Is that a powerful enough lead? I think it is. As our consoles get stronger, so must their accessories. Gone are the days of the Multitap, dance mat, G-Con 45 and so much more; Even though I would personally love to see dance mat and G-Con return.
Your schema of choice still resides within the standard controller, and then they do sh*t like trying to fit those other things into it. Wired controller? Don’t want it. We’re OTA now. Light-guns? It’s fine, we’ve got lights on our controllers. But you know what a controller could always do with more of?
And with the market seeing the likes of the Razer Raiju, SCUF controllers and yes, cough, the XBOX Elite Controller, PlayStation thought it time to do a thing; And the thing is more buttons for their DUALSHOCK 4 controller. This is in the form of the PlayStation Back Button attachment.
The Back Button attachment simply…attaches to the bottom of your DUALSHOCK 4 controller. Now I don’t know if you know, but I’m a big boi (working on becoming a thicc boi). And with big boi-ness comes big power; And I was so damn worried I was going to break SOMETHING trying to attach the back button piece. But this thing which somehow feels flimsy yet robust stuck it out, and sunk itself into the curvature of the handles with ease.
Once the DUALSHOCK 4 is powered on, the attachment receives power too. You press the compact digital screen on the back, which springs to life with blue vigor; Honestly, I was not expecting the screen to be as clear as it was. You then hold down this same screen-button which allows you to reprogram each paddle as your selected button. Not hard at all and you can save 3 profiles to switch through on the fly.
Overall the feel is…interesting. I personally found it cumbersome, but this could be because of my big boi hands. It could also be muscle memory; How indented that particular sensation when you grip the controller is, suddenly disturbed by something…new. And this in part plays on the use of the extra buttons. They’re good. Very good in-fact. I reprogrammed them to be L1 and R1 while using it within Fortnite Battle Royale. I suspected a game I play frequently, that requires a sort-of quick input to it for best play, would be a good test.
HAN SHOT FIRST.
Your index fingers fit snugly into the ridge of the Back Button attachment, so you can only imagine how fast input is. They’re at least…hella fast on the scale of fast. I was switching every item in my inventory like I was goddamned SONIC. But coming back to muscle memory, and a similar feeling to how I felt using the Raiju or Elite, I just couldn’t…adapt. It’s not to say I or you can’t adapt to it, but considering how you want to engage with games, especially at a competitive level, it’s irksome to lose that skill and agility you’ve already built-up.
So I switched over to PATAPON 2 to see how a title that I hadn’t adapted to would feel. And not surprisingly, it felt pretty great. Re-mapping the buttons to be X and square, it was a lot of fun to kind of have the pace of the game be met by buttons that were essentially where they needed to be. Yes, while it’s not drastic to throw your thumb between 2 buttons; Having the index fingers ready to go, just makes it work.
While I think this particular release is to market-test players moving on to the DUALSHOCK 5 (which already has a patent), it’s also a consideration of that end-of-life handover between the PS4 and 5. We already know that the launch titles for the PlayStation 5 will no doubt have life on the 4 also, so seeing this new type of control scheme handled between both is more beneficial to developers and Sony. Though it may not be for me yet, I should start getting a leg-up now on what will no doubt be the future of gaming.
Just don’t ask me to try to figure out how to use 100 buttons.
XENOJAY.COM was supplied with hardware for review by PlayStation NZ.