PlayStation Universe

Project Morpheus responsible for DualShock 4 lightbar: 'we couldn't tell anyone what it was for'

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on 8 May 2014

". . . we couldn't tell anyone what it was for," said SCEE senior designer Jed Ashforth when revealing to TechRadar (via MCV) that the DualShock 4's lightbar was conceived solely for its use to Project Morpheus.

"The tracking light - it was our department that said we need that on. It was for tracking for VR," Ashforth explained. "And when all these things were coming out six months ago and everyone was going 'it's reflecting in my TV,' we were going 'oh no' because we couldn't tell anyone what it was for."

Caving under pressure to a great deluge of requests, Sony added the option to dim the lightbar in PS4's recent firmware update, 1.7. But the ability to turn it off completely remains a pipe dream, despite evidence that the lightbar shortens the DualShock's potential battery life by more than 50 percent.

In the months leading up to PS4''s launch, and even in the month since, I personally had a difficult time pinning Sony's vision for the lightbar. We were told it could indicate player number by color, or reflect things happening in the game--both true, though somewhat useless given the lightbar naturally faces away from the player. It was also branded as a substitute for PlayStation Move, able to sync with PlayStation Camera in the same way. But if that's the case, what's the point of continuing to market PlayStation Move to PS4 users?

Now, the truth comes out--the lightbar was conceived for the tracking it provides to virtual reality. More than likely, controller movement will be detected by PlayStation Camera and accurately reflected through movement of objects or your character in the virtual environments of Project Morpheus.

Are you satisfied with Sony's messaging about the DualShock 4 lightbar? Excited for Project Morpheus, or wary about the whole thing?