PlayStation 4 Controller, the DualShock 4, Out Now

Posted Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 08:30 AM PDT by
DualShock 4

Controller works on the PS3 and PC with several games.

The DualShock 4, the PlayStation 4's new controller, hit the streets this past weekend. After a few days, I've been able to play enough games that I can recommend that anyone interested in the controller should pick up one up as there are many functioning PS3 titles with which to try the controller out.

As far as the functionality goes, it is indeed limited on the both the PS3 and PC. Using a micro USB cable (which is not included), the controller offers basic functionality. Neither the touchpad, PS button, nor rumble functioned in any games, giving the controller a feel of a basic input device. Anyone who has messed around with building fight sticks shouldn't be surprised by the seemingly random support found in each title.

I had hoped that Bit.Trip's two 'Runner' titles would work with their extremely simple controls, but both failed on the PS3 and PC. Fortunately, 'Hotline Miami' worked perfectly (minus PS button) on both the PC and PS3.

Trying the PC version of 'Batman: Arkham Origins' was fruitless, as was 'Grand Theft Auto V' on the PS3, which only worked well enough to allow me to enter the game.

The generic PC 'Wireless Controller' driver recognized everything fine accept for the second analog stick and triggers, which is typical for non-wired 360 PC game controllers. This suggests that the controller will work with any game that can rebind keys, and doesn't require the second analog stick. Many games could work using programs like Joy2Key and x360ce, but for now, the PS3 support is more compelling.

Focusing on the PS3, the controller worked perfectly in 'Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Version', 'Fatal Inertia,' 'Mass Effect 2,' 'Castle Crashers,' and even 'NCAA Football 14.' Just like with a makeshift fight stick, the best workaround for the lack of a working PS button was to use the PS3 Blu-ray remote.

Whenever the controller is first plugged in, it will light up with an amber light, but that light did not seem to correlate to the charged state of the battery.

I was also able to play 'Hotline Miami' on the PC using a BTD-300 Bluetooth adapter. Pairing was easy as the controller can be set to enter discoverable mode by holding down the PS and Share buttons. When in discoverable mode, the controller pulsed white and once paired, the white light remained constant. By holding the PS button for ten seconds, I was able to shut the controller down, and a single press of the PS button turned it back on.

Even with limited use, it's clear that the new triggers are excellent. The new analog sticks are shorter, smaller in diameter and more set into the controller than their DS3 cousins. (Punting/kicking in 'NCAA Footbal 14' was almost too easy with the new right analog.) I've gotten more used to the new grip, but still need some more adjustment time before stacking it up properly against the existing controllers. The two tone shell has a very slight give in bottom of the grips, a characteristic that is little annoying, but shouldn't be an issue over time. The face buttons feel perfect, while the options button is starting to seem like an improvement over the old rubber Start button.

Author: Brian Hoss

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Tags: DualShock 4, PS4, PLaystation (all tags)