The main gripe PlayStation 3 owners had with the console was—everyone say it at once—the controller. Yes, that DualShock 3 was an ergonomic mess; it felt old and was frustrating to use, and it was nowhere near the design and comfortability of what was available for the Xbox 360. While it wasn’t the worst gaming has ever seen, it was, for the most part, universally maligned—no Sony controller has really stood out for its excellence. That is, until the PlayStation 4’s DualShock 4.
The most immediate difference between this year’s controller and the PS3 controller is how much fuller the DualShock 4 feels. The handles are easier to grasp, and the new concaved triggers are more comfortable to press with your index fingers. It just feels better resting in your palm, and has a more substantial weight, giving you something to actually grip tightly. The thumb sticks are spaced apart just right, too, and the matted textures allows for more precise control.
Sony’s DualShock 4 features a number of new additions, including a touch-pad, integrated speaker, light bar and headset jack; the PS4 now comes with an included headphone and mic. There’s a new Share button for recording gameplay and streaming online, the familiar PS button, and an option button. Compared to last year’s DualShock 3, the difference is night and day—you’ll never want to use a DualShock 3 again unless you’re a gluten for punishment.
We’ve barely spent any time with the PS4, but we’re already liking the experience. The UI has been changed, the console itself looks really premium, and the controller feels incredible—not something you could say for previous Sony controllers. If you were worried Sony overlooking the controller experience, don’t be, because the DualShock 4 is vastly improved, and will make you actually want to use it rather than making you feel like you’re being forced to.