but apparently developers have chosen not to utilize it as frequently.
The good news is that the DualShock 4 is a smartly designed controller. It’s a vast improvement over its predecessor with better triggers, a new touchpad, and more tactile but still symmetrical joysticks. Just holding the controller in your hands highlights how much Sony has learned from the PS3. But don’t take our word for it, you’ll see for yourself on November 15th.
How do you feel about Sony eliminating the analog buttons for the DualShock 4? Did you even notice how few games used the feature?
Sony’s PS4 launches November 15, 2013.
Source: Venture Beat
Follow Anthony on Twitter @ANTaormina