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Gamescom: Is the DualShock 4 Good for Shooters?

 
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:42 am    Post subject: Gamescom: Is the DualShock 4 Good for Shooters?  Reply with quote

IGN wrote:

Since the PlayStation 4's debut in February, Sony has touted the improvements made to the DualShock 4 specifically for shooter titles, including a revised trigger design, tweaks to the thumbsticks, and more. This week at Gamescom, I got a chance to use the DualShock 4 during competitive multiplayer demos of two notable first-person shooter titles: Killzone: Shadowfall and Battlefield 4. Has the DualShock finally become a competent shooter gamepad?

One of the most significant and most immediately recognizable changes to the DualShock 4 is its larger, more ergonomic handle grips. Whereas the DualShock 3 feels thin and loose in your hand, the handles of the DualShock 4 conform to your palms, providing firm grip. Within the context of shooters, the beefier, more ergonomic handles keep the controller from sliding around in your hand as you make fast, repetitive taps to the buttons and triggers. The grips are designed in such a way that your thumbs naturally fall upon the thumbsticks without uncomfortable arching.

For the thumbsticks, Sony has traded the convex, edgeless thumbpads of the DualShock 3 for a concave design with a distinct, raised trim. But the benefit isn't purely for comfort and tactile identification, it actually has a clear impact on precision and consistency. With the DualShock 3, I often found my fingers sliding off the thumbsticks when making fast, pronounced adjustments to my character's movement or aim. With DualShock 4, I was able to keep a firm grip even with just an edge of my thumb clinging to the edge. It's a small, but critical improvement for reducing the travel time from the the thumbstick to an action button or the d-pad.

Sony has also managed to make the already stellar PlayStation d-pad even better by making the buttons slightly higher and giving them a slight, angled indent toward the center. It doesn't quite make the design any more or less precise, it just feels better. Similarly, the textured, rubberized material on the back side of the controller feels much better than the soft, matte finish of the DualShock 3.

But of course, the most important improvements have been made to the triggers and shoulder buttons. Just like the thumbsticks, gone are the DualShock 3's horrid convex triggers, replaced by a thinner, concave design. While still not nearly as pronounced as the Xbox One controller, the curve of DualShock 4's triggers provides a distinct lip for your index fingers to grip onto. The travel distance between the extended position of the triggers and when they're fully depressed is much wider, which makes taps feel much more substantial. But even half-depressions for burst fire felt better. The triggers are springy and responsive, snapping back into place with sharp, fast taps.

Unfortunately, I wasn't provided with any opportunity to test out the integrated trackpad or speaker, but I'm curious to see how shooters and games as a whole will put them to use.

I can confidently say that the DualShock 4 is better than the DualShock 3 in every way it's more comfortable to use and hold and unquestionably more precise. Shooter fans that have been apprehensive about adopting a PlayStation platform or have simply suffered from the current controllers less-than-ideal design will be relieved to find that, thus far, the DualShock 4 delivers upon Sony's promises.


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