Dual Shock 4 Impressions

Discussion in 'Joysticks and Other Controllers' started by Chanchai, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. Chanchai

    Chanchai Well-Known Member

    This is a quick impressions report I wrote and posted to various Northwest fighting game groups. Really liking the DS4 (will still play VF on stick though lol).

    And a followup on the D-Pad:

    And here's what I wrote for shooter friends before I used it in multiplayer (impression ended up being superb) and VF:

    steelbaz and Ellis like this.
  2. Chanchai

    Chanchai Well-Known Member

    My two-week impressions of the Dual Shock 4 on PS3 (Day Before PS4 Launch Edition)!

    Note: Playing the Dual Shock 4 on the PS3 disables the PS button, Vibration, and Motion Controls.

    * Toying around with the Dual Shock 4 without it being connected anything (testing the feel) might actually make you worried about things like how much travel the triggers give, how piano smooth the areas around d-pad and buttons are, the awkward placement of Share and Option buttons, etc... What is weird is that these concerns go away when you actually use the device to control something.

    * The ergonomics are spot on!
    My hands are medium size and this controller feels natural in the hands. It is slightly heavier than the Dual Shock 3, but you don't notice it because the ergonomics are great and you might even prefer it. Contributions to ergonomics: the grip is better (despite looking a little less attractive), the top layer is a smoother matte while the underside is a very comfortable grip-friedly micro-cross-hatched plastic pattern that is surprisingly comfortable, the triggers are superb.

    * The triggers are probably the best triggers of any first party controller right now, at the very least I like it much more than the 360 triggers and I like that controller! On top of that, these triggers are super responsive. I was surprised how responsive they were when I tested them in a fighting game.

    * The analog sticks are among the best analog sticks. On top of being analog sticks with performance that will match (arguably better) the 360 analog sticks, it is very likely that the top surface is more durable and has a little more traction to them. I love the analog sticks, but I will state my one reservation with them in the cons.

    * The D-Pad is great for many people! The D-Pad is quite differet while generally being a Playstation D-Pad. How is this? They make a more concave-but-natural indentation in the middle and this makes the D-Pad very comfortable for both the thumb-tip (most people) and the thumb-joint (a few people, including me). I found the D-Pad to be superb for even fighting games! Furthermore, the slick glossy surface around the D-Pad (and buttons) is superb and surprisingly contributes to a satisfying press of the D-Pad (and buttons).

    * The buttons have a satisfying press to them. It feels like they travel less than previous Dual Shocks, but combined with the slick glossy surface around the buttons, there is a very satisfying quick-snap and smooth touch feeling to the buttons.

    * L1 and R1 are very comfortable to press and not awkwardly placed. There is a caveat which I will write about in the Cons section.

    * After ten days of using the Dual Shock 4, I held a Dual Shock 3 and the Dual Shock 3 suddenly felt wrong and awkward.

    CONS (or Caveats)
    * The Analog sticks are awesome and they work and their placement works, but... I would argue the 360 location of the analog sticks is still the most natural location for 3d gameplay. That said, I like the Dual Shock 4's analog sticks more, still.

    * As awesome as the analog sticks are, I have a feeling that they would be even better if they had just a slightly more extended range... Playstation 3 players will also have to get used to the lack of a deadzone (360 players will be right at home). The DS4 analog sticks do feel tiny for a home-console analog stick.

    * The biggest con I have with the Dual Shock 4, and it has not impaired my experience but I do consider it a design flaw is that the L1 and R1 buttons can be pressed in an "improper way" that allows them to get stuck briefly. This is not as bad as the PSP-1000 Square Buttons that would almost always stick under the shell. And playing BF4 on PS3, I am using L1 and R1 constantly (which is probably why I noticed this issue), but if you press the buttons at an angle from the out-sides, you can get these buttons briefly stuck. They'll still work and be responsive but it's awkward. Most people will not even do this, but for me it happens when I'm using my index finger joints to subtly push L1 or R1. If you press with your finger tips, you should almost never experience this. If you press from the inside edges, it won't get stuck either.

    * Share/Option are not easy to access buttons but not hard. When playing 3D games (meaing, playing with the analog sticks), these were actually comfortable for me to access and press, though effort is required to push these buttons down. However, when playing games that use the D-Pad more (like fighting games), I found it a little awkward to press these buttons.

    * A side-effect of great ergonomics.... "The controller is so comfortable to hold that any sweaty palm problems you may have will probably get worse with this controller."

    Overall: This is my favorite controller by far. Very close to perfect (for this generation anyways) in my book and Sony has successfully made a gamepad that is arguably one of the best for both 2D and 3D style console games!

    Epilogue (Thoughts on competing controllers, but I have not used Xbox One controller yet):

    * 360 controller is also arguably the best 3D style console game controller, but it suffers in 2D gameplay with its D-Pad which never gets fixed well enough and the shoulder bumpers suck imo. Dual Shock 4 has either matched or almost-matched the 3D gameplay. The DS4 is clearly superior for 2D style gameplay in my mind.

    * The controller Valve is working on for their Steam Box is intriguing and could trump everything (at least in 2D). I am excited to try that one out!
    Ellis likes this.

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