: Opinion Exchange: Dualshock 4 Touchpad

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Opinion Exchange: Dualshock 4 Touchpad

It's good to drop all pretense of objectivity now and then.

I've got my own thoughts on the Dualshock 4's touchpad, but first a history lesson. The main feature of the PS3's Sixaxis was mostly a disaster yes? I admit I thought it was kind of cool at first.

My first PS3 game was Folklore and there were some clever uses for ripping the souls out of enemies, but things just got worse from there.

It was unwieldy directing arrows and cannon balls in Heavenly Sword, useless in Lair, gladly dumped from Uncharted, and every time the occasional game told me to shake the thing I preferred not to. There were still a few successes now and then. Heavy Rain pulled off some tense moments with it and Flower wouldn't have worked without it.

When it comes to the touchpad experiment on PS4 I'm not yet convinced, but I don't hate it. Having an extra button is never bad, and it can serve to any game's desire for an obscure function. The 4-directional swiping to use OWL gadgets in Shadow Fall felt kind of awkward to me. What I do like is when basic movements are used intuitively so that they match what's happening on screen. Being able to quickly strike up a torch in Tomb Raider by flicking upward just feels right. Apparently we will do a similar side-swiping motion to open doors in Second Son, which really makes plenty more sense to me than slamming the X button repeatedly. Also I'd like to think Quantic Dream will be able to make masterful use of it in their next game.

Enough about me; time for you all to weigh in. For those of you who have taken the PS4 plunge tell us what you think about the the latest addition to the Dualshock. Is it a gimmick on borrowed time or a welcome feature with much promise?

2/26/2014 David D. Nelson

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Comments (50 posts)

Knightzane
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 10:14:22 PM
Reply

Don't like the touchpad. All I need to say.

Did like the six axis, I use it to drive stuff in GTAV and whatnot. It was also cool in HAZE.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 10:55:15 PM

It was so awful flying the helicopter in GTAIV

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Killa Tequilla
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 11:17:59 PM

@World, I disagree, I could fly just fine with no problems and land almost anywhere with accuracy. I was also one of the few people who was good at killing players using the Annihilator. I don't know if you ever hopped online...

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 11:27:13 PM

felt like flying a refrigerator for me

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 11:34:41 PM

GTAIV sucks...

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Banky A
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 11:35:01 PM

@Killa

Our helicopter flying skills were OP to the max indeed. Was skeptical at first but then saw light. Free mode was never the same again :D

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 10:17:54 PM
Reply

Great article World we tend to forget the sixaxis feature for the Dualshock3. I loved using the Sixaxis in Folklore. What a great game that was and sadly not played by many.

I see the touchscreen having more longevity than sixaxis. Having said that maybe it's my age showing but not everything needs a dash of innovation. I will never be in favor of motion controls.

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 10:34:47 PM

Yeah that's the big difference is the touch pad is an alternative bonus for developers and consumers. Not a necessity like the move setup to play certain games.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 2/26/2014 10:35:01 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 10:56:49 PM

Thanks this idea seemed like a no-brainer since everyone wants to talk about what they personally think anyway. I'll do more.

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 11:14:27 PM

Please do, Ben is busy enough maintaining this site. I think he deserves an award for all that he does.

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Killa Tequilla
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 11:18:58 PM

Ben needs more recognition.

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 11:35:37 PM

Akuma how could he not find that offensive? I feel you're trying to be pissy.

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Killa Tequilla
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 11:43:28 PM

LVertigo, if you're talking about me, I didn't mean that in a negative way. Ben does a lot of work around here.

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 11:47:23 PM

I said Akuma. I was responding to his post. It was deleted. Either by him or an admin. I wasn't referring to your comments, no worries.

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Killa Tequilla
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 11:58:56 PM

Aha! I see.

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Underdog15
Thursday, February 27, 2014 @ 9:23:27 AM

I'm glad it was deleted. Going off topic to compliment someone quickly, as LV did, should in no way invite offensive criticism.

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Dell Taco
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 10:32:50 PM
Reply

I think the touchpad will have its place with the ps4. As more independent developers make new games with the ps4 in mind we may get some cool uses out of it.I don't dislike it at all like I did with the sixaxis feature, but flower was the exception to that dislike.

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 10:33:02 PM
Reply

I had some good times with the six axis. That's all I used in LAIR so I wouldn't say it was useless.

I really like the touchpad when it's implemented. I think the way it was used in KZ was fantastic and I'm sure more developers will catch on to that. It's not a focal point for games either so if you don't like it you don't need to use it. For instance you CAN use it to zoom in and out and scroll around the map in AC4 but you don't have too. Both ways are quick and both are accurate. It's not like the move where you need motion controls, so this is a huge bonus on top of a great controller already.

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 10:44:11 PM

You played Lair.... ::snicker::

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 10:58:19 PM

Well I found it very difficult and there was a lot of gamer rage until they patched it to work with the sticks, which might have worked even worse lol.

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 11:15:43 PM

I'm not gonna lie I enjoyed LAIR and I enjoyed playing it using the six axis.

It wasn't great but it was cool for the time being. If I played it now I'd probably punch something I'm sure. ;)

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 2/26/2014 11:17:25 PM

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 11:16:36 PM

It's okay, I love Norbit.

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bigrailer19
Thursday, February 27, 2014 @ 1:00:42 AM

Never seen it. Too much Eddie Murphy...

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Norrin Radd
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 10:50:20 PM
Reply

I really liked it in KZSF & I thought it was also well implemented in TR. I think there was an opportunity missed for better use in AC:IV, but I can't say how or for what. Oh well.

I guess it really depends on the developer and what they use it for. I like having an extra control input that only requires my fingers to move and not my hand or arm as well. Looking forward to using it in ISS!

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daus26
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 11:03:56 PM
Reply

They need to get it working flawlessly with the internet browser.

My problem is that the touchpad is not as natural in feel as I'd hope it'd be. I definitely don't hate it though, and I'm always open for extra buttons and options. Now as always, it's the developers that really decides how well the touchpad can turn out.

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akmdpc
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 11:12:41 PM
Reply

I read a review of the FFXIV PS4 beta that really liked the use of the Touchpad for mouseovers in the UI. Seems like a perfect fit to me.

OT I'm really intrigued by FFXIV on the PS4. If I hadn't sworn off MMO's, I'd be playing the beta right now.

Edit Grammar

Last edited by akmdpc on 2/26/2014 11:13:51 PM

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 11:16:05 PM

You're in for a real treat. I've been playing it on the PC since this Summer and it's a true Final Fantasy game. I'll be transitioning to the PS4 once it's released.

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Killa Tequilla
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 11:22:15 PM

The PC is a lie and it is clouding your judgment, LVertigo. You need to perish it to hell before it becomes too late.

JK

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 11:24:18 PM

HAHA, never...without the PC, consoles wouldn't have a benchmark to shoot for :)




Last edited by LimitedVertigo on 2/26/2014 11:24:27 PM

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daus26
Thursday, February 27, 2014 @ 12:33:28 AM

PCs are powerful, but it always seem they have to wait for consoles to really upgrade the game's visuals. For example, games like Battlefield 4 shouldn't have to wait for the arrival of the PS4/Xbone to achieve Frostbite 3. That also includes visuals from NBA 2k, Call of Duty Ghosts, and Need For Speed. As powerful as they are, they are always on par, which isn't surprising because devs don't bother optimize the hardware as much as consoles. Of course, you would always get the advantage in fps, resolution, and textures in PCs, but it's not a different generation of a difference.

So yeah, I think it's the other way around. I think PCs wouldn't have anything to aim for if it weren't for console games being optimized and looking good. Then what the PC version does, is have that room for extra resolution, textures, etc, but it's not really ground-breaking features like adding polygons or a totally new engine.

Last edited by daus26 on 2/27/2014 12:39:05 AM

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LimitedVertigo
Thursday, February 27, 2014 @ 1:00:40 AM

NBA 2k, Call of Duty Ghosts, and Need For Speed are all console based games that have never been known to excel at the PC level. So I don't think any of them are good examples of what you're trying to get at. I don't have a clue what you're referring to in regards to BF4. PC has always been a step ahead of consoles in the graphics department. It isn't mean to flame but rather just state an obvious fact. You're foolish for even suggesting consoles push PCs when I've been enjoying PS4 graphics months before it was released thanks to my PC.

In the end it comes down to the gameplay, not the graphics and for that I will always favor my playstation over my PC if I had to choose.

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Underdog15
Thursday, February 27, 2014 @ 9:40:40 AM

I'm also loving FFXIV.

On Malboro Server. Lots of fun. I've got a bunch of classes to lvl 50 now.... White Mage, Black Mage, Bard, Warrior, Botanist, Fisher, Alchemist, Leatherworker, and Weaver.

Wonder what I'll level next....

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daus26
Thursday, February 27, 2014 @ 2:05:26 PM

Months before? That pretty much solidifies my point. I'm not taking sides, but it's obvious what I'm seeing here. If you were to say years, then I'd think otherwise. PC always has the advantage in hardware, but does it really matter if it's not being pushed? All I'm saying is when consoles up their game, so does PC. It's not so true the other way around. Just look at games like inFamous, Watchdogs, and 1886. PC could probably pull off graphics like those years ago, but they didn't. There aren't even PC racing sim games till this day, until Project Cars that can rival Gran Turismo on the PS3 in terms of overall visuals.

Console based games or not, it shouldn't matter. They're games. They make up for the majority of the games PC has, and they're what a lot of people play. And further proving my point, these console games are being pushed the same time as consoles, so that's why I'm disagreeing on the fact that consoles are being pushed because of PC. Technology from a technical stand point yes, but in the gaming industry, it just seems like its the consoles pushing PC. While consoles remain the same, PC gamers have to keep up with upgrading the hardware every two years or so to try and keep up and "slightly" exceed console games.

What I want to see you prove is to name me a PC (console based or not) game that can pull of PS4's graphics like inFamous, 1886, or DriveClub years ago, like in 2010 or something, not months. Like I said, a "generation" of a difference. If it was really PC pushing consoles, then PC would be leading the charge in next generation visuals, and not waiting till months before/after next gen consoles. It would be PC pushing the consoles pace, but seeing as ps3/360 lasting for over 8 years now, they're going at their own pace.

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Underdog15
Friday, February 28, 2014 @ 11:39:49 AM

That's not really true, Daus. PC's are capping off a bit now. You don't see the same strides as you used to because we're reaching the peak of what silicon can accomplish. And Carbon Nanotube technology, although capable of just... inSANE speeds, it's not well harnessed yet, and we won't see them in public consumption for quite some time.

In other words, the gap PC is capable of stretching out is thinning quickly. On top of that, developers will not wish to miss out on multiple platform sales. So while some games will be PC exclusive and -COULD- be developed for extremely high end PC's, the market is amazingly restricted.

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Xombito
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 11:28:34 PM
Reply

For extra functionality, I think it works great. I had no problem with it when playing KZSF. This and stuff like Tomb Raider's torch lighting is probably the extent of which the touchpad will be used for down the road in my opinion.

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Akuma07
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 11:36:07 PM
Reply

I found the touchpad controls for Killzone to be quite nice, responsive too.

The map controls in games like Assassins Creed weren't better than using the thumbsticks though. It wasn't very accurate at all.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, February 27, 2014 @ 10:07:56 AM

For some reason taking my thumb off the left stick to activate shields busted up my rhythm.

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CrusaderForever
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 11:50:39 PM
Reply

I think it's a great feature. I use it without issue. Having an extra button or a way to use a mouse pointer or select different items for example in KZSF works very well. I am also happy that it actually works and is very responsive. I never have to swipe twice in KZSF to achieve the desired result.

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johnld
Thursday, February 27, 2014 @ 12:25:11 AM
Reply

im not sold on the touchpad for killzone, probably because im not used to it. i didnt like taking one hand off the controller to swipe the bot feature because it happens alot when im in a firefight. a back touchpad like the vita might work because i can use theother fingers to trigger it. again, its probably because i havent played muchgames that use them differently.

i did find it annoying that i had to press the bottom right of the touchpad to get it to work in ff14 beta. i keep pressing the center and nothing will happen.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, February 27, 2014 @ 10:08:41 AM

yeah that my thing too

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Kryten1029a
Thursday, February 27, 2014 @ 1:34:17 AM
Reply

It's worked well enough for me although most of the time I forget that it's there.

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PlatformGamerNZ
Thursday, February 27, 2014 @ 4:22:08 AM
Reply

it's okay sometimes i'll admit its abit anoiying but the games that i've used it with mostly BF4 and AC4 it works fine in fact it was quite useful to pull up the map or the battlelog to check the map and my overall stats respectively and see where i am and where i want to go and then if i've improved or gotten worse respectively again. so i think it really depends on how it is implemented the KZ:SF it was a bit tricky to get how to use it properly so yeah but i think it really depends on how it is used or implemented in the each respective game so we'll see how it goes.

happy gaming =)

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Harerazer
Thursday, February 27, 2014 @ 7:16:32 AM
Reply

It's so underused that I don't feel it can be rated accurately. The ideal use is as a mouse (for the web browser, desktop, etc) but Sony somehow didn't see that. I used it in Warframe and it was OK but not overwhelmingly so. I could have gotten along just as well with button presses.

The reason button presses work so well is that we want the activation of the events to be "on" and "off". You want to swing your sword? Press the button and it's swung. It would be like wanting to turn on the lights in your house but you had to trace a line from the lightswitch to the appropriate light fixture to direct the electricity flow. In theory it might sound cool but nobody really wants to be bothered.

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shaytoon
Thursday, February 27, 2014 @ 9:26:15 AM
Reply

i have mixed feelings. i first experienced it in ghosts and thought ok, not bad, it has a purpose there. then i never used it until thief, meh its still ok. it feels awkward at times even though they put it to more use in that game.

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Palmetto
Thursday, February 27, 2014 @ 10:42:00 AM
Reply

Waiting to see how RPGs use the touch pad before I form an opinion. Right now I feel like it is barely being utilized, definitely not to its potential.

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The CEO
Thursday, February 27, 2014 @ 8:29:33 PM
Reply

I want a PS3 version of the DS4 controller minus the touchpad and light. I know the DS4 works on PS3 but only wired. It's tough going back to the DS3 once you have played with the DS4. As for the article I'm undecided about the touchpad.

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Mounce
Thursday, February 27, 2014 @ 11:07:13 PM
Reply

Yea, flicking the trackpad UP to 'Lift up' a door you're trying to open like say, in Castlevania, or open a sliding door left/right would feel pretty decent.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, March 01, 2014 @ 12:26:19 PM
Reply

Meh...don't need it.

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Caanimal
Sunday, March 02, 2014 @ 12:21:45 PM
Reply

Just want to say, when done wisely the sixaxis was great, I loved it's use in Lair, although in Heavenly Sword it was quite the pain, they should have slowed time instead of giving you like 2 second to control an arrow. I think most games just didn't implement the use of the sixaxis very well.

As for the DS4 touch pad, I'm rather liking it's use in Thief and thought it was put to good use in Assassin's Creed. Again, as long as it's properly implemented and not just "tacked on" then the feature will do well...

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ajm77
Sunday, March 02, 2014 @ 4:45:38 PM
Reply

I don't chime in on this site often, but I just have to say I love Thief's use of the touchpad. It feels like its making something easier to accomplish, and isn't clunky or intrusive. I like the whole idea of the touchpad and hope more games can find intuitive uses for it.

Last edited by ajm77 on 3/2/2014 4:46:38 PM

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