DualShock 4 revealed: pushing the boundaries of play

Controller View: 3

Hi everyone! It’s a special day at PlayStation, and I hope all of you had a chance to watch the livestream of PlayStation Meeting 2013 in New York, where we just unveiled PlayStation 4.

One of the most exciting components of our next-generation platform is DualShock 4, the new wireless controller that combines with PlayStation 4 to deliver new gameplay experiences that have never been possible before.

Controller View: 5Controller View: 4

I’d like to give you a tour of DualShock 4 and the features that will provide game developers the freedom to create brand new experiences that previously were limited to their imaginations.

DualShock 4 adopts the familiar form factor of the DualShock 3 wireless controller with some key enhancements:

  • Motion control is enabled by a new highly sensitive six-axis sensor
  • Dual analog sticks fine-tuned for better precision plus improved surface materials and shape for more delicate manipulation
  • L2/R2 buttons on the top of the controller employ a curved design for easier, smoother interaction
  • A new “Options” button combines the functions of the DualShock 3’s “Select” and “Start” buttons for operating in-game menus

Controller View: 6

New ways to play, share and connect
In addition to these features that build on the controls that you already know, DualShock 4 offers new features that enable new ways to play, a key part of the PlayStation 4 experience. One of the biggest innovations we’ve designed centres on the deep social interactions that will surround all games on PlayStation 4.

The “Share” button allows you to easily broadcast your gameplay in real-time through streaming sites such as Ustream, where fellow gamers can comment and even join your game in new ways. For example, if you’re stuck in a difficult level, your friends can offer health potions or special weapons that you can use during gameplay. You can also instantly upload images or video to Facebook by pressing the “Share” button.

As both a developer and a gamer, I’m personally excited about the opportunity to get help from friends when facing a challenge, and I can’t wait to see what my friends are playing in real time along with videos of their favourite in-game moments.

Camera View: 5

On the front side of DualShock 4 is a light bar with LED that illuminate in various colours to match the colour of the character in a game as a simple way to identify players. The colours can also provide useful information to players, such as when their character has taken damage during a game.

DualShock 4 was developed alongside a second peripheral, a dual camera, which can sense the depth of the environment in front of it and also track the 3D location of the controller via its light bar. The new camera incorporates four microphones capable of accurate sound detection and source origination, and it will support the PlayStation Move motion controller with more precision than ever before.

Camera View: 2Camera View: 4

DualShock 4 also has a touchpad at the front of the controller as a new input method, offering more ways to interact with games. Additionally there’s a built-in speaker and headset jack to deliver high-fidelity sound effects from the games. A headset will be bundled with PlayStation 4, enabling gamers to chat with friends during online gaming and to hear sound effects from the controller.

There’s a lot built into DualShock 4, and the features were all thoughtfully designed with input from the development community (both our internal studios and third parties) and PlayStation gamers. Our goal was to give game creators an open canvas to express their ideas, and DualShock 4 combined with PlayStation 4 will help us achieve the future of gaming that we at PlayStation see ahead of us.

What do you think? What’s your favorite new feature for DualShock 4?

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73 Comments 0 Author replies
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Coody-Baroody 21 February, 2013 @ 2:17 am   1

I love the DS4 but although i do prefer the DS3 to the xbox pad, i cant help but feel a little disappointed that you didnt move the left stick to the dpad position. That is the only thing i feel needs changing for the DS4 to become the best controller ever made.


The DS4 seems pretty good, I like how D-pad resembles that one of the Vita, but I feel like the analogue sticks should have been convex.

I will see how it feels once I get my PS4 this year 😉

Lord_Gremlin 21 February, 2013 @ 2:24 am   3

@Coody-Baroody I’m really glad stick stayed symmetrical – I can’t use any controller with asymmetric sticks, so 360 controller is unusable garbage for me. Although I know that there are people who use it just fine.
Anyhow, glad it’s not too different from DS3, but I kinda dislike the touchpad and all this light nonsense. I don’t want to EVER look at controller while I play.


My $599 is ready Sony.

extermin8or_ 21 February, 2013 @ 2:26 am   5

I actually quite like the look of this- is this console due for release in europe this year too? :p

*laughs* so the share button i think is the most useless thing on this pad exists in the favour of the select button. why not implement share into menue? scared that people would actually have a second thought about the share experience and realize how useless it is?

transpondster 21 February, 2013 @ 2:29 am   7

This is awesome controller, and I really love, that motion sensor is implemented in every single PS4 system!

SMOKIN_WEED_1986 21 February, 2013 @ 2:30 am   8

You dont need a dpad, thats just a throwback from the psone and of no use today. at least make the dpad touchscreen style. anyway all i want to know is price? when will we know and does holiday 2013 mean worldwide or japan usa first? then uk? i bet we get it spring 2014. you better not do that. I will have my PS4 release day no matter what.

Kaffikjelen 21 February, 2013 @ 2:30 am   9

I just want to feel it!

Stonesthrow 21 February, 2013 @ 2:39 am   10

It looks better than the leaked model, but nothing beats the old model. It pretty much looks like a more bulky version of that, better for those with bigger hands. I’ve got smaller hands and the old design feels absolutely perfect to me. I don’t like the top of the joystick, which I prefer rounded so it rolls off your thumbs when pointing in a direction. Although the top “border” looks smaller than that of the Xbox joysticks, I’m concerned about any border at all.. The joysticks being pulled apart and the handles being bigger and more vertical doesn’t suit my tastes either. The traditional designs allow me to hold the controller with my hands in a triangular position, with each finger on its respective button in complete comfort. This design however, reminds me more of the Xbox controller, the portables or a driving wheel, where you hold the controller vertically by the sides. This is less comfortable for the wrists in my experience. Facebuttons and Dpad size didn’t need to get bigger for me either.. This seems to adress a lot of issues for people with bigger hands, but in that move doing the exact opposite for those who did like the traditional design.

Stonesthrow 21 February, 2013 @ 2:46 am   11

@1 Omg would you please keep those horrible influences away from here :d Next thing you’ll be telling me you want to pay for online gaming -_-
Controllers need to be symmetrical, not the opposite of that. That’s like rubbing your belly in a circular motion while tapping your head. Not-in-sync.

MP_is_for_Chumps 21 February, 2013 @ 2:47 am   12


New DS4 is nice though.

SMOKIN_WEED_1986 21 February, 2013 @ 2:55 am   13

Not at all from the info released this is definitely ps4 putting all that “to hard for devs to work with” to bed and burying xbox fanboys firmly in their graves. this console looks so much better than ps3 and i don’t mean the actual console i mean the specs how we can stream games. its what gaming has been waiting for.

stargateheaven 21 February, 2013 @ 2:56 am   14

Im not sure i like the idea of a share button.. thats all it does? couldnt that of been an option..? ps button > share.

Just seems weird to me to dedicate a whole feature to 1 button.

vonhammer 21 February, 2013 @ 3:19 am   15

All hail @Yosp posting on the blog.


Yep, symmetry isn’t a problem if the thumb angle is natural.If the pad is wider and the sticks are further apart it will a much better.

For me,If you hold the DS3 and hover your thumbs stick height above down dpad down and X, that’s around the spot I’d like to see the sticks.

Shuhei, why didn’t you appear at the event?
Also, does Kaz know that neogaf forum is filled with Kazified avatars?

Great event, looking forward to E3 and PS4!

bitbydeath 21 February, 2013 @ 3:56 am   17

So does the camera come bundled with the PS4 as well?

Sure the DS4 looks like a nice upgrade.
But is the camera optional? (to use it, I know it’s in the box)

The PS4 seems rely big brother friendly with nice surveillance capabilities. Who wouldn’t want two cameras and four mics in their living room, and why stop there when what on your screen can be seen to? inFamus 2:nd son kind of says it all..

MP_is_for_Chumps 21 February, 2013 @ 4:13 am   19

@ Kim82

yeah big brother and greedy corporations go hand in hand so expect this surveillance thing to get even worse.

I also found it prety funny how that (CENSORED) from sucker punch had no idea that the things he rails against in his new game, are the exact same thing he is a PART OF with Sony. lol

MP_is_for_Chumps 21 February, 2013 @ 4:14 am   20

@ Kim82

Yeah big brother and greedy corporations go hand in hand so expect this surveillance thing to get even worse.

I also found it pretty funny how that tool from sucker punch had no idea that the things he rails against in his new game, are the exact same thing he is a PART OF with Sony.

Yeah, I just can’t get the seen from 1984 out of my head. When Winston is doing his morning gymnastics and the TV tells him to work harder…

Next gen you get Kaz Hirai on your screen telling you to step up your game if your K/D falls below 0.80. “Is that what you call playing playstation… …and don’t look so surprised, you knew this if you read the Terms and Conditions you agreed to”


Get rid of that share button and I’ll feel much better about the DS4.


@SMOKIN_WEED_1986 – Ever played a fighting game? Try doing that with a stick.

JnF_Gho5t 21 February, 2013 @ 4:55 am   24

Looks great

Dark-Twisted 21 February, 2013 @ 6:42 am   25


D-pad will always be a must. I couldn’t stand navigating any kind of menu interface with the analog sticks. You don’t get the same feeling of precision as you do with a button press.


A question.
Are the buttons all pressure sensitive?

Anyway hat off to you because you manged to improve what I consider to be the perfect controller.

undergroundgr 21 February, 2013 @ 8:17 am   27


DARK_RYU_ 21 February, 2013 @ 8:19 am   28

controller looks bigger than the one we have now but all in all is looking good. Can’t wait till its released in the UK.

Ds4 seems cool just hope sony do something amazing with the ps4 as the ps3 was well worth the LONG wait


@ Coody-Baroody

Couldn’t agree more with you. I also am disappointed that they didnt move the left stick to the d-pad position.


yes a glass screen, because it wasnt easy enough to break it out of anger before.

and am i the only one who likes my privacy in video games? im not even gonna add friends on the ps4 because i dont want them having access to all my information and what games im playing.

sony should understand that their audience is mature, and only 12 year olds want to play games with their friends.

Carnivius_Prime 21 February, 2013 @ 9:29 am   32

@coody-baroody are you kidding? That’s the thing I hate most about the awful xbox pads. I like symmetry in a joypad. Feels much more comfortable to me when playing a modern game that uses both sticks (both hands in same shape with thumb on the sticks) or when playing something more retro (d-pad and face buttons on same place on each side). The Dual Shock layout is perfection.



You must be kidding right. Symmetry? You get symmetry when you replace the d-pad with the left stick. Almost ALL games use the left analog stick and the push-buttons on the right side. This is symmetry, the right d-pad is only used for moving the camera or directional-shooting in a few games. The d-pad is almost NEVER used.

Looks like a great update of a classic controller. I’m happy to the classic layout with some nice improvements. Pretty much what I wanted to see. I just hope the d-pad is as great as the one on the Vita, it is really one of the greatest d-pads ever.

VictorAnalogy 21 February, 2013 @ 10:03 am   35

Sony already has your email address, age and (if you shop on PSN) credit card number. There’s not a whole lot to be gained from recording your living room.


correction. “right d-pad” I mean right analog stick. For me it’s more natural to just extend the thumb along the controller.

Pure_Mind_Games 21 February, 2013 @ 10:25 am   37

I wanted to see the actual Console although the look of the DS4 tells me it will look badarse

now shut up and take money


I like it 😉 Looks nice + hopefully i can just buy a PSVita & use that as a controller for ‘EVERYTHING’ that is playable on the PS4. SONY please push that feature big time!!! 😛 And not have some games can do it & some can’t rubbish. ALL GAMES CAN BE PLAYED USING THE PSVita PLEASE Via remote play 😛


That’s right :’m really glad stick stayed symmetrical – I can’t use any controller with asymmetric sticks, so 360 controller is unusable garbage for me 😛
I like the new stick design, the light and the new material to hold the controller more stable

dark_angel69 21 February, 2013 @ 11:22 am   40

I’m not sure what my favorite feature is on this controller just yet. Not until I hold one anyway and try it out for myself but for now I will just say the touch screen.

Compared to the DuelShock 3, how heavy is it? Lighter, similar to heavier? Also how does it feel compared to the DuelShock 3?

It really looks like supercharged DS3! Great! Can’t wait to get my hands on it!

Pure_Mind_Games 21 February, 2013 @ 11:53 am   42

“You must be kidding right. Symmetry? You get symmetry when you replace the d-pad with the left stick.”

I don’t think you know what symmetry means

Nightmareofkaito 21 February, 2013 @ 11:57 am   43

Just out of curiosity can I use my third party or official ps3 controllers with the ps4? or am I going to have to use either the psvita and ds4? or are you going to make annother controler with a simular thumbstick and d-pad layout to the xbox 360 controller but have all the same features of the ps4 controller you just unveiled last night? I am just asking as I would like to know if I have a third controller option. also can the ps4 run ps3, ps1 and ps2 games I have bought on the store?

AshesArise 21 February, 2013 @ 12:10 pm   44

Looks great other than the analogue sticks, not too keen on them but i’m sure i’ll get used to it over time.

Commandofin 21 February, 2013 @ 12:27 pm   45

Serious suggestion/idea/improvement.
Has Sony’s designers tried to put 2 extra buttons at the bottom of the controller? Somewhere near the handles. Player could use their ring finger or middle finger to press it.

Is Six-axis dependent on the LED light or is it the same as in PS3 DS3 but a lot better?

JulesMasonLynch 21 February, 2013 @ 12:28 pm   46

No. I’ve spent the last decade with the same controller, I don’t want to change now. What a hideous controller, why would I want a touch pad on my controller…purely so devs can throw gimmicky segments into their games. Keep it like the DS3, or PLEASE at least have the option of bundling the console with a “retro” controller. The grips on this look too fat, the sticks are too far down, I don’t want the trigger buttons to be changed. Please Sony! NO!


Interesting to see what the weight and feel of this is, but the share button is pointless, and a lot of the features seem like they will hella push up the price for spares.
Id be pretty surprised if there wasnt an option of using the Vita as a controller.
And there had better be privacy settings to stop people stalking over you o_o.
Also anyone looking at their controller to see how much health they have is mental, likely the people that need all this extra help from other players (I can see there being trophies for it, as opposed to locking out trophies that you asked for help on -.-)



Yes, I know what symmetry means.

There’s a difference between visual symmetry and symmetry on how you actually use the controller with your thumbs.

Your thumbs would be symmetrical when using the DS4 if the left-analog stick was were the d-pad is. It is more natural for the thumbs to just follow straight up than twisting them towards the center to reach the analog sticks. Therefor it would be symmetrical using the a left-analog stick placed where the d-pad is. You usually use the push-buttons on the right side, these are aligned perfectly with your right thumb, and it would be perfect to have the left-analog stick place in the same place on the left side. Symmetric thumbs, not symmetric how the DS4 looks, how it look is not important at all.

The-Pink-Cupcake 21 February, 2013 @ 1:14 pm   49

Really like the new controller but have 2 complaints:

– Glossy section under the face buttons and d-pad. Would prefer the whole thing to have a matte finish.

– The d-pad, much more liked the look of the more Vita like connected d-pad of the prototype controller that was leaked before the unveil, as seen here:

RustySanderke 21 February, 2013 @ 2:03 pm   50

I like the new L2/R2 buttons and the grips look comfy.

How can that light bar “provide useful information” when you’d have to look down and flip up the controller to look at it?

Mikal-WAFFLES 21 February, 2013 @ 2:24 pm   51

I thought Sony was going to announce the PS6, because it would be so powerful it would skip over 4 and 5.

Tsubaki_14 21 February, 2013 @ 3:15 pm   52

Am I the only one worried about battery life?

psychox2008 21 February, 2013 @ 3:21 pm   53

Looks like everything have to be multiplayer crap and co-op and instantly share now.
games keep get ruined with unneeded multiplayer.
Ther must be more people then me that enjoy games cus can dive into a story/world in singleplayer.

Pure_Mind_Games 21 February, 2013 @ 4:34 pm   54

“No. I’ve spent the last decade with the same controller, I don’t want to change now. What a hideous controller, why would I want a touch pad on my controller…purely so devs can throw gimmicky segments into their games.”

Gimmicks are just new ideas that aren’t mainstream yet, Rumble was a gimmick, digital download was a gimmick, multiplayer was a gimmick, everything we enjoy started out life as a gimmick.

Pure_Mind_Games 21 February, 2013 @ 4:38 pm   55


I agree, I couldn’t care less about Co-Op or Multiplayer, and it angers me when Single player suffers because focus was on Multiplayer, either do both correctly or leave it out.


that controller looks horrible it looks like the xbox controller.will the dualshock 3 work on ps4 and what is happening with my ps3 digital games will they work on ps4

ollie_uk_2008 21 February, 2013 @ 5:10 pm   57

Haven’t shown us the touch pad in action yet.

what would be good if the PS button light up like the prototype of ps3.
could have it light up different colours .

I think the grips are too fat and I’m not that keen on the analog sticks.
Honestly, I think the controller should have looked more like this

Also, will I be able to play my PS3 games on the PS4, will I be able to use the DS3 instead of the DS4 and how heavy is it?


yes sounds good with headphone jack,but why did they not put in a microphone instead of speaker so you don’t need separate headse? And what about cross game chat like xbox gamers get,i heard no mention of that.Do they not listen to their customers?

captain_crash199 21 February, 2013 @ 9:27 pm   60

Very, impressed with the DS4 and very relieved they didn’t move the left stick. Excited!!!


Thanks GOD Sony didnt go the same route as Nintendo making a tablet.
I love Dualshock and this looks like a great update.
Cant wait until i can buy PS4.

Sp4rkyM4rk1337 21 February, 2013 @ 11:13 pm   62

Very pleased to see it’s a touch pad rather than a touch screen. If I want the latter then I will play a portable system. 🙂


PMG, the Sixaxis was just a gimmick and now its used by every game first party or not, its greatly recieved and better than using an analogue stick…wait.
Not everything new is good, would the PS3 controller be so expensive without Sixaxis? unlikely, would we miss it? No.
Your point is invalid.
Though i do agree to some extent, Id rather have a polished single player without any gimmicks (crap I dont use, Facebook, online leaderboards) but also a polished online, again without the bolted on crap (think Uncharted 3). Id love for the PS4 to come in 2 forms, one that has all the non gaming nonsense that clutters the XBM, and one just for games.
Im amazed they didnt do that with the slimmerer PS3, and add CGC to them, then people would just have upgraded to them.

Id blame SCEE, but for once its hard to give them the blame >_>.

Stonesthrow 22 February, 2013 @ 2:26 am   64

@46 Thank you! I was starting to think I was alone in this :d Not only have we been playing with this traditional design for over a decade, it’s perfect from top to bottom. They used the same overall design for ps1, ps2 (boomerang design almost gave me a heartattack too) and ps3, why change now all of a sudden? Why make changes to a perfect design in the first place? To me, it feels like they’re changing things just for the hell of changing it.. Either that, or trying to appeal to a different crowd and thereby losing sight of the people who were content with the original design.
Maybe I’m just overreacting, by itself it doesn’t look bad at all. All the small changes just make me worry about how that will effect the overall feel. The controller is by far the most important aspect of a console in my opinion, and I’m very sorry to see the traditional design gone from the next generation.. Please consider releasing an additional model that is exact to the Dualshock3 in terms of size and design!! That way you could please both crowds.

lloydstar11 22 February, 2013 @ 4:37 am   65

this pad looks so cool

oVen0m3ss_ 22 February, 2013 @ 10:58 am   66

Sony, please take my money!


The stereo camera is a much needed addition. The PS Move was really killed off by the PS eye not being able to accurately understand depth perception. FPS & light gun games especially would see horrendous inaccuracies due to the camera. Oh and DS4 HELL YEAH


I love people who say “TAKE MY MONEY!!!” and don’t even know how much it costs.

New control pad looks alright, the touch pad will be interesting, I imagine it will make cross play with Vita games easier as they will now both have touch ability.

The rest of the unveil was so-so. It looks like a good console, but by next year it will be outdated by PCs (again) because the stuff they’re putting in it is a supercharged PC for today. But you can already by PC’s with twice the RAM and a bigger processor for £700, by the end of the year the PC’s could be cheaper than the console and deliver more… I always prefer a console myself, but it didn’t blow me away in any sense.

Glad we can use used games… annoyed that PS3 games and PSN games for my PS3 won’t be supported, because that means I can’t trade up. I need to keep my PS3 AND get a PS4. So for that reason I’m waiting a year, for a price drop and a game catalogue worth jumping for.


Like? Nothing much … But I can tell what I hate – that stupid worhtless Share button. Take this CRAP away from the direct button and tuck it away somewhere in the game’s menu where it will be not taking valuable space on the controller. Sheees …



cat-charlie 24 February, 2013 @ 12:47 pm   71

I’m so glad that they kept the symmetricalness of the PS controller! It is so awkward having one stick higher on one side than on the other!

Also I hope that there is a lighter controller, I really dislike the weight on the DS3 controller, I much prefer the weight of the sixaxis only version!

Gonna miss my Start and Select buttons though. *sniff*

AZUELOVE123 24 February, 2013 @ 10:19 pm   72

I cnt wait for this ps4 to come out i want to get the ps4 GAME…. (^_^)

GeordieNinja 27 February, 2013 @ 8:45 pm   73


The new controller looks great and well built. Will you be making any making of videos about the design process of the controller and the PS4? This would be great to see how much work and the different designs you were going through before the final form factor was decided.

Keep up the good work, the PS4 sure is looking good with all the new power and smart functions,, I cant wait for some more game reveals and information about the system. And please SONY don’t make us Europeans wait for it longer than any other continent. If it has to do wis laws and rules of the other euro countries then I understand the delay, but if its the language bit, just release the console with a warning that it only has english or Japanese menus and that there will be language updates coming with al the different countries languages, just a thought 🙂

Bring on wen ever the PS4 will be released. SONY putting play back in to games 🙂