The DualShock 4
While controllers over the life of the PlayStation brand have generally been the same on the outside, Sony has made some DAMN good changes to this iteration of it's controller both inside and out.
The Dualshock Hardware
The DualShock 4 displays the same general layout and buttons as past DualShock controllers, but now the controller offers additional features along with new buttons. The most obvious change is the inclusion of a wide touchpad where the Select and Start button were; those buttons are now replaced with an Options button instead. Sony has mentioned that the touchpad can respond to up to two fingers at a time, which expands the number of possibilities for input to those like you would see on a smartphone.
In addition, the DualShock 4 sports a 3.5-mm headphone jack that supports surround sound along with both an accelerometer and a gyroscope, both reported to be better than what is currently included in the DualShock 3 and Vita. The two rumble motors now have varying strength, a change from the DualShock 3 where rumble was either active or not.
This creates a heightened sense of realism in all PlayStation 4 games. The DualShock 4 also includes a built-in speaker, meaning that sounds from the game can play through the controller instead of your normal speakers.
Atop the device is a light bar that can pick up and detect movement, making the controller something like a mixture between a DualShock and a PlayStation Move. According to Sony, the light bar can display one of several different LED colors to relay information; for example, if a player is low on health and may die in the game, the light bar may relay this information with the appropriate color.
This mixes up the usual methods most games use, such as tinting the screen red as the player loses health, although that's still used most of the time.
The light bar will also light up corresponding to the player's controller: blue, red, pink and green corresponding to player one through four, respectively. Additional features the light bar offers include the ability to track players. This is used most commonly in PlayStation VR games, for example.
One minor but welcome addition is the new analog sticks that sport ridges to keep your thumbs in place, a change from the DualShock 3's rounded off sticks. Sony has also improved the L2 and R2 buttons, making the buttons more comfortable and reducing "accidental button presses" during movies or Netflix.
The DualShock 4 has also replaced the DualShock 3's analog buttons with digital buttons, claiming that "developers were ignoring" the feature. The trade-off is that the DualShock 4 has decreased latency over the DualShock 3.
In addition to replacing the analog buttons, Sony has also given the directional pad a small makeover: the pad is larger with more angular buttons, providing a better grip over the DualShock 3's directional pad and increased accuracy in games.
Thanks to Amazon, we have detailed specs of the DualShock 4! These specs outline the basic features we already knew about, such as the buttons and ports, to even obscure details such as the size of the controller and the weight.
We've added a table below for your viewing pleasure:
|DualShock 4 Specs|
|External Dimensions||162mm x 52mm x 98mm|
|Buttons||PS button, SHARE button, OPTIONS button, Directional buttons (Up/Down/Left/Right), Action buttons (Triangle, Circle, Cross, Square), R1/L1/R2/L2/R3/L3, Right stick, Left stick, Touch Pad Button|
|Touch Pad||2 Point Touch Pad, Click Mechanism, Capacitive Type|
|Motion Sensor||Six-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer)|
|Ports||USB (Micro B), Extention Port, Stereo Headset Jack|
|Additional Features||Light Bar, Vibration, Built-in Mono Speaker|
These are the current color options for the Dualshock 4:
- Jet Black
- Glacier White
- Urban Camoflage
- Wave Blue
- Magma Red
- Steel Black
- Crystal (in white, blue, and red transluscent designs coming in September 2017)
What About an Elite Controller?
While Microsoft has its own first-party elite controller, PlayStation hasn't done anything beyond the classic Dualshock 4. Even so, they did work with two major gaming accessory companies to design some very fancy controllers for e-sports players.
Both of these controllers were designed with Sony closely monitoring the progress. The Nacon Revolution came up at a retail price of $115, while the Razer Raiju will set you back $130.
Here are the specs for the Nacon controller:
- 4 Extra buttons (switches on the back)
- 8-way directional-pad
- Two internal comparments with 6 weights to customize your balance
- PC companion app for customizing buttons
- Four profiles for both macros and sensitivity
- Raised thumbsticks with increased articulation
Next up are the Raiju's specs:
- 4 Extra buttons (2 bumpers and 2 detachable triggers)
- 4-button control panel
- Two profiles for macros, programmable as you're playing
- Hard shell carrying case
- Rubberized grips on thumsticks and handles
- Trigger-stop switches and hair trigger modes
- PC compatible
The biggest benefit of these pro-level controllers, are the programmable buttons that let you get your inputs in faster and more efficiently. Depending on how you customize them, you can make actions happen without ever taking your fingers off the thumbsticks.
When you boil it down, neither of these are going to replace the Dualshock 4 in the mainstream market, but they will offer customization for those looking to beef up their game.
The Razer option is more comfortable overall and feels more natural, but the Nacon controller has a lot more customization options if you have the time to sink into it.
In either case, pro-level gamers or very serious competitive ones will find a lot to love about these two options. In the end though, the Dualshock 4 reigns supreme!
Let's explore a few more features our favorite controller offers.
Unqiue Dualshock 4 Features
Sharing is Caring
The biggest change to the DualShock 4 is quite likely the biggest change to the PlayStation itself: the sharing button / feature. Much has been said about the sharing feature of the PlayStation 4 and the DualShock 4 is where the magic happens. By pressing the share button on the DualShock 4, you'll come face-to-face with a variety of options enabling you to connect with the PlayStation 4 community at large.
At its most basic, the Dualshock Share button enables you to upload both images and video not only to your PlayStation 4 profile but also to a social networking service, such as Facebook. To take a screenshot using the Share button, simply hold the Share button down for a few seconds and you'll take a picture of whatever is happening on screen.
The Share button doesn't just stop with pictures and videos – it will enable you to watch a friend play a game on his own PlayStation 4 and even take control of the game for him, using your DualShock 4 to conquer a particularly tough part for him. This is a unique feature called Share Play.
Windows And Mac Compatibility
President of Worldwide Studios for Sony Computer Entertainment Shuhei Yoshida has once again taken to Twitter to confirm another new feature of the DualShock 4: native Windows support.
By default, a Windows PC recognizes an Xbox 360 controller and allows you to use it with a variety of PC games. Unfortunately, the DualShock 3 lacks Windows compatibility by default, requiring third party software to use, a feature the DualShock 4 looks to correct.
Whether this means Windows will recognize the DualShock 4 as an actual DualShock 4 or just a variation of the Xbox 360 controller remains to be seen. Yoshida stated that more information would be forthcoming in the coming weeks in the lead up to the PS4 launch.
Sony has also revealed that the DualShock 4 will now be fully compatible with Mac's OS X as well.
A July 2014 PS3 firmware update now lets you use DualShock 4 controller on your PlayStation 3! Keep in mind that if you sync the controller to your PS3, you will need to resync it to your PS4.
Unfortunately, the rumble and motion sensors of the DualShock 4 will not work when it's used on the PS3.
Extended Battery Life
One of the major complaints about the DualShock 4 has been its weak battery life, with the controller needing to be charged every six to eight hours. Third-party manufacturer Nyko has come up with the solution to this in the form of the "Power Pak."
This device connects to the controller through the Micro USB port and claims to double the battery life of the DualShock 4! Nyko claims the Power Pak is lightweight and does not cause any issues when holding the controller. The Power Pak is available for $19.99 at all video game retailers.
Leading the Revolution
With this design, the DualShock 4 provides familiarity for veteran PlayStation gamers but enough new features that show Sony's dedication to innovation.
Sony has taken the criticisms about the DualShock 3 and not only improved it but added features that most gamers didn't even think they needed, like a new directional pad or improved motors. All of the PlayStation 4's new features seemingly begin with the DualShock 4, the natural evolution to a tried and true design.
For up-to-the minute DualShock 4 news, check this page often! The staff at PS4 Experts will ensure that you'll be the first to know about any breaking news.
Update by - Joshua Phillips
Insert Date: 4/30/2013
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