The rumour mill has been sent spinning at full speed once again, set alight by a series of pictures that appear to depict the controller for the soon to be released PlayStation 4. While a multitude of PS4 controller pictures have appeared in recent days the observant will have noticed two distinctly different controllers have been captured.
The initial picture that set chins wagging was published by Destructoid and appeared to be the prototype controller. This image spread quickly to a world hungry for PS4 facts. A second picture surfaced shortly after the first and appeared to be the finalised controller, sleek and simple in keeping with its DualShock heritage.
Sony nailed the controller from day one of the Playstation family, the latest DualShock looks to continue to build upon its families rich heritage while also delivering a high tech face lift.
According to Sony insiders speaking to website Kotaku this initial controller was indeed the ‘Orbis Development Tool’, the controller included with the Orbis development kits. These controllers were produced over six months ago and are a purely functional product designed to allow developers to properly make use of the controllers new functions, it is not the final product however.
The second leaked photo however does appear to be the final retail controller that will be included with the PS4 once it goes on sale. Functionally it appears to be identical to the development controller but the design is far sleaker and more in keeping with the DualShock family.
The most reliable source of information regarding the PS4 and its controller is the Sony ‘Orbis’ technical documentation that recently made its way onto the internet. According to the documentation the PS4 controller will include a number of revolutionary new features along with the industry standard buttons and layout we have come to expect.
A Vita style touch pad will include a 2 point capacitive surface that will be situated on the front of the controller. The L2 and R2 buttons have been remodelled to improve comfort.
A share button is rumoured to be a new addition, allowing players to capture and share short bursts of gameplay, providing proper bragging rights to be assigned after the event.
RGB LED’s will be used in place of the older single colour LED’s of previous controllers. This will give each LED the ability to signify more information. The power LED will for example not just show on or off but the colour will signify battery level, shifting from green to red as the power levels drop.
The motion sensors have received a high tech upgrade with the latest tilt and shake correction now included, along with a Move mode that will allow the controller to be far more Wii like.
The most mysterious new addition is the LightBar, the purpose of which is unknown. As the PS4 controller will have a headphone socket and microphone it is possible the LightBar could be a touch style volume controller, but it may also be a multi function input used for other purposes as well.
The only real questions remaining are price and release date. Many rumours regarding price have been circulating lately, it appears the price will range from $399 to $499 USD depending on what part of the world you live in. The final release date will be announced shortly at the Sony release event (Feb 20), here at Highpants we hear a July launch is possible. With PS3 game sales plateauing Sony is keen to kick the PlayStation machine up a gear, expect the release to happen ASAP.
With the announcement and release of the PS4 fast approaching the final details seem to be solidifying, the fog may finally be lifting as the excitement builds. The next generation console war is about to heat up, ready to do battle for our gaming dollars. Can the PS4 beat Microsoft to the punch? Which machine will win gamers hearts? These are the questions for the days of our gaming lives, the soap opera electric.