Well that didn’t take long! Some more stuff on the controller: The Dual Shock 4 has a speaker and headphone jack “to deliver high-fidelity sound effects from the games” and the system will come bundled with an official headset. For better or worse, this should bring voice chat on PlayStation 4 to parity with what we got out of the Xbox 360. That means a lot of obnoxious kids to mute but also a lot more interaction with team players and friends. The “sound effects from the games” line is a little confusing. It doesn’t mean it’ll stream the full game audio through the controller, rather it’ll work like the Wii Remote speaker and specific sounds can be pushed to it. A voice from behind, the twinge of a bow releasing. That sort of stuff.
Sony isn’t quick to admit the triggers on the PlayStation 3 controller were crap but they have given in to complaints and have redesigned it to “employ a curved design for easier, smoother interaction”. It still doesn’t look ideal but it’s better than those slippery, convex triggers I’ve had to suffer with on PS3.
The controller also has that Vita-like touchpad surface which Sony has only detailed as “a new input method, offering more ways to interact with games.” My first thoughts jump to scope zoom controls and… that’s about it. Maybe it serves as the Select button. I really hope they don’t rely on it for Quick Time Events but I think there’s a few good surprising uses people will find for it.
Looking at some more angles of the controller you can see the micro USB port which means another internal, irreplaceable battery. When the thing dies, just like with a PlayStation 3 controller, you’ll have to rebuy. That led me to wonder how much one of these things is going to cost. A newfangled motion sensor, custom shaped touchpad surface, speaker, headphone interface, bluetooth chip, LED light bar. I hate to think it’ll be more than the already steep $60 Dual Shock 3 price but I kinda feel like one of these could go for $80 or more.
And that’s it for round two.