While the announced PlayStation 4 videogames and tech specs are nice, the new DualShock 4 controller and the PlayStation 4 Eye are what users will interact with most frequently. Luckily, Sony has provided an in-depth look at the two items that will let you interact with the PS4.
The new PlayStation 4 DualShock 4 controller is a redesigned version of the DualShock controller for the PlayStation 3 with some interesting new features. The overall design of the PS4 controller is similar to the PS3 version but with more rounded edges and a textured grip. Sony’s press release did not indicate if the DualShock 4 controller will feature a rubber or plastic grip. Perhaps the biggest feature of the DualShock 4 is the touchpad located in the center of the controller. According to Sony the pad “offers gamers completely new ways to play and interact with games.” There is a click function with the touchpad to add another wrinkle to how gamers can interact with the games.
Another new feature of the DualShock 4 is the LED light bar located on top of the controller. The light bar will interact with the PS4 and the PlayStation 4 and will also provide some useful information for gamers. Sony says the three-color light bar “illuminates to match the color of characters in a game to offer a simpler, more friendly way to identify players, even when playing side by side. The light bar also changes patterns during gameplay to provide useful information to gamers, such as when a character is critically low on health or has taken major damage.”
The DualShock 4 will include a built-in speaker and headphone jack. The PS4 will come bundled with a Mono Headset which means co-op play with friends over the Internet will be available as soon as the system is online and set up. The DualShock 4 gets rid of the “Start” and “Select” buttons that have been staples for nearly every single controller. In their place, the DualShock 4 introduces a “Share” and “Options” button” and will include the PS button from the DualShock 3. The Options button will let users pause a game and also access the PS4 menu and will incorporate the “Start” and “Select” functions, notes Sony.
The Share button is important considering the emphasis on the PS4 being a social hub. According to Sony, the Share button will let gamers “easily broadcast their gameplay in real-time to friends through internet streaming services such as Ustream. Users can also share their triumphs and accomplishments by uploading video gameplay to Facebook.”
The DualShock 4 can be charged via a separate docking station, while the PS4 is in standby mode, or through a smartphone charger using the Micro USB port. Wireless communication is done via Bluetooth and the DualShock 4 will vibrate and also have a Six-axis motion sensing system. The controller will be approximately six inches in width and have a height of two inches and will less than half a pound. Sony also said it has worked on improving the trigger buttons as well as the left and right sticks to provide better response.
The other important piece of hardware to be included with the PS4 will be the PlayStation 4 Eye. The Eye consists of two wide-angle cameras that will provide “85-degree diagonal views” which will let the PS4 accurately calculate sense of depth. The PS4 Eye will also include four microphones to enhance sound recognition, and users will also be able to log into their PS4 with facial recognition.
The PS4 Eye can also sense the DualShock 4 light bar to “judge the positions of multiple players, and set characters in the same positions or let a character talk to a particular player, enabling players to enjoy games in new way.” The PlayStation 4 Eye will also be able to tilt up and down for better viewing angles.
Expect plenty more PS4 news as Sony finalizes specs and solidifies its videogame lineup. Expect news about Gaikai, the PlayStation Cloud as well as the ability to stream PS1, PS2 and PS3 games. Stay tuned to IBTimes for what's next.
Charles Poladian joined IBTimes in October 2012 and, when not reporting on all things topical, can be found reading or photographing concerts.