The DualShock 4 is appealing not just to the eye but, more importantly, to the hands. We caught ourselves grinning from the mere feel of the thing, which, at once is slight yet fills out the hands with its nubbed ends.
This is the final version of the DualShock 4, and though we played DC Universe Online on a dev version of the console, it operated just we’d want a premiere controller to as we knuckled up to the evil doers.
Response time was excellent, and the buttons had a buttery quality – no need to mash down to get your character (in our case, Bizarro) to smash and bash. We liked the textured, roughed-up feel of the trigger buttons, all the while finding a seamless qulaity in the controller’s design.
The most noticeable addition to this DualShock edition is the track pad. It lacked functionality on the first game we tooled around with, DC Universe Online, but we did discover that it acts like a button itself. It reminded us a little of a diving board in that regard, as there’s a space between the end of the button and the body of the controller.
However, we later played around on a different game that did have functionality set up, and found the track pad had difficulty differentiating between directions. Various moves were defined by various directional swipes, and it proved too much for the DualShock 4’s pad. Perhaps time will lend itself to further refinement (the console isn’t out until the holidays, anyway) but for now, it wasn’t up to par.
As for the rest of the controller, the share button is also a too far away from the central commands, and a stretch of the thumb is needed to reach it. Same goes for the option buttons. Our hands were so spread out on the sides of the controller, it’s hard to naturally jump either up or down. Those with larger paws may not have the same issue, but it felt like our mitts had to overcome a small chasm.
By comparison, the PS3’s DualShock 3 share and option buttons are right there, ready at your beck and call. Speaking of the older controller, the DualShock 4 is definitely an upgrade in style.
The tether on the controller we played won’t be there during final launch (it served a security function, we were informed).
The analog sticks are responsive and smooth, so much so that we stopped thinking about using them as we flew around an underground lab as Superman’s doppelgänger. The tops are notched down so your fingers sit in them as opposed to on top of them like the DualShock 3.