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DUALSHOCK 4: Hands-on Impressions from E3

Sid Shuman's Avatar + Posted by Sid Shuman on Jun 14, 2013 // Senior Manager, Social Media

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Following its debut at PlayStation’s February 20th event in New York City, DualShock 4 has emerged at E3 in near-final form. Though DualShock 3 has proven to be a capable and dependable wireless controller for years with PlayStation 3, the PS4’s new weapon of choice is a clear improvement across the board. Here are some quick E3 2013 impressions.

For me, DualShock 4’s most impactful new feature is a subtle but shockingly satisfying detail: A glossy cross-hatched texture that wraps around the larger handles. This texture provides a snug, more comfortable grip on the device compared to DualShock 3’s slipperier feel. This is one of those things you’ll need to try for yourself to truly understand, but once you experience it there’s no going back. It’s a delight.

DUALSHOCK 4 - PlayStation 4

Then there are the redesigned and retuned analog sticks, which now boast a concave surface and slightly stiffer deadzone that makes it easier to maneuver the camera using small, precise movements. The surface is also more tactile, but not so much that it impedes your thumb’s ability to glide around the inner rim as your make subtle adjustments to your aiming reticule in shooters like Blacklight: Retribution. Much like DualShock 4’s new textured grips, the revamped analog sticks are a clear improvement to the classic design sported by DualShock 2 and DualShock 3. It’s no contest.

The directional pad — always a strength on PlayStation controllers — also impressed. It boasts a unified design that reminded me of PS Vita’s well-liked pad, only oversized and sporting a slightly more tactile finish. The depth and response of the pad felt just right: Not too clicky, not too mushy; not too deep, not too shallow. Meanwhile, the new Share and Options buttons that have replaced Start and Select were unobtrusively placed and felt satisfyingly clicky — appropriate for buttons you’ll use less frequently.

PlayStation 4

Finally, the new L2 and R2 triggers are exactly what you would hope for and expect. Featuring a slightly “hooked” design and less pressure resistance, these puppies are a perfect fit for your itchy trigger finger. I was also pleased to find that DualShock 4’s L1 and R1 buttons feel almost identical to those on PS3. Why fix what ain’t broken, right? It will be interesting to see if developers of PlayStation 4 shooters enable the player to swap the firing buttons between R2 and R1 like they often do on PS3, or if R2 becomes the universal standard going forward.

I didn’t get a chance to try out any titles that made use of DualShock 4’s new lightbar, touch pad, integrated speaker, or the mono earbud that enables online voice chat out of the box. But those will surely come in time. For now, I’m pleased to report that DualShock 4 is hands-down the best, most comfortable console controller I’ve used.

//Add Your Own

247 Comments   38 Replies

101

+ TimmDogg031 on June 15th, 2013 at 11:23 pm said:

Very very nice Sony


102

+ TWODEEEE on June 16th, 2013 at 12:11 am said:

controller looks cool but that mic looks so cheap, i hope blu tooth stil works with it


103

+ SW1FT_AcTi0nz on June 16th, 2013 at 12:21 am said:

Looks great! Now I just need to know if you can change the color of the light bar for player one.


104

+ punjabiboy14 on June 16th, 2013 at 2:16 am said:

Hi i wanted to know if i can also connect the DuelShock 3 controller with the PS4
because my cousin comes over and i dont want to buy another DuelShock 4 controller for $60
so ill use the DuelShock 4 controller and he can use the DuelShock 3 controller
is that possible ??


    Sid Shuman's Avatar

     

    + Sid Shuman on June 17th, 2013 at 11:06 am said:

    DualShock 3 will not be compatible with PS4 due to some of the new tech inherent to the PS4/DualShock 4.


105

+ TeCniquEz_X on June 16th, 2013 at 10:46 am said:

I do hope that my bluetooth headset will still work with the PS4. That would be great. and i do love the look of the DualShock 4. I was a bit skeptical about the touch-pad but knowing what Sony usually does when it comes to new additions in their products, I feel very comfortable with it now. Unfortunately I was unable to attend E3 but i cannot wait until the PS4 comes out. I need to pre-order it very soon. SONY DRONES UNITE. (OH AND IF YOU HAVE LAST OF US AND WOULD LIKE TO JOIN MY CLAN PLEASE DON’T HESITATE TO HIT ME UP WITH A MESSAGE. CLAN NAME IS SQUAD X). GOOD DAY, AND GOOD GAMING TO ALL!


106

+ K1ll3r1cecr3am on June 16th, 2013 at 11:10 am said:

Is there any possibility, to turn the light bar off when I´m not using the ps camera ?


107

+ Archaga on June 16th, 2013 at 12:04 pm said:

@104 They confirmed you can’t.
Guys, of course it will support Bluetooth headsets, that’s just silly.

The bigger question, will there be official PC drivers? Gaming on the PS4 will surely be great, but I do enjoy a PC game now and the DS3 was great but frustrating to make it work on PC.


    Sid Shuman's Avatar

     

    + Sid Shuman on June 17th, 2013 at 11:07 am said:

    This is a really great question and one I’ve asked about. Definitely on my radar!


108

+ Archaga on June 16th, 2013 at 12:05 pm said:

^ now and then and the DS3*


109

+ NEKORBSMAERD on June 16th, 2013 at 12:39 pm said:

I am doing a WATCH DOGS GIVEAWAY on my youtube channel TheGameXaminer
SUBSCRIBE AND COMMENT TO ENTER 100% Legit

Come Game With Us……..


110

+ ElectricBee1 on June 16th, 2013 at 12:41 pm said:

Officially, I cannot wait to get my hands on #Dualshock4 and #PS4. It seemed so awesome to hear about this. My Xbox 360 Controller and #Dualshock3 that my friend owns (because I don’t have a PS3) always slips out of my hands because of my hands sweating.


    Sid Shuman's Avatar

     

    + Sid Shuman on June 17th, 2013 at 11:07 am said:

    One of my favorite details about DS4 is the textured grip, which gave me a snugger grasp on the controller and also seems to combat the dreaded sweaty palms :)


111

+ Icestar10 on June 16th, 2013 at 12:45 pm said:

I love the controller.


112

+ dlhdav7 on June 16th, 2013 at 12:52 pm said:

pre ordered my ps4 today!!!! i got n4s and cod ghost!! now the wait is going to kill me!


113

+ MMatt0904 on June 16th, 2013 at 1:37 pm said:

Preordered it today!


114

+ MMatt0904 on June 16th, 2013 at 1:41 pm said:

Do I have to plug in my headset to the controller or the actual system then?


    Sid Shuman's Avatar

     

    + Sid Shuman on June 17th, 2013 at 11:08 am said:

    That wired headset you see in the photos plugs right into the base of the DS4


115

+ Archaga on June 16th, 2013 at 1:55 pm said:

Silly question but is the audio jack chat or system sound? I don’t care much for bulky high end wireless headsets, so being able to play at night/on bed with all the volume I want via simple comfortable earbuds sounds awesome.


    Sid Shuman's Avatar

     

    + Sid Shuman on June 17th, 2013 at 11:09 am said:

    Great question – I’ve heard it being primarily used for voice chat but this is a detail I’ll ask about.


116

+ Infinite-15- on June 16th, 2013 at 3:09 pm said:

I already preordered and fully paid off my ps4 so im super excited to hear when the actual day i can pick it up is. All i need to do now is save up a little money to grab a couple launch games.


117

+ JMG24BAD on June 16th, 2013 at 3:17 pm said:

PS4 should use twitch tv for streaming.


118

+ GrzesioK on June 16th, 2013 at 3:56 pm said:

I love the aestethic. Looks functional, too. The controller of he competing console looks like a brick.


119

+ TechGenius20 on June 16th, 2013 at 4:44 pm said:

WIll the mic on the Vita headphones be compatible?


120

+ Billy–XX on June 16th, 2013 at 4:55 pm said:

will headsets be released that dont have to go in your ears? like the turtle beach headsets?


121

+ chanwash on June 16th, 2013 at 5:11 pm said:

will we be able to sign into both consoles at the same time on the same account?


122

+ HARLEM_KING_1983 on June 16th, 2013 at 8:58 pm said:

i cant wait for the ps4 to come anybody want to play with me just send me a friend request n i will add u ps4 baby


123

+ FireCage on June 16th, 2013 at 9:05 pm said:

Looks more high Quality now i like it =)


124

+ goodmusik2 on June 16th, 2013 at 9:26 pm said:

Can’t wait to have this in my hand


125

+ DarthSpencer97 on June 16th, 2013 at 10:04 pm said:

Just pre ordered PS4 killzone shadow fall launch bundle on Amazon and i cant wait!!


126

+ GankstaMac on June 16th, 2013 at 10:22 pm said:

please tell me i can use my new pulse headphones with the ps4???please let us know


    Sid Shuman's Avatar

     

    + Sid Shuman on June 17th, 2013 at 11:09 am said:

    No word yet but we’ll keep you posted!


127

+ VashioKun on June 16th, 2013 at 11:56 pm said:

Can I use the jack on the controller for game audio? Can I use USB headsets to listen to game audio? Being a poor college student, I use my monitor DVI for video and RCA for audio on my PS3. So I’d like to know if I can finally use audio through a USB and the controller.


128

+ auskyem on June 17th, 2013 at 8:56 am said:

1. Will the PlayStation Vita In-ear Headset work with the DS4?
2. Will PS3 compatible third-party USB headsets be usable on PS4?

Please also consider a microphone with an over-ear-clip. Earbuds are a pain when they fall out, especially for disabled gamers who need someone else to put them in/on.


129

+ ruffneckc on June 17th, 2013 at 9:11 am said:

Have any idea when we’ll get to see the UI of the new console and how the controller is used to navigate it?


130

+ ROLO_ONFIRE on June 17th, 2013 at 9:15 am said:

Release a premium PS4 with backwards compatibility for $50-$100 more, if you do that then I’ll sell my PS3 and buy a PS4 on launch, otherwise I’m going to hang on to my PS3 for 2 more years, and after that I’ll decide if I get the PS4 or a different console.


131

+ Xfoxgrim on June 17th, 2013 at 9:36 am said:

wat up peoples


132

+ Kniight-07- on June 17th, 2013 at 9:36 am said:

Already pre ordered mine ^-^


133

+ J-Wat on June 17th, 2013 at 11:02 am said:

For what will the data port next to the headphone jack be used?


    Sid Shuman's Avatar

     

    + Sid Shuman on June 17th, 2013 at 11:10 am said:

    I believe that’s the charging port


134

+ Nightshade869 on June 17th, 2013 at 12:16 pm said:

Will the PS4 support headsets we bought for the PS3? I am asking about the ones that work through USB and the optical ouput on the system…as in surround sound headphones made my TurtleBeach, Astro, etc.

I know X1 doesn’t…please don’t do that too….


135

+ ChaosCrysis11 on June 17th, 2013 at 12:27 pm said:

im glad i preodered the PS4


136

+ masquerader24 on June 17th, 2013 at 12:27 pm said:

OK. so a few things look better… but one cannot ignore this.
Scuf still going to be able to mod?
and or why not include the back paddles and eliminate people improving on your product? You guys at Sony obviously know what every day gamers want.. wheres the love for competitive gamers?


137

+ Daliroo on June 17th, 2013 at 12:28 pm said:

Ugh I can’t wait to get my hands on one of these!


138

+ Scrpivs on June 17th, 2013 at 12:29 pm said:

What About R3 & L3…?


    Sid Shuman's Avatar

     

    + Sid Shuman on June 17th, 2013 at 1:02 pm said:

    Perfect poppy click, a step up from DS3 based on what I experienced.


139

+ P_S_N_K on June 17th, 2013 at 12:32 pm said:

cant wait to hold this controller


140

+ dex3108BL on June 17th, 2013 at 12:34 pm said:

Sorry for offtopic but will PS Store be expanded on more countries (Especially for Eastern Europe) before PS4 launch?

DS4 looks really good :D


141

+ Noodles120 on June 17th, 2013 at 12:37 pm said:

Can’t wait to get grease all over it. ‘Cause lets be honest we all eat and play…


142

+ vRug- on June 17th, 2013 at 12:40 pm said:

Will my Tritton 720+’s be compatible with the PS4? If not then I’m screwed..


143

+ xXPTK-GODXx on June 17th, 2013 at 12:48 pm said:

I own astro a40 will i be able to use them on the ps4. because i love my astro ???????


144

+ wyersman on June 17th, 2013 at 12:53 pm said:

So the Bluetooth in the ps4 is definitely which version? 3.0 4.0?
the plug in the controller for headset and mic is it required for talking like 360 or just optional if you don’t have a premium head set that uses wireless or hooks up via usb?
also the jack does it support premium sound output or only stereo/surround?
If I have a 5.1 or 7.1 head set I would want the output to support that.
and does the controller have a amp for the headset or will the headset feature that to raise volume?


145

+ blacksails321 on June 17th, 2013 at 12:58 pm said:

Man i cannot wait i already pre ordered mine!!


146

+ make_it_worse on June 17th, 2013 at 12:58 pm said:

the buttons are ps3-like or vita like ( i mean when you hear that clicking sound when you play with vita


    Sid Shuman's Avatar

     

    + Sid Shuman on June 17th, 2013 at 1:01 pm said:

    Closer to PS3


147

+ XxElBigMex913xX on June 17th, 2013 at 1:01 pm said:

What If I Can Listen my Music While Playing My Game on PS4 Though That’ll Be Cool Tough ^.^


148

+ Buzo_ZG on June 17th, 2013 at 1:02 pm said:

Will my official PS Vita In-Ear Headset work tih the DualShock 4? Is there any info on that?


149

+ doncallahan1 on June 17th, 2013 at 1:11 pm said:

Just from looks alone, the DualShock controller for PlayStation 4 looks really impressive and again, this is my opinion based on looks alone. I’ve yet to see, just like everyone how this controller performs or feels in person just yet. But, I am very excited about the new controller and I definitely can’t wait till the release of the PlayStation 4 so that I can try out the controller first hand! Some of the physical features are surprising, yet very handy like the headphone jack! When you really want to get into a game now you can plug in some headsets and play away and the touchpad is a new edition and I can’t wait to see how this feature performs in real life use….


150

+ jtownvet on June 17th, 2013 at 1:11 pm said:

@bovice yes the mono headset comes with the ps4 along with an hdmi cable. and as far as can tell from the research I have done usb 2.0 devices like my racing wheel and turtle beach headset most likely will work with the usb 3.0 on ps4 but don’t quote me.


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