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Angry Birds: Star Wars' PS4 features aim to 'sell that couch experience'

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Activision believes Angry Birds: Star Wars is a good fit on PlayStation 4 due the multiple control options available when using the DualShock 4, most notably it's central touchpad, producer Matt Hohl told Polygon.

Hohl explained that Activision was attracted to the DualShock 4's central touchpad, which can be used to launch Angry Birds and activate their special attacks. The most feather-light touch will activate the touchpad, which in my hands-on time with Angry Birds: Star Wars proved to be highly sensitive. Once the bird has been launched, clicking the touchpad will activate special attacks like a lightsaber or force push, depending on the character. The title also features a cooperative mode in which players can take turns shooting birds into the pig-infested fragile landscapes.

Hohl said that after seeing positive reviews for Angry Birds Trilogy, the publisher thought about ways to make its Angry Birds games appealing for next-gen consoles. The PS4's controller, with its central control pad, made the addition of optional touch controls possible, something the company believed would be appealing to younger players and add a layer of strategy for newcomers unfamiliar with traditional controller inputs.

"It was something we wanted to take advantage of," he said. "PlayStation Move, control pad, touch screen, Vita Remote Play — it's a lot."

Hohl explained that despite Angry Birds being a casual series and a strange fit for couch gaming, Activision believes the series has found a real foothold on consoles.

"When we first released it, we wanted to make sure there were fans on the console space that appreciated it and liked it," Hohl explained. "When you think of Angry Birds, you think about kids — it's the first game they learn to play; they can use a touch screen long before they can use an analog stick or d-pad. But it's also a game that gets parents back into gaming — they played games when they were kids, and now they're gaming with their kids.

"We're seeing a lot of people really enjoy Angry Birds on console as a family game," he added. "They can all play at different skill levels but still play together. This is why we added a co-op mode and multiplayer — we really wanted to sell that couch experience."

Angry Birds: Star Wars is also compatible with Remote Play; players can shoot and control the birds using both the front and back touchpads on the PlayStation Vita. The game will launch alongside the PS4 this Friday, Nov. 15.