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Jun 14

DUALSHOCK 4: Hands-on Impressions from E3

Sid Shuman's Avatar Posted by on Jun 14, 2013 // Director, SIEA Social Media

PlayStation 4

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

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+ TolgaCavit on June 18th, 2013 at 3:31 am said:

Good. I can’t wait to play on the best console.


+ red1devil2 on June 18th, 2013 at 4:09 am said:

i got ps3 pulse headset hope there well work on ps4????


+ jimmified on June 18th, 2013 at 6:14 am said:

Will the DS4 work on the PS3?
I know the console isn’t natively backwards compatible, but what about a backwards compatible controller??


+ DexterP17 on June 18th, 2013 at 7:35 am said:

Can’t wait to get a feel for this first hand.


+ omarcool12345 on June 18th, 2013 at 7:48 am said:

I think i would prefer the domed analog sticks than the concave ones


+ Brock4560 on June 18th, 2013 at 8:50 am said:

I like the way it looks, but I wouldn’t be happy if it felt different from a ds3, because I have been using dualshock controllers my whole life, and I’ve grown very comfortable with them.


+ Dee_Mulaah on June 18th, 2013 at 8:53 am said:

Microsoft is going to have a hard time beating this design.


+ Brock4560 on June 18th, 2013 at 8:53 am said:

It would also be nice if you could get a playstation classic controller for the ps4


+ Enigma777 on June 18th, 2013 at 8:58 am said:

Like the headphone jack, hope it works with my apple earbuds. I’m interested to find out how the touchpad will work with navigating the PS4 OS…


+ Yamsi1912 on June 18th, 2013 at 9:48 am said:

Hello, I would like to ask you something. Is it only me or really Dualshock 4 has changed its shape a little? Thx for anybody’s answer. :-)


+ CeroX99 on June 18th, 2013 at 10:46 am said:

I wonder if my Skullcandy SLYR gaming headsets will work perfectly on the PS4 controller. Hmmmm, I hope so. :P


+ mijnvechter on June 18th, 2013 at 12:14 pm said:

do we also get the earplug?? that would be nice :)


+ DrkrZen on June 18th, 2013 at 12:37 pm said:

Looks awesome. I’m really glad the DualShock design wasn’t ditched entirely. Its tried and true – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, etc.

Although, I have to admit, Start/Select has been a big part of my life in my 24+ years of gaming… lol.


+ ruffneckc on June 18th, 2013 at 12:48 pm said:

Hey Sid Shuman, can you tell us what the extension port, next to mic jack, will be used for?


+ franklinator97 on June 18th, 2013 at 1:10 pm said:

Might be an offset question….. But does anyone know if Kontrol Freek’s will fit on theise? Being a hardcore gamer They are a necessity to me. and ps…. if you don’t know what they are they make your joystick higher.


+ DualNeuron on June 18th, 2013 at 3:13 pm said:

All looks good thus far, just have to wait until release and I sure hope it allows use of my MLG Turtle Beach headset I just bought couple weeks ago and I’ve seen bundles with multiple games/extra controller going for around 500$ something on http://www.gamestop.com


+ ExodusDrgnSlayer on June 18th, 2013 at 4:58 pm said:

I like the design of the controller! Cant wait til it is released!


+ HellFighter on June 18th, 2013 at 10:30 pm said:

it looks great as always. I was just wondering if anyone knows weather PS4 and Dual Shock 4 will be compatible with Astros A40s 2013 Edition? I appreciate any feedback.


+ mmihajlovic on June 19th, 2013 at 6:41 am said:

I would like to request Sony to please sell the controllers separately and to create PC drivers for the controllers. There are so many people who would buy and use these controllers to play PC games I think you’d make a bucket-load of money, and people would be eternally grateful :)


+ easysix on June 19th, 2013 at 12:27 pm said:

will that controller for the 4 work with the 3


+ GMFCO311 on June 20th, 2013 at 9:37 am said:

I like the add on clips you can buy separately for the R2 & L2 triggers for the DS3! Was hoping the PS4 controller would have looked like that instead!


+ J0rg3_D1az_V on June 21st, 2013 at 9:59 am said:

will the PS3 Wireless Stereo Headset (the one that looks like a PS3 on each ear) be compatible with the PS4??


+ Phoenix7469 on June 21st, 2013 at 6:15 pm said:

The Swiss Army knife of gaming controllers!


+ Servatorhawk on June 21st, 2013 at 6:45 pm said:

I cant wait for the PS4 to come out, but whats DS4 or DS1 I thought it was PS4 and PS1


+ sean-is-awsome on June 21st, 2013 at 7:50 pm said:

The first time I touch the dualshock 4 I’m going to cream!


+ mushtaq711 on June 22nd, 2013 at 8:23 am said:

Ps4 is the best for the next generation console. I cant wait when i get my hands on it in the holidays !


+ xUniique-3Dz on June 22nd, 2013 at 12:08 pm said:

Wait, does this really have a feature where you could just put your earpods in your controller? Cause that wouldn’t be a bad idea o.o


+ the49ermann on June 22nd, 2013 at 7:44 pm said:

Dang DUALSHOCK 4 controller! You SEXY!


+ the49ermann on June 22nd, 2013 at 8:08 pm said:

Can you please read Playstation. What I think you should do for us gamers is to create a Day One Edition of the console. I suggest that this should include everything the console package already comes with, but also include either a one year subscription to PSPlus or a Playstation Eye for no additional cost. I know that this is not related to the controller topic, but thanks anyway! Can you also release some of the games that will be compatible with remote play on PSVITA? Thanks again!


+ dakotaglory on June 22nd, 2013 at 8:56 pm said:

Wow nice new features. Totally destroyed Xbox. :)


+ ALL_IN_YO_FACE on June 23rd, 2013 at 5:23 pm said:



+ TheOptimusKnight on June 23rd, 2013 at 7:49 pm said:

I have played the ps3 a little and didn’t like the D3 compared to my Xbox controller. For my big hands the Xbox controller worked much better. How do you think the DS4 feels in size and in the hands of someone with bigger hands.

By the way. I’m coming home to PS this generation. Thought you may want to know that before you Answere. :)


+ ghostpos on June 24th, 2013 at 3:37 am said:

Looks great!


+ blackdahlia1254 on June 24th, 2013 at 8:38 am said:

i hope we all can use are headsets on the ps4. the ps4 is going to be awsome for us gamers.


+ angibri2000 on June 24th, 2013 at 2:18 pm said:

Just 3 words I need to hear soon…..Pulse Elite Compatible!!! That is all… =)


+ Dark_Necro420 on June 25th, 2013 at 3:48 pm said:

i will ask a question u might think is a dumb question but to me is not i play my ps3 via wifi internet. and does the ps4 will have a wifi feature as well? its not listed on system spec list. some one from sony please reply i allerdy have my ps4 preorder even tho i still dont know about this feature it will suck for me if it dont have wifi feature…


+ dogboy346 on June 25th, 2013 at 5:47 pm said:

when does the PS4 comeout


+ proudy07 on June 26th, 2013 at 12:51 am said:

OMG!!!!! E3 2013 HAS RUINED MY LIFE!!!!!!!! the Ps4 makes the Ps3 games look rubbish, I have hardly touched my Ps3, I have my PS4 on order and have ALREADY paid for Battlefield 4 AND Fifa 14………….. MORE will be ordered in the lead up to launch……………………… Does anybody else feel that time is going a lot slower since E3? I really cant wait for my ps4 :-S


+ proudy07 on June 26th, 2013 at 12:53 am said:

Just sit and wait……………………. KEEP CALM………. THE PS4 IS COMING


+ iieatpuppyz on June 26th, 2013 at 6:41 am said:

Dualshock 4 looks amazing.


+ Cinuous on June 26th, 2013 at 4:14 pm said:

I hope they also add Google+ to the social features, I dont use facebook any more lol!!!!!!


+ SK8TERPRODUDE on June 27th, 2013 at 5:28 am said:

Will the dualshock 4 controller be able to charge on a Sony charging station?


+ Deadlius on June 28th, 2013 at 8:22 am said:

I know this isn’t related to the DS4 controller but I wasn’t sure where else to throw this out there. Sid, you seem like you might be able to find out this information or at least pass along a suggestion to the right people. It would be awesome if the PS4 didn’t use HDCP protection over HDMI while playing games. I can understand using HDCP to prevent Blu-ray movies from being copied but using it when a game is being played prevents people from recording their gameplay using external devices. For example, I use an Elgate Game Capture HD device to capture 1080p footage from my Xbox 360 via HDMI but on the PS3 I have to use component cables because it can’t detect the video signal over HDMI… I’m assuming because of HDCP content protection. Whether or not the “Share” functionality of the PS4 will eliminate the need to do this entirely, I would find it unlikely that we’d be able to record 30+ minutes of gameplay. It’s also nice being able to archive this footage to a computer.


+ BigIrv716 on July 2nd, 2013 at 4:24 am said:

i kinda wish the inner buttons were closer to my thumbs like the past controllers… but im kinda glad the controllers on the PS are getting a more xbox feel, now i can space the analogs out a lil more im in business. i am tired of bumping thumbs on some games


+ Il_Il on July 3rd, 2013 at 12:04 pm said:

Time has practically stopped since E3


+ Xx2PLAY_BOY2xX on July 4th, 2013 at 2:19 am said:

I loved to use the ps3 and now i’ve heared that you can do so much more with the ps4 i’m really looking forward to use the ps4


+ Mosterman2734 on July 12th, 2013 at 8:14 pm said:

Sony and playstation have never let me down…..

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