I have a DualShock 4. Ask me anything!

  • Posted October 29th, 2013 at 11:37 EDT by Kyle Prahl

PlayStation 4 might be a couple weeks away yet, but you can get a DualShock 4 right now. I'm living proff! The controller I've had pre-ordered on Amazon since the bus ride back from Sony's E3 2013 conference came in the mail today, and I've been bouncing around the apartment like a giddy PlayStation schoolboy all evening.

I've held the DualShock 4 before, of course, having played several PS4 games for preview at E3. But there's something extremely significant about actually owning one. There is a PS4 controller in my house, on my desk. This is a real thing. PlayStation 4 is happening.

Heck, I can even use the controller, albeit in a rather limited capacity. A handful of PS3 games work with the DualShock 4 when it's plugged in, but I needed to find a cable to use. After all, standalone DualShock 4 controllers don't include the required USB cable--you'll need a PS4 console for that. So, I commissioned my phone charger, sat within a couple feet of my HDTV, and tried it out with Crash Team Racing. It worked. Every fiber of my being smiled.

But now, I'm sitting here with only a DualShock 4 controller and my thoughts, which are rapidly descending into dark places. Just kidding. Mostly, I'm beside myself with excitement for November 15, when I'll finally have a full-fledged use for this thing and the cable to match.

Some of you reading this have a PS4 pre-ordered. Others have a DualShock 4 pre-ordered in addition the console. A few of you might even have that controller already. Nevertheless, I extend an invitation: ASK ME ANYTHING!

If you've seen or been part of a Reddit AMA, you know how this works. Drop a comment below with any question about my new DualShock 4. Want to know how it feels? How heavy it is? How its size compares to other objects? What place of honor it will hold in my next-gen entertainment hub? Ask away! Drop a comment below, and I'll watch this article like a hawk for your queries. For the next couple days, I'll respond to as many questions as I can and highlight the best ones in this very article.

Give me a request! Demand photos! Test my knowledge! Ask me anything!

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Alpha2 asks:

1. How heavy does it feel compared to a Dualshock3

2. Have you tried it with any PC games to see how well they react to it? If not, try.

3. Does the texture feel like the DS3? By that I mean does it feel like a year or two of use will cause it to get rubbed shiny? (In comparing my oldest DS3 to one I got last week, the difference was ludicrous. It's like I polished the old one with daimonds.)

Kyle says:

Hey Alpha. Thanks for your questions.

1. It feels ever so slightly heavier than the DualShock 3. If I had to guess, I'd say they were only a dozen or so grams apart. Very familiar.

2. I haven't tested with PC games yet, mostly because the only cable I have that fits the controller is about two feet long.

3. The bottom surface of the controller and underside of the handles is a different rubberized texture than the top. I would imagine that, just like DualShock 3, the top surface might experience some polished wear over time, but I feel like the bottom and its textured material would be more resistant to that--though I imagine it will eventually smooth down a bit.

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ChesterPL asks:

Can you plug in ANY stereo headphones to port in the controller or is it properitary port dedicated for mono headset that is shipping with PS4?

Kyle says:

You can definitely plug any traditional headphone jack into the DualShock 4's port--just tried it with my go-to over-ear pair. Sony has touted that the port will work with any pair of headphones on PS4, but all I can test right now is PS3 and PC. I haven't tried using my headphones with either, but I'd be surprised if it worked.

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mcain44 asks:

How do you like the new shoulder button triggers? Are they noticeably different compared to the DS3?

Kyle says:

I LOOOOOOOOOOOVE them. They have the same buttery smooth, totally silent movement as the DualShock 3's L2 and R2 triggers, but that new curvature is a good send. Pulling them feels like the most natural thing in the world. I haven't yet accustomed to the change in actual gameplay--I get the same sensation when a PS3 game puts shooting on L2 and R2 and it feels unnatural for a few minutes of play. But I'm looking forward to putting these DS4 triggers through their paces with Killzone: Shadow Fall.

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PS3-The Ultimate Machine asks:

1. How do the sticks compare to the Dual Shock 3? Do the rings on the convex sticks help or hinder the experience? Also do you think the stems of the DS4 sticks will experience the same "grind" as the DS3 sticks when rotated at full tilt?

2. If we plug a stereo headset into the DualShock 4 port, will all the sound be directed through the controller or will it be like the voice chat headsets on the ps3 where the sound's coming from the tv, and only voice chat comes from the headset? (Though I think this is more of a ps4 question than a DS4 one, still would be great if you could give any insight on that)

3. Is the underside of the DualShock 4 rubberized or is it like a textured plastic? i.e. is it soft-touch, or is it as hard as the top part with a different texture?

Kyle says:

1. The rings around the sticks absolutely help the experience-- there's no risk of my thumb actually sliding off after pushing forward for a long time, which is something I've dealt with in every prior DualShock.

2. You can opt to send all stereo sound--game, and voice--through your headphones on the controller. Sony recently confirmed this in a huge PS4 FAQ on the official PS Blog.

3. It's rubberized, but still very hard. There's no "give" at all if you try pressing into it--the only difference is that it feels more comfortable and has a very subtle "webbing" kind of texture to it.

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MartyRules asks:

Do they work on 360?

Kyle says:

Check out this article by Polygon on controller testing. Apparently, it doesn't work with 360 smoothly, but you can get it going with some aftermarket tech.

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Kyle Prahl is a PSU senior editor and a Communications student at the University of Minnesota. If you care about PlayStation or the life of a pale Midwesterner, you should follow him on Twitter.
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