I was under the extremely misguided impression I’d seen it all in the world of video games. I’m not sure how I could really account for a multi-billion dollar corporation putting a screen in the back of a controller but there we are, that’s exactly what Sony’s done with a new DualShock 4 upgrade.
With a number of third parties getting involved with expensive controller peripheries aimed at improving competitive, Sony has revealed its own solution - the DualShock 4 Back Button Attachment.
If you’ve seen those Scuf kits or anything like it you’ll know the deal. The DS4 Back Button Attachment locks onto the controller via the port at the bottom of the pad, aiming two extra reprogrammable back buttons and an integrated OLED display. The aim of the buttons is to allow users to have access to both more inputs and simultaneous inputs. Taking your thumb off the right stick (used for aiming) to hit O for crouch isn’t particularly efficient, for example. With the new buttons, a player can aim, fire, and drop to the floor simultaneously. Welcome to Drop Shot City: Population 1 Less Than a Moment Ago. Shudder.
The high-fidelity OLED screen sounds absolutely daft when it’s on the back of the controller, although the use of OLED technology should limit the battery drain. It’s used to show which inputs are mapped to the programmable buttons and up to 16 different functions can be cycled through. An on-screen solution would surely suffice but perhaps Sony knows something we don’t.
Coming so late in the PS4’s lifespan, this move has certainly raised a few questions about the PS5’s DualShock 5 controller. Is Sony planning to introduce two back buttons for its next-gen gamepad, for example, and is this a method of adding forward compatibility for current controllers? Perhaps, but we’ll surely see soon.
The DualShock 4 Back Button Attachment is out on January 24th in North America and February 14th in Europe, priced at $29.99/€29.99.