Hands-On: The PlayStation 4 Controller

I’ve never been a fan of the DualShock. Despite it becoming the archetype that almost every controller has followed since, I never liked the placement of the left analog stick. On the PlayStation 3 DualShock, I hate the mushy triggers and how my thumb constantly slips off the convex-shaped sticks. Despite keeping the same general form factor, the PlayStation 4 DualShock is a notably improved controller.

Upon getting my hands on it, I immediately noticed that the controller had a bit more weight to it while feeling more solid overall. I like the added weight and feel of it now, as it doesn’t feel nearly as frail as its predecessor. I figured that I’d still hate the left stick placement, though it actually felt fine during my time playing Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Driveclub. Not sure what they did to address that issue, though I never felt like it was in an inferior spot. My issue with thumbs slipping off the sticks has been addressed by making the top of the sticks concave in shape. Like the Xbox One controller, both analog sticks have an added level of resistance to them to allow for more precise control.

The triggers on the PlayStation 4 DualShock are much better here. They do have a more trigger-like shape to them and are light to the touch. The squishy feeling I hated from the DualShock 3 is no longer there. None of the games I used took advantage of the new trackpad, though I did get my fingers on it. It clicks in like a trackpad on a Macbook, though I don’t know if it supports multi-touch.

My enjoyment of the Xbox One controller was pretty much a given, though I did not expect to like the DualShock 4 as much as I did. This is about on par with the Xbox One controller regardless of your preference of where the left analog stick should be. Controlling the next generation of console video games should be better than it’s ever been with either of these controllers in your hands.

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