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DualShock 4: Guerrilla Games was Initially Skeptical of the TouchPad; Light Bar was Originally “More Out”

October 24, 2013 Written by Jason Dunning

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Continuing their talk with Toshimasa Aoki, Manager of the Product Planning Department, and other developers about the DualShock 4, GamesBeat went over a few of the remaining aspects of the new controller, including the TouchPad that’s smack dab in the middle.

One of the first games you’ll be able to utilize the TouchPad in is Killzone: Shadow Fall. Since the TouchPad can be pushed down like a button and sense exactly where you push down, Guerrilla Games has mapped four commands for the OWL drone to each corner. As Game Director Steven ter Heide puts it though, he was initially skeptical about the TouchPad. “You’d have to lift your thumbs off of the sticks to control it,” he said, “so what kind of things could you do with it? Would it feel gimmicky? How responsive is it? How accurate is it? Is the area large enough?”

In the end, he obviously came around and now believes “it’s one of those features that’s very forward-looking. We can come up with things that work right now, but maybe a year down the line, people will come up with more exciting uses and even better functions. They’ll integrate it even better into their games. It doesn’t feel like it’s something gratuitous or that shouldn’t be there.”

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Moving onto the DualShock 4′s Light Bar (green is good in Shadow Fall, yellow/orange is being shot at, red is dead) and how it relates to the PlayStation Move, Aoki revealed how “it’s a more simple PlayStation Move usage. Instead of detecting X, Y, and Z [axes], it’s detecting just X and Y – where you are in the room.” By getting rid of the Z axis, it won’t pick up depth, with Aoki saying, “We don’t want the controller to be flying around the room.”

Previous prototypes of the Light Bar had it in a more rectangular shape, but felt it was too bulky, so they went with the final design you see above. For the very first prototype, Aoki explained:

With the very first prototype, we had the light bar more out, so that you could see it from a top view. But several people mentioned that a lot of gamers play in the dark, and they don’t want something to be too visible. If it’s too bright and distracting, it can break [the game experience], especially if it’s a horror game. So we made it pretty subtle, more secondary. If gamers see it off their hands or on the floor, it’s nice to have, but they don’t have to look down to check on it.

Are you happy with the final design of the TouchPad and Light Bar? Let us know in the comments below.