With the DualShock 4 finally here and for all to enjoy, PlayStation 3's DualShock 3 feels like a six month old baby crying non-stop for an 18 hour plane ride from Los Angeles to Sydney, Australia. Not that that is from experience or anything.
Sony has clearly and obviously learned an enormous amount about what worked well in the past and what simply did not. The things that stick out the most with the DualShock 4 are what it does different from its predecessors.
Both analogs have an incredibly nice, subtle crater for players to play with and you will not have to worry about your thumbs slipping off the sticks, as you are trying to pass another racer around a tight turn. Not only are the analogs a welcomed change, but so are the angles of the L2 and R2 buttons. Those are also crafted so that when you press them, your fingers do not slip off due to the downward angle.
Those are two of the biggest changes that we saw from the new version of the controller and they make a world of a difference when it comes to the overall gaming experience.
The new DualShock 4 has a small speaker in between the two analog sticks and that emits audio during certain points of a game that prompt players to do one thing or another. The headset jack at the bottom of the controller is nicely located.
When it comes to things the DualShock 4 hasn't necessarily done well, we often think of buttons being squeezed in and barely fitting the model. For example, the Options and Share buttons are crammed onto the controller and they can make it a challenge for players to press those buttons in the middle of a game.
Additionally, the L1, L2 and R1, R2 are all too close together. They could've been given a few more centimeters and it would've made for a more comfortable fit.
One of the newest, highly talked about features that comes with the DualShock 4 is the new Touch Pad. This item fits very well on the controller, but it still has the issue that most console peripherals have. What will developers ultimately be able to do with it?
Yes it will serve as a feature that provides an extra mechanic for a game, but right now, there is no tangible, compelling use for it. Personally, don't expect innovation with this feature to come from third party developers, but rather from first party devs.
Studios like Sucker Punch, Naughty Dog, Guerrilla Games and the rest of the Worldwide Studios are the ones who we will expect to make the best innovations with the Touch Pad. Why the first parties? Well because they are the ones who work on the PlayStation 4, and no other system. They should be able to have the most intimate understanding of the controller and the best ways to utilize it.
The overall feel of the controller is nice and comfortable, even for those of us who have frying pans for hands. It doesn't become a pain or result in aching over the course of a 15 hour play session.
The PlayStation 4 is a system that reflects a lot of lessons Sony has learned over the years and so is the DualShock 4.