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Sony confirms biometric sensors were tested for the PS4 controller

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PS4 DualShock 4 controller
PS4 DualShock 4 controller

Sony has confirmed that it trialled several different designs for the PS4 DualShock 4 controller, including introducing biometric sensors.

The DualShock 4 could have been able to measure skin conductance and sweat production for real-time data on PS4 player emotions, but the biometric sensor pads were ditched in favour of an FPS-orientated design.

Just one of the many features trialled for the DualShock 4 controller, Sony’s chief PS4 architect Mark Cerny confirmed the final controller was an end result of a long project.

“We had a long research project where we look at pretty much any idea we could think of,” said Cerny to Stuff. “Would it help to measure the galvanic response of the skin? We tried out a tremendous number of things – and then we went to the game teams to ask them what they thought they could use from the controller.”

Aiming to focus more on the useability of the controller for long FPS and other gaming sessions, Sony perfected the DualShock 4 over its long testing process, meaning that sweat sensing technology got thrown out in favour of gaming-orientated perks.

“Historically we have heard many times that our controllers have not been ideal for first-person shooters, so we wanted to make sure we had something that would be much better for that genre.”

Sony has introduced a lightbar at the front of the DualShock 4 that can be tracked by the PS4 to identify players. There’s also a new PS Vita-like touchpad located in the centre of the controller, which supports multitouch gestures.

“We tested the throw of the triggers, the position of the triggers, how much pressure it takes. We looked at the joysticks, the dead spot, we looked at convexity and concavity.”

The DualShock 4 controller also has inbuilt speakers that brings the game sounds into the palm of your hand, which Sony says “adds a lot of dynamic sound” especially for FPS games.

After the long development process, Cerny believes that the end result of the DualShock 4 controller “feels extraordinarily natural.”

“I haven’t heard a negative comment about it yet. For a controller with a very different form factor that was just amazing to see.”

Next, read our pick of the best PS4 games.

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