Sony recently revealed a bunch of new information about the next-generation PlayStation 4 console’s DualShock 4 controllers. Some of the new information came in the form of feature announcements, while others were revealed as revelations and thoughts that occurred throughout the development and engineering design processes of the DualShock 4’s development.
- PlayStation 4 Controllers Work w/ PlayStation 3: Sony announced that their DualShock 4 line of controllers will also be compatible with existing, current-gen Sony PS3 consoles. Some of the features may or may not be supported, but players who might not have any DualShock 3’s around many years from now should appreciate this backwards-compatibility feature as an auxiliary bonus.
- PlayStation 4 Controllers Work w/ Windows PC: Sony has also confirmed that basic support for Windows PC exists. The day the PlayStation 4 comes out, the DualShock 4 will already work upon being plugged into the Windows PC platform via USB cables. The touch-pad and other more advanced features could become available on Windows PC as well via updated drivers to release some time after the next-generation console’s launch.
- PlayStation 4 Controllers Will Be Purchasable Before PS4 Releases: If you pre-order the DualShock 4 controller at Gamestop / EB Games, depending on how many they have in stock, you’ll be able to take it home and use it on PC / PS3 before the PlayStation 4 even releases. What’s more, some game stores will be allowed to sell the controllers without pre-order necessary.
- Sony Considered Xbox 360-inspired Layout: Engineering at Sony had considered putting not only the left thumbstick but both thumbsticks above the face buttons and d-pad with those replaced to the center, bottom position that the thumbsticks sit in on PlayStation controllers. This design is similar to that of today’s Nintendo Wii U layout. In the end Sony has decided that it’s better to keep what gamers are familiar with than force them to reprogram their ‘muscle memory’ based on their layout change. The classic PlayStation layout remains.
- Sony Considered Video Screen for Touchpad: The DualShock 4 for PlayStation 4 has a touchpad at the top-center of it. This black touchpad can be said to be similar to the one on the back of the PlayStation Vita visually, but that wasn’t always the case. In initial experiments and prototypes Sony considered implementing video screens with high quality graphics that were also touch screens. Eventually it became decided that the current technology was a better idea because gamers wouldn’t have to look away from their game and lose immersion now that there is not a video screen in their hands.