Sony has released its first batch of redesigned DualShock 4 controllers at retail, giving PlayStation 4 owners a chance to upgrade their input devices without buying a brand new PS4 Slim console.
The upgraded DualShock 4 offers an additional light bar on the face of the controller, along with other features that address criticism leveled at previous hardware iterations.
The DualShock 4 is the standard controller bundled with all PlayStation 4 consoles, offering unique features like a built-in touchpad and a light bar that changes color depending on a player’s in-game status. With the the light bar located on the back of the device, many players fail to notice when the bar changes color, potentially leaving them unprepared for the in-game dangers it may signal.
The redesigned DualShock 4 now available at retail adds a second, smaller light bar on top of the controller’s touchpad, making it easier to read its cycling colors at a glance. The larger light bar along the controller’s back remains intact, as it is designed to interact with the PlayStation 4’s camera peripheral.
Previous DualShock 4 controllers also locked input to wireless Bluetooth connections, even if the devices were connected to PS4 consoles using a USB charge cable. Sony’s DualShock 4 hardware revision addresses this issue, allowing players to play games over a wired USB connection. A wired setup offers less latency than a wireless connection, potentially giving USB-connected players a slight advantage in multiplayer matches.
The upgraded DualShock 4 also features extended battery life compared to previous models. While Sony has not issued an official estimate for the length of the DualShock 4’s newly extended battery life, players claim that redesigned controllers can be used for around eight hours before needing a recharge.
Previously, revised DualShock 4 controllers were only included as part of PlayStation 4 Slim hardware bundles. This week’s widespread retail release makes them available to all console owners in North America. DualShock 4 controllers are available for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $60.