PS4 touch-sensitive DualShock 4 controller revealed (update: features, scale detailed)

Sony's next-generation PlayStation 4 will come with an all-new DualShock controller, the DualShock 4.

The controller will feature a touchpad, a Share button and a light bar, Sony announced at an event in New York City today.

Players can use the Share button to select a clip from the last few minutes of gameplay, tag it and return to playing the game while the clip uploads to the web in the background. This functionality will be integrated with Facebook. The Share button will also let players stream games in real time to services such as Ustream.

The PlayStation 4 has a stereoscopic camera peripheral, the new PlayStation Eye, that can sense the depth in front of it and sense the direction of the controller. The console's power button can be used to put the system in a sleep state, and with another press of the button, it will boot back up instantly and gameplay can be resumed from "the exact spot you left off," said Mark Cerny, lead hardware designer on PS4, during the press briefing.

Images of the new controller's prototype were leaked prior to the event, indicating a substantial redesign of the DualShock that has evolved over the previous three generations of PlayStation.

Update: Sony provided further details in a press release announcing the DualShock 4.

A speaker and stereo headphone jack are built into the controller. A mono headset will be bundled with the PS4; players can plug it into the controller for voice chat, and to hear sound effects being piped through the controller.

The DualShock 4 retains the Sixaxis sensor that was present in the PlayStation 3 controller, although Sony says it is a new, "highly sensitive" sensor. The light bar contains three LEDs that can light up in various colors to provide useful information to players. For example, the bar will be illuminated in the same color as a player's avatar to let them know which on-screen character they're controlling. It can also change colors to tell players that their health is low.

Sony has merged the traditional Start and Select buttons into a single "Options" button. The company also says it worked with developers to refine the analog sticks and triggers; the stick surface is concave, like on an Xbox 360 controller. The touchpad is a capacitive panel that supports two simultaneous input points, and the controller uses Bluetooth 2.1 for wireless communication.

Unlike the PS3's Sixaxis and DualShock 3 controllers, the DualShock 4 can be charged through the PS4 even when the console is on standby. Sony says micro-USB smartphone chargers can also be used to charge the PS4. The battery itself is a non-removable lithium-ion power source.

The current design, which Sony says is tentative, weighs in at 210 grams and measures 162mm x 52mm x 98mm.

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