Red Bar of Death… just kidding! 🙂
PlayStation 4’s new controller is amazing. The DualShock 4 is more accurate, capable, and powerful in every way compared with the tried and trusted DualShock 3 of the PlayStation 3 era. The addition of a touchpad, more comfortable triggers, universal (Android-style) micro-USB charging port, headphones jack, and light-bar for PlayStation 4 Eye support are equally as awesome.
But there’s one problem. Whereas the DualShock 3 could last you perhaps 8-13 hours of battery life (I find myself charging them less than once per day usually, at times less than once per two days), the DualShock 4 comes in at an extremely disappointing 4-5 hours of battery life.
I literally recharge this thing 3-4 times a day when I’m playing a lot and at least twice on a light gaming session. How is this possible you ask? The light bar (obviously) is completely and exclusively to blame for this. While I mention above that it’s a great addition to the controller, there is no option to turn this obnoxiously power-sucking light off. Unless I need it for local co-op, PlayStation 4 Eye-enabled games or even games that use it for a cool new feature like tracking me while I’m playing for enhanced realism in the gameplay of PS4 games – then why am I powering it?
Don’t get me wrong the Transistor game brings a sexy teal color to it.
I already run a lot of things in my house that require juice. My PC tower, my laptops, computer monitors, televisions, refrigerators, microwaves, clocks, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox ONE, portable gaming systems when they need charge, smartphones when they need charge, routers, modems, security systems, and that’s just what I can recall off of the top of my head. Last time I checked we had a few light bulbs around here too.
Another problem that comes to mind is the fact that Lithium iON batteries are eventually going to cease holding a charge. This hasn’t happened very often for me with SixAxis and DualShock 3 controllers on PS3, but it’s happened. Each time that it happened, I felt I got well worth the value out of the life of my PS3 controller’s battery. With PlayStation 4’s DualShock 4 though, I can almost guarantee you I’m going to rage when the day comes that it starts suddenly only hosting gameplay for 3 hours… then 2 hours… then dies. I’ll know it died way too soon and immediately curse Sony for making me power the light bar even when I wasn’t using it AT ALL.
Testing…1..2..3… wow is this thing seriously consuming that much?
The fact is the PS4 Eye is great. It’s a lot like the Sony version of Kinect, and holding a controller while being tracked (with the addition of an accelerometer inside the controller) can and will eventually provide us with incredibly deep gameplay experiences. Nobody knows what they are yet, but I honestly believe in the tech and its potential. Unfortunately there’s nothing right now making it worth half the battery life of my controller.
Please Yoshida and Sony team, do not keep up this madness. I realize you have to prioritize patches and what features you’ll be including in them – but do this one soon.
Before March 2014 I’d like to be able to say to my friends and to myself, Sony cares about the gamers so they made the Light Bar optional or automatically turn on when you need it – or SOMETHING instead of saying “PS4’s great… but the controller dies a million times a week but yeah don’t worry about that!”. Thank you, sincerely a fan.
This is where we need a fourth option: turn off Light Bar.