Friday, August 1, 2014
Have A Closer Look At The PlayStation 4 Controller

Have A Closer Look At The PlayStation 4 Controller

Many have been dissecting the PlayStation 4′s controller leaked on gaming’s web yesterday, however IGN’s gone live with a detailed look at the thing, pointing out areas some might have missed. It’s a good read, one I thought you might be interested in having a look at.

Breaking down PS4′s controller, courtesy IGN:



Touch Surface


There had been rumblings Sony’s integration of a touch surface for its next-gen controller, and it seems those reports were accurate. In the middle of a photo we can see a glossy plastic panel, not unlike the kind found on the back of the PS Vita. While the intended purpose of the panel is unclear, it’s important to note that it occupies the space previous reserved for the start and select buttons, which have either been removed or are out of view. Given the placement of the touch panel and Sony’s implementation on the PS Vita, it will likely be used for gesture-based navigation and tap commands for functions assigned to certain areas of the surface. There’s also the possibility that panel also features some sort of LCD screen, which also had been previously rumored, but may not have been powered on or functioning at the time of the photo.

Motion-Tracking LED


Perhaps what’s most immediately apparent is the top-mounted LED, like the type found on the PlayStation Move. It seems likely that the next PlayStation will use the integrated light to track the motion of the controller, perhaps aiding in the aiming or perspective of an in-game character. But whereas the PlayStation Move controllers was designed to be an extension of the player’s arms and serve as a replacement to the DualShock 3, this implementation seems to have been designed to work alongside the standard input methods. Unless, of course, Sony expects users to dual-wield controllers and flail their arms.

What’s most interesting about this revelation is its implications for the PlayStation Eye camera, which is used to track the LEDs — will we see a new improved version? Or, perhaps, will one be integrated into the console itself?

The Unmarked Button


Though hard to make out, we can see a small rectangular button just to the left of the touch pad and the upper right of the d-pad. Based on previous reports, we can guess that this is the fabled “share” button, which could be used to allow users to quickly share in-game clips with friends and potentially third-party services like Facebook. It’s also possible that the feature will be powered by cloud gaming service Gaikai, which Sony acquired last year. Like the “Brag Clip” feature found on OnLive, Gaikai’s servers could be used to stream and record footage of a player’s in-game experience in realtime.

Integrated Speaker or Microphone


In the center we can also see what appears to be a speaker grate, which suggests Sony could be building an integrated speaker or microphone into the controller. If we consider how the feature has been used on the Wii and Wii U, the speaker could be used to provide additional audible cues and effects. On the other hand, if the port is housing a microphone, it could be used to detect voice commands ala Siri or communications for online play or audio/video conferencing.

The Mystery Port/Switch


On the bottom we can see what appears to be the outer portion of some form of port. While we can’t quite make out the type of connection it’s intended for, its presence immediately brings to mind the Xbox 360′s bottom-mounted microphone cable. It would seem unusual, however, for Sony to so closely replicate a feature and design found on its rival’s previous-gen system, especially when most other elements of the design emphasize innovative new technologies and concepts. There’s also a possibility that the protrusion is not, in fact, a port, but rather a switch of some kind. It could be used to disable the touch pad to prevent erroneous taps or even activate the Move controller LED.

Redesigned Thumbsticks and D-Pad, Wider Grips


While it seems the X, square, circle, and triangle buttons have remained unaltered, the d-pad and thumbsticks look remarkably different than the DualShock 3. The overall width of the controller seems significantly larger and by association the sticks are further apart. The thumpads have also been tweaked to include a distinct ridge around the edges and a convex center. To the left, we can see that the directional buttons are larger and seem to be part of one solid piece divided by small indentations. The shoulder buttons are out of view, but it’s clear that the base of the chassis is wider, suggesting that Sony could be giving the buttons added surface area.

What We Still Don’t Know


Although we’ve confirmed that this is a legitimate prototype, it’s possible that the final design may be different. What’s more, it’s unclear if the pictured controller represents the model that will be bundled with the system or a variation that players can buy separately. And most obviously, we have no sense of the rear side of the design — has Sony changed the triggers? Do the grips have biometric sensors as previously rumored? Only time will tell.

So what do you Games Thirst folks think o the controller? I’m starting to warm up to it.

About Ernice Gilbert

Ernice Gilbert here. Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Gamesthirst. Thanks for stopping by, make yourself at home!
  • Alex Mason

    I really hope that the port is a headphone jack. That would mean I could play without disturbing anyone in my home. :D

  • nick

    you can already do that, either with headphones made for the ps3, or your TV should have a headphone port.
    i like the look of it so far, yea it looks a bit bulky and cheap but its a prototype it will be refined.
    i hope it ends up having a real chunky weight to it, and a smoothed edges.
    i had to stop buying multiplatform games for my 360 simply because every time a ps3 exclusive came out my hands would cramp because i was use to the much better designed more comfortable 360 controller.