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DUALSHOCK 4 Revealed: Pushing the Boundaries of Play

Shuhei Yoshida's Avatar + Posted by Shuhei Yoshida on Feb 20, 2013 // President, SCE Worldwide Studios

Hi Everyone! It’s a special day at PlayStation, and I hope all of you had a chance to watch the livestream of PlayStation Meeting 2013 in New York, where we just unveiled PlayStation 4. One of the most exciting components of our next-generation platform is DUALSHOCK 4, the new wireless controller that combines with PlayStation 4 to deliver new gameplay experiences that have never been possible before.

DUALSHOCK 4

I’d like to give you a tour of DUALSHOCK 4 and the features that will provide game developers the freedom to create brand new experiences that previously were limited to their imaginations.

Design

DUALSHOCK 4 adopts the familiar form factor of the DUALSHOCK 3 wireless controller with some key enhancements:

  • Motion control is enabled by a new highly sensitive six-axis sensor
  • Dual analog sticks fine-tuned for better precision plus improved surface materials and shape for more delicate manipulation
  • L2/R2 buttons on the top of the controller employ a curved design for easier, smoother interaction
  • A new “Options” button combines the functions of the DUALSHOCK 3’s “Select” and “Start” buttons for operating in-game menus

New Ways to Play, Share and Connect

In addition to these features that build on the controls that you already know, DUALSHOCK 4 offers new features that enable new ways to play, a key part of the PS4 experience. One of the biggest innovations we’ve designed centers on the deep social interactions that will surround all games on PS4.

DUALSHOCK 4

DUALSHOCK 4DUALSHOCK 4

The “Share” button allows you to easily broadcast your gameplay in real-time through streaming sites such as Ustream, where fellow gamers can comment and even join your game in new ways. For example, if you’re stuck in a difficult level, your friends can offer health potions or special weapons that you can use during gameplay. You can also instantly upload images or video to Facebook by pressing the “Share” button. As both a developer and a gamer, I’m personally excited about the opportunity to get help from friends when facing a challenge, and I can’t wait to see what my friends are playing in real time along with videos of their favorite in-game moments.

On the front side of DUALSHOCK 4 is a light bar with LED that illuminate in various colors to match the color of the character in a game as a simple way to identify players. The colors can also provide useful information to players, such as when their character has taken damage during a game. DUALSHOCK 4 was developed alongside a second peripheral, a dual camera which can sense the depth of the environment in front of it and also track the 3D location of the controller via its light bar. The new camera incorporates four microphones capable of accurate sound detection and source origination, and it will support the PlayStation Move motion controller with more precision than ever before.

Camera_05Camera_07

DUALSHOCK 4 also has a touchpad at the front of the controller as a new input method, offering more ways to interact with games. Additionally there’s a built-in speaker and headset jack to deliver high-fidelity sound effects from the games. A headset will be bundled with PS4, enabling gamers to chat with friends during online gaming and to hear sound effects from the controller.

There’s a lot built into DUALSHOCK 4, and the features were all thoughtfully designed with input from the development community (both our internal studios and third parties) and PlayStation gamers. Our goal was to give game creators an open canvas to express their ideas, and DUALSHOCK 4 combined with DUALSHOCK 4 will help us achieve the future of gaming that we at PlayStation see ahead of us.

What do you think? What’s your favorite new feature for DUALSHOCK 4?

//Add Your Own

365 Comments

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51

+ drd7of14 on February 20th, 2013 at 9:17 pm said:

“and DUALSHOCK 4 combined with DUALSHOCK 4 will help us achieve the future of gaming that we at PlayStation see ahead of us.”
-Might wanna edit that sentence to make more sense…


52

+ Xtreme_Gamer365 on February 20th, 2013 at 9:22 pm said:

I like the controller overall and I think that the groves on the analog sticks are gunna be a plus because it can get sometimes rather hard to keep ur finger on the analog without it slipping of sometimes, like in “Madden,” TD. Great design.


53

+ headronefish on February 20th, 2013 at 9:33 pm said:

@31: It’s right there on the face of the controller, though. Having this share function is pretty cool, but I don’t see it as such an immediate action that it couldn’t be made a menu option instead and have the button kept for in-game use.


54

+ Ratchet426 on February 20th, 2013 at 9:35 pm said:

Two questions about the Dualshock4:

1) It is mentioned that the LED ‘light bar” can be used to identify players or change color to show health, etc. BUT – can you actually SEE the light bar when holding the controller and playing a game? From the looks of it, you’d have to tilt the thing towards you to see what color it was. Unless there is some kind of light ‘bleed through’ around the touch pad?

2) Will all of the game sounds be routed through the headset jack, or only the ‘secondary’ sound effects that the controller might emit during a game?

(ok 3 questions)

3) Can a game send different audio streams to different controllers? What I’m thinking is that in a 2-player sports game like Madden, can player one hear their own ‘coach’ in their headphones and player 2 hear the other ‘coach’ in theirs? Could make for some cool 2-player gaming if each player could privately hear different things!


55

+ TwinDad on February 20th, 2013 at 9:38 pm said:

It looks nice in Pictures, but I need to check it out and hold it.

I’m sure somebody would get a use out of the share button. I despise when I get spammed on social networks with the games updates constantly. It makes me not want to use the system or Facebook (as an example).

I’d like to read more about the touchpad over the next few months.


56

+ generale2010 on February 20th, 2013 at 9:39 pm said:

I don’t like the new controller…I will miss the old start/select and the touchscreen…no…just no…let that be on the smartphones, not on console gaming. The share button is a cool idea…but I’m not sold.

The curve on the bottom part of the controller. NO. I like the flat bottom, I’ve been playing with that same design since the PSOne came out. DON’T FIX SOMETHING THAT AIN’T BROKE.

I’ll have to hold it and see if I like the rest of it, but don’t screw with the feel of the analog sticks, I like them so much more than Xbox’s. I just don’t want the DS4 to fall into the same trap that other controllers on other platforms did. I hate it when it sticks and then is over-sensitive. Keep the analog stick the same.

I just hope that you don’t mess up too bad with this one, guys, just keep it simple and then innovate. Don’t over-innovate only to make it simpler.


57

+ Merex760 on February 20th, 2013 at 9:49 pm said:

I’m curious about this…

“The “Share” button allows you to easily broadcast your gameplay in real-time through streaming sites such as Ustream”

You mentioned partnering with ustream, but in this post you mention sites in plural. Will the Playstation 4 be able to stream to other streaming platforms such as Twitch.tv?


58

+ VendettaLion on February 20th, 2013 at 9:50 pm said:

Great Stuff, I cannot wait to get my hands on the new hardware.


59

+ supvic on February 20th, 2013 at 9:51 pm said:

a SHARE button replacing Select is ridiculous and taking the whole social networking thing WAY TOO FAR! I use Facebook a lot, don’t get me wrong, but having a physical button just to share stuff when it could be used for something important and more practical for the game is MUCH more important! For example, how am I supposed to spot/tag enemies in BF4 without the select button? I’ll be like “look an enemy! ‘Share’, wait what..”

A physical dedicated button for sharing is just insane. I’m not saying we shouldn’t share, but that feature should be integrated in menus etc. it doesn’t need it’s own dedicated button on such a crucial part of the controller where select SHOULD have been! It’s a huge mistake, don’t let it happen come launch!


60

+ GRIM__REAFER on February 20th, 2013 at 10:00 pm said:

Headset is bundle? Meaning all come with it? No excuse for people not having one…..


61

+ WarEnder on February 20th, 2013 at 10:03 pm said:

I like the sticks. Will there still be a internal battery like the ps3 controller?


62

+ Imphobia on February 20th, 2013 at 10:05 pm said:

Would it be possible to have the dimensions? It’s hard to tell if it’s bigger or about the same size than the dual shock 3.


63

+ Jac5al on February 20th, 2013 at 10:05 pm said:

I agree with @supvic a dedicated share button seems pointless when it could simply be integrated into the menus. Overall, I like the controller. I’m hoping the handles are longer than the DS3(for people with large hands) and I would like to see the L2/R2 triggers have a bit more outward curve to them.

A ‘SHARE’ button is not needed. Implement it into the in-game xmb.


64

+ markkangel on February 20th, 2013 at 10:09 pm said:

I love the new Dualshock 4!!! Seems so beautiful, comfortably and dynamic, I can’t wait for have one.

But i miss the start/select button… :(


65

+ I_POWN_U_27 on February 20th, 2013 at 10:22 pm said:

I’m one of the many PlayStation gamers ou there who bought the Pulse Elite headphones last year. I have a simple question and I’d appreciate it if I got a relevant reply or a confirmation.
Will there be some sort of software update so I can use these when I get a PS4? Will they just work? These are the first legit headphones I’ve ever really purchased so I don’t really know if they’ll work for the PS4….


66

+ kugelfamily on February 20th, 2013 at 10:27 pm said:

PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD dont make the light sensor required i use a projector and puting a censor to point to a controller in my room would be a nightmare or my box tv which ive never been able to put anthing ontop of


67

+ smashbrofreak on February 20th, 2013 at 10:32 pm said:

The New controller looks so cool :D


68

+ PsychoSploosh69 on February 20th, 2013 at 10:33 pm said:

ok, now i’m excited. I thought they were gonna ruin the dualshock design. This looks amazing, comfortable too. Looks like it has better grip. Love everything I heard so far. Thanks Shuhei, can’t wait to find out more in the coming months. I wasn’t gonna pick one up at launch, but now you’re making me change my mind. lol


69

+ Techni on February 20th, 2013 at 10:35 pm said:

Will it work on PS3? It looks REALLY comfortable and I’d love backwards compatibility.
I understand the new stuff wont work, but it’d be nice to still use it.


70

+ KazeEternal on February 20th, 2013 at 10:42 pm said:

will charging cradles be available for this? I love my PS3 charging cradles, I’d hate to ahve to leave them behind after a few years.


71

+ Russian-JUNKEE on February 20th, 2013 at 10:47 pm said:

Sorry Guys but CAPS LOCK ON—- L2/R2 BUTTON MAKE IT CONCAVE AND STICKING OUTWARD PLEASE!!!!!!


72

+ DJizzalMANE on February 20th, 2013 at 10:51 pm said:

I like the controller…wish the screen was a touchscreen instead of touchpad tho…I think a high res touchscreen would be much cooler


73

+ DJizzalMANE on February 20th, 2013 at 10:54 pm said:

not found of the share button either…its a cool feature to have…but a dedicated button for it? bring start and select back…or even just keep the options button…but the share button in my opinion…has to go


74

+ BulletTooth228 on February 20th, 2013 at 10:57 pm said:

I would love to see the Dualshock 4 in at least two different sizes, my hands cramp up after a long gaming session cause the Dualshock 3 is too small :-/


75

+ xCh0z3n-0n3x on February 20th, 2013 at 10:59 pm said:

PS4 bundled up with a headset?? niiiiiiiiiceeeeeeee


76

+ kasumakuma on February 20th, 2013 at 11:05 pm said:

I just don’t know about this….I will say options are great, they give the developers of games a lot to play with to help with immersion. However, working retail at a game store before, I know how much we stocked of used Kinect, Wiimotes, and PS Move controllers. Many people don’t like the functionality of them, and from what I’ve experienced not many developers are able to do it right. I just hope that they can do it right, and I don’t see motion and touch controls shoehorned in for the sake of having them in the game, like almost all first year titles of the PS3 had.

Also, even though it is my right not to use it which I’m sure many will tell me, I don’t see me using the share button at all. I keep a tight watch on what I do online, and I like to keep them separate. My facebook only has close friends and family, and with very few exceptions my buddy list only has people I’ve known in real life and are very good friends with. I don’t want nor need an online community via my game system. That is what sites like these and forums are for, a game system should stick to what its good at making fun games. Unfortunately for me, it seems the idea of a strictly single player experience is now frowned upon by systems…


77

+ notforyou1 on February 20th, 2013 at 11:07 pm said:

L2/R2 buttons are not trigger buttons that I hoped it would be and it should be more curved forward and not going in-ward like the Dualshock 3 controller. You have plenty of time to do revision and make it better because people will complain when they are playing shooting games.


78

+ griffin1324 on February 20th, 2013 at 11:16 pm said:

I was always a big fan of the Dual Shock controllers. Can’t wait to get my hands on this one and see how it feels. I wish they made R2/L2 curve up… or at least sell the attachments that do. My controller feels naked without them


79

+ Shahrukahn on February 20th, 2013 at 11:17 pm said:

A headphone jack on the controller? I can’t explain how happy that makes me. And including a headphones that just plug in goest a LONG way into making the console more accessible for more casual gamers. I think there’s more to the new Playstation Eye that is being saved until E3, because it seemed like it was almost glossed over.

As for the new Dualshock, if the L2 and R2 become more functional and useable, I’m all for it. My only worry, is the analog sticks were perfect for the Dualshock 3. They weren’t stiff like the x360, making it easier to be more precise in FPS games and play at a higher sensitivity levels. They also had a smaller dead zone than the x360.

Are the stick going to be the same with just a new top? Or are you changing more than just the appearance?


80

+ Husteen on February 20th, 2013 at 11:34 pm said:

i honestly think the controller looks ugly, but i predict the “share” button will be my new best friend, that’s so cool!

i also wasn’t excited to hear about the touch pad on it, but it might be fun. omg and a headphone jack ON THE CONTROLLER! i hate having to sit close to my tv to use my headphones.


81

+ mangmangmang on February 20th, 2013 at 11:43 pm said:

That’s a beaut!


82

+ lkRaven-X on February 20th, 2013 at 11:46 pm said:

Great launch.. i have one question, does the duel camera peripheral come bundled with the ps4 or is it treated as separate accessory?


83

+ Shadow_Enz on February 20th, 2013 at 11:51 pm said:

Will the console be bluetooth, and will it work with my existing PS3 accessories (keypad, Elite Headset, standard Headset, etc.)?


84

+ SOUNDWAVE537 on February 20th, 2013 at 11:59 pm said:

Don’t like headset Bluetooth should still be in effect


85

+ Mixalym on February 21st, 2013 at 12:12 am said:

They seem to have really outdone themselves! They really know how to keep us coming back for more! Looking forward to see how it all comes together.


86

+ Elvick_ on February 21st, 2013 at 12:21 am said:

@58: You act like ‘select’ is the ‘x’ button. Select is rarely ever used. And select’s functions are combined with ‘Start’ in the ‘Options’ Button.

Replacing a rarely used button, with a button for easily sharing… yeah, the controller is ruined. Gameplay as we know is going to suffer. Kratos can’t attack now because select is gone, we can’t drive in Gran Turismo because select is gone, we can’t buy anything because select is gone.

Talk about whining for no reason.


87

+ GameQuirks on February 21st, 2013 at 12:30 am said:

Not a good looking controller but I will get use to it. Im ready for PS4. I don’t care about negative critics, I just know I will have lots of fun with it. Just like with my PS3. PS4 graphics were so amazing, I know PC would always win the graphics because they are highly customizable but, I’m not a fan of always upgrading my system to play the games I want at its full potential. Console works for me as I only need to buy it once, then I can play any games that they throw at me. No need to upgrade anything. Long. Live. Play

Proud owner of PS1, PS2, PSP, PS3.. and PS4 (I will only buy PS VIta if it will stream all PS4 games)


88

+ supvic on February 21st, 2013 at 12:57 am said:

85, I actually use ‘select’ constantly in BF3 to spot enemies, so I’m wondering how they’ll add that feature in BF4. Maybe it’s not so common in many other games but it still doesn’t need it’s own dedicated button unless we plan on using it every 5 minutes or something, it’ll just flood the world in spam if everyone is constantly sharing everything they do/see/hear in every game we play.


89

+ DarKaoZ on February 21st, 2013 at 1:00 am said:

My only concern is the Share button been press when I play some heavy based D-pad games, like fighting games.

I press the D-pad with the bending part of my thumb, not the tip. So the tip of my thumb might press the share button by mistake. I would love for those buttons to be moved to the upper part of the controller (by the sides of the R1 and L1. That way it will be harder to press by accident.

Another way to avoid it, is to make the Share button only activate while HOLDING it for 2 seconds, that way even if I press it by mistake, it will not activate.

Please, consider it as a option at least for the final ver.


90

+ PrimeroIncognito on February 21st, 2013 at 1:01 am said:

@ supvic

A little overboard there, buddy.

“Select” was used on maybe 2-3% of all games… and it usually wasn’t to select anything. It’s unnecessary. I’m pretty sure developers will find a simple work-around for the rarely used input, and we will no longer have an awkward button with an unlikely name taking up space where other options could be placed…


91

+ stratoulis89 on February 21st, 2013 at 1:12 am said:

Its amazing Sony nice!!!


92

+ Husteen on February 21st, 2013 at 1:20 am said:

i remember using “select” to bring up the map in dragon age: origins, and it was the “taunt button” in UMVC3 . other than that, i can’t recall the last time i’ve had to use it.

as for all the sharing and streaming stuff, i’m definitely excited about that, but i wonder if it will be a lag-fest.


93

+ Nineduce12 on February 21st, 2013 at 1:49 am said:

SONY Please tell me a few things. How will I be able to Spot enemies, Check the scoreboard, and Pause the game in Battlefield 4?? or any game for that matter?


94

+ CloneD on February 21st, 2013 at 1:49 am said:

Quote from the first sentence, “where we just unveiled PlayStation 4″ am I missing something or is Sony already doing it again ?? (telling us 1 thing and doing another)


95

+ CloneD on February 21st, 2013 at 1:52 am said:

Oh well, we should be use to it by now right ?? Sony, just promise us 1 thing, you won’t take any features away from us after we buy this PS4 like you did over and over again with the PS3.


96

+ Kratos2255 on February 21st, 2013 at 1:54 am said:

Honestly, I think:
-The controller is kinda ugly from the top view of the face buttons and the D-pad. It’s just.. not sexy. They need to do something about that.
-However, I like the design from the front view (of the light) and the side view.
-Also, the Sony logo should be on the controller as @28 said.
-The touch pad is an eye-sore. I think that’s one of the main reasons the controller looks ugly.
-Miss the Start and Select buttons. Options just sounds bland and boring.
I love you Sony.

I hope you didn’t design your new PS4 system too quickly. I was hoping to hear about the PS4 at the 9-year mark of the PS3′s lifetime. But I think it’s a great business strategy however, and I also think that you should have unveiled the design of the PS4 to REALLY blow people’s minds. It would remain in their minds as the first next gen system they’ve seen and have an impact on them.
Congratulations on last month’s PS3 sales takeover of the 360′s ;)

Sincerely, a fan who grew up on Spyro and Crash Bandicoot :)


97

+ JAKonaROLL on February 21st, 2013 at 2:04 am said:

i dont see how people can care so little for the share button? i mean seriously, the last time you rpg’d a jet in battlefield or when you got that 4 shot collat in cod or you got a sick lap time in a racing game – wouldnt you want to boast about it?

also i too would like to see what they manage to do with the touch pad – maybe have swipe and added buttons on each edge of the pad (DICE said that como rose wasnt on console due to sheer lack of buttons )

i also dont see why you miss the select button – like seriously when was the last time you actually SELECTED something with it? xbox named it BACK button that actually took you back from things but that to was wrongly named seeing as multiplatfrom manufacturers made it the O/B button anyway so they didnt have to re map everything ….
i figure the touch pad makes up 4 possible buttons and 4 possible swipe maneuvers (before it becomes to complex) – total 8 buttons more for game devs

this will be a very nice system i cant wait to see the final product


98

+ Elvick_ on February 21st, 2013 at 2:08 am said:

@87: I’m sure developers will figure it out. I don’t play that game, so can’t offer any ideas as to how they could make it work. At worst they could just map it to touching the touch pad, which looks closer to your hands than select is/was.

@92: Options will pause the game, and I assume open some options in doing so.


99

+ msaikooop on February 21st, 2013 at 2:35 am said:

looks so good


100

+ OHC_Lunasea on February 21st, 2013 at 2:35 am said:

Any chance I can just stick with my DualShock 3? This controller looks terrible.

Don’t like the elongated boomerang design.

Touchpad on a console controller is just stupid.

Triggers are the worst thing to happen to controllers in the history of gaming. (I take that back, VMU was). Just leave L1/2 R1/2 button system alone. Triggers make games like Street Fighter significantly less responsive now that you have to incorporate a depress delay.

Options button isn’t anything original, they are just consolidating the Start/Select buttons, which just makes life harder for developers to integrate menu systems.

Overall not impressed at all. Decisions like this are some of the reasons I stopped using my PS3 years ago.


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