Sony essentially dropped the equivalent of a pipe-bomb when it announced the PlayStation 4 this past Wednesday in New York. Aside from all the hardware being mentioned – which includes a new AMD Jaguar CPU and Radeon GPU along with the much touted 8 GB GDDR5 RAM – the announcement was significant for the announcement of the new DualShock 4.
The DualShock 4 features quite a lot of new features, which we’ll get to in a bit. For starters though, how does it match up to previous PlayStation DualShocks in terms of looks and design? Check out our comparison gallery below to find out.
Sony carries forth the same design aesthetic from previous generations, though the back of the device and its curves reminds us of the Xbox 360 controller.
In the first four pictures, you can see how the design compares to the originals. While the very first PlayStation DualShock didn’t even feature the twin analog sticks, the DualShock 2 introduced the same (but not before a modified version of the DualShock did it first, bringing much acclaim for its innovation and response).
The DualShock 3 introduced the majority of changes, most notably with the SixAxis button, the Home button and the revamped L2 and R2 buttons. Compared to the DualShock 3, the DualShock 4 – as seen in the last two pictures – has remoulded its L2/R2 buttons to be like proper triggers. We can’t wait to test the response, given how uncomfortable and awkward the DualShock 3′s triggers felt.
Speaking on the analog sticks, Sony has gone with a compressed head compared to the bulky heads of previous DualShocks. This slight compression can also been in the directional pad, which is also missing its slightly recessed look along with the face buttons. The result is a more clean appearance, but one that also draws more attention to the touchscreen and the two subsequently new buttons “Home” and “Options”.
The new Light Bar, seen on the top of the DualShock 4, provides a different take on the player designation notches seen on top of the DualShock 3. Now, it will assign different colours for each player so everyone knows their character at all times. It will also change colours depending on a character’s in-game status, such as if a character is low on health.
We’re very interested to see how the new touchscreen will work out. We hope it’s not just Sony trying to one-up the Wii U Gamepad – and if it’s meant to access the XMB interface without leaving the game, we’ll remain sceptical. Why incorporate more expensive tech to make up for a simple press of the Home button, even if it goes against staying constantly connected to the game?
This is one of those for-or-against things. Once the pricing is announced and functionality fully revealed, we’ll deliver our final verdict on whether the touchscreen is a good or bad idea in retrospect.
Finally, we come to the SixAxis control. We’ll be honest: We personally detest SixAxis functionality. Unless developers have found a way – 6+ friggin’ years later – to successfully incorporate it into gameplay, we’re not interested.
Now it’s your turn to sound off. What do you like most about the new DualShock 4? Which feature are you most excited about?