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