My Impressions of the PS4’s Dualshock 4

The PlayStation 4 controller is Sony’s most drastic controller redesign since it introduced the brand in 1995.

If you don’t know what’s different yet, the Dualshock 4 features the following advancements from the previous Dualshock 3: digital buttons, superior rumble, multi-touch pad, better charging, improved ergonomics, light panel, increased precision, motion tracking, speaker, share button, Bluetooth 2.1, USB 3.0, headset jack, better battery, improved triggers and a textured bottom.

I played Blacklight Retribution, Hohokum, Knack, Contrast and a few other games with it. While all the above features may be true, the games I played didn’t incorporate much of its use. So essentially it was a similar experience to playing with the Dualshock 3, except the controller felt more solid and the trigger buttons are much better this time around.

When I was playing Blacklight Retribution, the representative on-hand told me that they wanted to make use of the triggers on the Dualshock 4 more than FPS’s on the PS3 did. It may alter the controller scheme for those of you used to playing the standard Call of Duty setup on the PS3, but it’s for the better, trust me.

Then there’s the analog sticks, which are also an improvement over the Dualshock 3. The promise is improved precision, and I felt right at home playing Blacklight Retribution, even though I haven’t played a shooter in months. The grooves around the sticks were immediately noticeable, even a bit jarring at first, but once I got going it felt natural.

I have humongous hands so the handles are a big deal for me. The Dualshock 4 didn’t let me down. The textured bottom gave me a solid grip, and its ergonomics felt good enough to withstand hours of gaming without hurting your hands.

It’s probably too early to file it as an official complaint, but none of the games I played made use of its other features, such as the multi-touch pad, light panel, motion tracking, speaker or even the “superior” rumble.

Let’s just hope these features actually have an active role to play in increasing the game experience and not end up the way of the six-axis.