The PlayStation 4 controller is a radically improved DualShock, the sort of controller you might like so much you'd want to use it on other platforms too.
So the day after buying two of the controllers, we set about seeing what we could get them to work on. We tested the DualShock 4 on an Android tablet, an iPhone, a Windows PC, a Mac, an Ouya, a PlayStation 3, a PlayStation Vita, a Wii U and an Xbox 360.
The results? Well, the results were mixed.
The DualShock 4 synced up with a PC via Bluetooth as a generic wireless controller and worked like a charm in Steam's Big Picture mode. The Ouya, Mac and PlayStation 3 all worked using a micro USB cable, though the PlayStation 3's game support was oddly mixed and motion wasn't supported. The Android tablet synced using Bluetooth, but we couldn't get anything to work with the controller. The Vita saw the controller but refused to sync with it. The iPhone had no luck at all. Neither the Wii U nor the Xbox 360 wanted anything to do with the controller. (One person did get the 360 working with the controller with some after-market tech.)
A couple of things worth noting: If you buy the controller on its own, it doesn't come with its own micro USB cable. And to put the DualShock 4 into sync mode you have to press and hold the share and PS buttons until the light on the back begins a rhythmic double flash.
All of the tests we conducted made use of standard systems and software. In other words, I didn't try any modding, hacking or even any button-mapping software outside of what is built into Steam's Big Picture mode. And of course this is all being done before the official launch of the PS4, so drivers could be released for, say, the PS3 and Vita, to improve or add support.
Already there are plenty of people out there figuring out how to get the DualShock 4 to work better with different devices. A special thanks to Chris Gallizzi who helped walk me through the Mac syncing. He tells me he's working on ways to get the controller to work with both The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim and Fallout 3.
If you discover any neat tricks for getting these to work better with any particular systems, please drop them in the comments below.
Interested in getting a closer look at those PS4 controllers? Then you probably should check out this video.
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