In case you missed it, Sony at long last unveiled its PlayStation 4 console during a two-hour press event yesterday, featuring a surprise appearance by Blizzard, which is bringing Diablo III to the PS3 and PS4. You’ll get to play that game (and many others) on Sony’s wireless DualShock 4 controller. Yes, Sony is sticking with the DualShock design that’s become an iconic image of the PlayStation brand, though this newest version features several upgrades.
On the inside, the DualShock 4 features a new highly sensitive six-axis sensor for precise control. Externally, the DualShock 4 looks similar to previous models, though it now comes with a touchpad located on the front of the controller, opening up new gameplay avenues for software developers.
In addition to the D-Pad and analog sticks, the new controller retains the Triangle, Square, X, and Circle buttons. You’ll notice above that there’s no longer Start and Select buttons, both of which have been integrated into an Options button on the upper-right side.
On the opposite side is a Share button. This will allow gamers to broadcast their gameplay in real-time to friends through Internet streaming services such as Ustream. You’ll also be able to share gaming moments and accomplishments by uploading video gameplay footage to Facebook, all with the touch of the button — no fussing with video formats or conversions.
Below the touchpad in the center is a built-in speaker, which will pipe high-fidelity sound effects from games (don’t worry, your TV and/or home theater speakers will still play in-game sound effects, too).
The DualShock 4 features a light bar on top with three color LEDs. It illuminates to match the color of characters in a game to offer an easier way to identify players, even when playing side by side, Sony says. It will also change patterns to reflect gameplay scenarios, such as being critically low on health or taking a major blow from an enemy.
Adding another element to gameplay, Sony developed a PlayStation 4 Eye camera that’s similar to Microsoft’s Kinect. It has two high-sensitive cameras with wide-angle lenses and 85-degree diagonal angle views. According to Sony, it’s capable of precise detection of depth of space.
“This enables PlayStation 4 Eye to cut out the image of player from background, or to grasp players’ position in front and behind, further broadening the ways to enjoy games,” Sony explains.
There are four microphones incorporated into the PS4 Eye, allowing the device to detect accurate sound and source origination. Gamers will be able to use the Eye to log into their PS4 using face recognition, too.