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Cerny: Sony Prototyped Biometric PS4 Controller

Jonathan Lester
DualShock 4, Mark Cerny, PS4

Cerny: Sony Prototyped Biometric PS4 Controller

DualShock 4 Designed Around FPS Comfort

PS4 system architect Mark Cerny has revealed that Sony toyed with the idea of making a Biometric PlayStation 4 controller that measured skin conductance and galvanic response, but dropped the idea in favour of the DualShock 4, which was designed with first person shooters in mind.

In an interview with Stuff, Cerny stated that the PS4 controller was subject to "a long research project where we looked at pretty much any idea we could think of".

"Would it help to measure the galvanic response of the skin?," he posited. "We tried out a tremendous number of things - and then we went to the game teams to ask them what they thought they could use from the controller."

Biometric feedback could theoretically be used to measure player stress levels, factoring into games with AI directors (such as Left 4 Dead). Ultimately, though, the team opted to stick with a more traditional design, based around providing a comfortable FPS experience.

"Historically we have heard many times that our controllers have not been ideal for first-person shooters, so we wanted to make sure we had something that would be much better for that genre," Cerny continued. "We tested the throw of the triggers, the position of the triggers, how much pressure it takes. We looked at the joysticks, the dead spot, we looked at convexity and concavity." The end result, he says, "feels extraordinarily natural."

"I haven't heard a negative comment about it yet. For a controller with a very different form factor that was just amazing to see."

Matt recently tested the DualShock 4, describing it as a "comfy little fellow" but still bemoaning the central thumbstick positions.

Add a comment3 comments
DivideByZero  Jul. 16, 2013 at 13:55

"based around providing a comfortable FPS experience"

So, Mouse and keyboard then ;)

JonLester  Jul. 16, 2013 at 14:02

Heh, there is that. Some games will probably support mouse/keyboard - in fact, DICE are actually considering bringing mouse and keyboard support to BF4 on PS3 AFAIK, but are worried that it could potentially unbalance online play. I'd put money on a mouse over any console controller any day.

Personally I'm still slightly disappointed that Cerny didn't move the left thumbstick to a priority location (which would significantly increase comfort and utility for FPS play), but hey, at least it looks like a Cylon Raider. Kind of. Crossed with the Destiny Ascension from Mass Effect.

Last edited by JonLester, Jul. 16, 2013 at 14:05
DivideByZero  Jul. 16, 2013 at 16:33

They could have done Mouse and Keyboard with both the Xbox 360 and the PS3 but it never happened. If it does happen, then players on M/K will whip controller players as has already been proven a few times.

From Quake 3 on the Dreamcast to this: http://www.rahulsood.com/2010/07/console-gamers-get-killed-against-pc.html

Being a M/K player, I'm obviously up for it though ;)

Last edited by DivideByZero, Jul. 16, 2013 at 16:34

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