The differences between the new controller and the Dualshock 4 controller, used for the PlayStation 4, are very subtle, so don’t expect to be (dual)shocked. The image below outlines the differences between the current and next-gen controllers…
Related: Best PS4 games 2019
The Dualshock 4’s light bar has been scrapped. It was a nice aesthetic feature but didn’t really add anything, so it’s hard to imagine gamers mourning its loss.
The triggers are more pronounced, as you can see from the comparison images, and the grips are a little bit more curved, moving, if anything, slightly closer to the shape of an Xbox controller. The patent also shows a microphone and a USB port.
When Wired got hands on with the controller they described it as “an unlabeled matte-black doohickey that looks an awful lot like the PS4’s DualShock 4,” and that certainly fits with what we’re seeing in these images. The two controllers are hardly worlds apart.
One of the biggest promises made by the new controller so far is the introduction of ‘adaptive triggers’. They can offer varied levels of resistance so, for example, pressing the accelerator in a sports car might be smoother and more responsive than doing the same in a beaten up pick-up truck.
Related: PS4 vs Xbox One
Haptic feedback is on offer too and will be improved. More directional rumbles will outdo the general vibration of current gen controllers and, hopefully, make games more immersive. Despite the features, Sony are still claiming the controller with be lighter than an Xbox controller with batteries.
Wired described using the controller in an exclusive hands-on: “I play through a series of short demos… In the most impressive, I ran a character through a platform level featuring a number of different surfaces, all of which gave distinct—and surprisingly immersive—tactile experiences. Sand felt slow and sloggy; mud felt slow and soggy. On ice, a high-frequency response made the thumbsticks really feel like my character was gliding. Jumping into a pool, I got a sense of the resistance of the water; on a wooden bridge, a bouncy sensation.”
We’re interested to see what the use of adaptive triggers and a more responsive controller can offer to gamers long-term, as games developers begin to consider new uses for the tech themselves. For now, these hints will have to do.