Submitted by KosmoCrisis 913d ago | article

How might developers use the DualShock 4′s touchpad?

Nick K writes:
"The touchpad in the center of the DualShock 4 presents a completely new way for PlayStation gamers to interact with their games. How will developers use this new input? It’s definitely not a new concept, but here are some of the ways we think devs might use it for PlayStation 4." (PS4, Tech)

iGAM3R-VIII  +   914d ago
I just can't wait until E3 to see what this controller feels like and what every single feature does.
dedicatedtogamers  +   913d ago
The controller has a "everything but the kitchen sink" design. I can somewhat understand the light bar on the back (based on Sony's groundwork with the Eye and Move) but a touch pad? We're not talking about a screen here, either. We're talking about a touch pad.

I have a hunch this feature will go the way of SixAxis, no offense Sony.
A2X_  +   913d ago
Ubisoft confirmed it's gonna be used to navigate through the phone in Watch Dogs. I think it's a great idea if implemented the right way.

Can also be used to navigate through menus. Lets just wait & see.
Cupid_Viper_3  +   913d ago
@ dedicatedtogamers

I disagree actually. The Touch pad is said to be "clickable" meaning that it gives you a better feedback than a touch screen would.

The modern controller is limited as it's hard to add new buttons to the current setup. And adding a touch screen would most likely require that one takes their eyes of the TV to look down, effectively slowing you down in fast-paced games.

The clickable touch pad seem to be the best compromise between extra buttons and a touchscreen. Meaning that you can keep your eyes on the screen and still quickly reach for the touch pad and click, similar to how you use a laptop really.


Yea you're totally right, people were indeed excited about SixAxis. But I'm keeping an open mind since the devs themselves had a lot of imputs in the design of the controller.

When playing FPS game and you're sniping in full zoom, I'm thinking you might just use the TouchPad if it's more accurate, and just click it down to shoot. I don't know, just thinking at loud here.
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dedicatedtogamers  +   913d ago
@ A2X

If that's all it will be used for, it just comes across as a gimmick. But hey that's just, like, my opinion, man.

@ Cupid

I didn't know about the "clickable" screen. That is indeed cool. If devs use it well, then they'll use it well and everyone will be happy. I guess, to me, in our world of 5" smartphone screens and the WiiU tablet, a small touch pad (yes, I know it isn't the same because it isn't a "screeen") seems like it would have limited functionality.

Let's not all just jump the gun here. People were enthusiastic about SixAxis, too...
GalacticEmpire  +   913d ago
Internet browsing.

It should work just like a touchpad on a laptop/notebook so browsing the internet will be a much better experience.
Cupid_Viper_3  +   913d ago
It can also be useful for traditional PC games likes the Civilizations Series and such where a mouse pointer gives you more options and stuff.

And I'm guess that such games would be compatible with the PlayStation Move controllers as well.
FunAndGun  +   913d ago
I think one of the main reasons for the touch pad is to make parity with the Vita.

If you have touch controls on Vita and on PS4 developers will have an easier time making games work for both devices without changing their vision for control schemes.
MurDocINC  +   913d ago
I think they should have placed it under controller sorta like vita. It would easier to reach and you wouldn't have to take ur thumbs of sticks/buttons.
BlmThug  +   913d ago
I think games like Gta and GT can utilise the Touch Pad for e.g Gta can use the touchpad as the phone and GT can use the touchpad for options during pitting such as what tires and how much fuel to refill.
Knight_Crawler  +   913d ago
Is E3 in Cali this year?

Also do you have to pay to get into E3?
perfectCarbonara  +   913d ago
Nah just walk in when you're in the neighborhood, door's always open :p
Donnieboi  +   913d ago
Touchpad should have been in the back so that I won't have to divert my thumbs from the analog sticks and face buttons. Or at least put a touch panel in the back while still keeping one in the front if people want one in the front so badly.
doublejj  +   913d ago
i really don't know what Sony was thinking about when they developed the new controller for the PS4 cause for one that touchpad is little too small for most peoples hands especially mines. another thing is i don't have a clue how the developers will utilize that feature that is a question we have to wait for the answer for at E3. if they wanted a touchpad they should've gone the route of the Wii U i mean why not everyone gets ideas from everyone in the game industry.
KosmoCrisis  +   913d ago
Remember that every change that has come to the DualShock's traditional design was said to be due to developer feedback and the forward progression of gaming in general. I'll be surprised if Microsoft doesn't include some sort of touch interface in their controller. Everyone copies everyone.
Cupid_Viper_3  +   913d ago
@ DoubleJJ
"for one that touchpad is little too small for most peoples hands especially mines. another thing is i don't have a clue how the developers will utilize that feature"

You're thinking the touch pad is small because you probably haven't taken a closer look at the DS4. The current DS3 has huge gap between the L1 and R1 shoulder buttons which the DS4 doesn't have as the new design bridged that space to instantly give the the Touch Pad 1/2 of new space.

Also if you pick up your current DS3 controller and run thumbs around the contour of the DPad or the face buttons, you'll be surprise by how much space you find. The touch pad has bigger surface area then the space carrying the face buttons or the dpad buttons. And besides, I don't the touch pad is meant to be used by both thumbs at once. So there's enough space in my opinion.
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doublejj  +   913d ago
you just pretty much said what i said person. im on board with Sony and i am going to get the PS4 when it launches look at my other posts if you can. i just don't understand the concept of the touchpad when they have the PS Vita, i realize that in order to utilize the features that Sony wants to incorporate but by the time the PS4 comes out gamestop will be selling the Vita used for a low price. i mean don't get me wrong i like the new controller but it looks a bit weird to me with the touchpad on it. Sony knows what they are doing.
WarThunder  +   913d ago
It would be great if they use the PS vita as a optional controller and make it similar to the Wii U touch controller.
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LilSimba  +   913d ago
they are
delboy  +   913d ago
Sixaxis feature says halo.
Nathaniel_Drake  +   913d ago
Wouldn't be cool if they use the touchpad to browse the web?
MasterCornholio  +   913d ago
Yep exactly what I was thinking. The touch pad on the DS4 will probably be used as a sort of PC mouse pad for some items plus it should enable pinch to zoom as well.

Regardless it isn't like a gigantic screen on the controller which is why it doesn't bother me.

Motorola RAZR i
ElementX  +   913d ago
Who browses the web on a console?
itz_zombies  +   913d ago
My pc broke.
I have to use my ps3 to browse the internet.
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torchic  +   913d ago
in Battlefield 4 it will probably be used for spotting, since the select button has now vanished.

I heard it's clickable right?

I can definitely see myself using it more than the d-pad for turn-based RPGs like Final Fantasy where you sift through millions of menus. I'd only use the anaolgue sticks to move around
torchic  +   913d ago
another way the touchpad could be implemented is in more simple $15 indie games on PSN.

a lot of people don't play video games because of being discouraged by the difficult controls. cut the middleman and you open yourself up to a broader market.

you could technically play flower. with only the touchpad. I see games being played with exclusive use of the touchpad.
ginsunuva  +   913d ago
It makes for easy touchscreen game ports; except you'd have to correspond your touch location to the screen
SpinalRemains138  +   913d ago
Quick swipe inventory or weapon wheel selections for sure.

Rather than menu screening or d pad pressing in Skyrim, one can swipe the pad and highlight desired whatever. Thats one use which could be very helpful.

Possibilities are abounding
No FanS Land  +   913d ago
swap parties mid-battle in an rpg, now that would be cool

I really like that pad.

finishing moves maybe.

and of course one feature that nobody has thought yet that an indie dev will use, selling well past 2Million copies for that feature alone, hahaha, one can only dream.
Summons75  +   913d ago
I dunno but I could see an okami like game being amazing to use to touch pad to draw with. That's just went through my head though.
jjb1981  +   913d ago
I think the touch pad will make it easier to scroll and zoom into maps and look around. I just hope it isn't used to slice through foliage "zorro" style. That would destroy the immersion, especially with on-screen displays telling you the correct direction to swipe.
Indo  +   913d ago
I hope the Dualshock 4's touchpad will be put to use more than the PS3's failed Sixaxis. But the touchpad is a total plus along with the nicely upgraded Dualshock controller.
strigoi814  +   913d ago
Inventory like mouse scrolling i think will be better for it..
T-What  +   913d ago
could be used to draw things or write things, for example in Ni No Kuni the character uses a wand to draw shapes in order to do spells, it would be cool to draw the spells yourself, or another example would be Okami and how you used the brush to draw things. Or maybe you could use it to write words or ever as a thumb print reader on a locked door, I see lots of cool uses for it already:)
Veni Vidi Vici  +   913d ago
It would be nice if there was an option to be able to use it for aiming in shooters. I don't like analog sticks for aiming in shooters.
Mr_cheese  +   913d ago
I just thought, does the new DS4 have sixaxis?
laoboy_Smoke  +   913d ago
finger print scanning in videogames would be pretty cool IMO.
clintagious650  +   913d ago
Imagine using the touch screen to knife players in COD instead of pushing in your analog stick which can fu*k up your analog stick. Would be nice.
nevin1  +   913d ago
I wonder the people in here that is excited for touchpad are the same ones that was excited for the sixaxis?
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cyclindk  +   913d ago
It's already been said a billion times over by now above, and I recall Guerrilla saying this as well, but Menu navigation, or certain aspects of the UI where it would enhance how you use it.

For some reason I didn't even consider this at all! I guess I was stuck in the idea of the D-pad or joysticks, but that little touch space seems perfect, hope it controls and reacts well to your touch.

As much as Sony DID announce, we really have a lot more to see considering they haven't really gone into any sort of full-scale demonstration of even ONE feature in full detail I don't believe.

Gonna be verrrry interesting in the coming months.
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Genki  +   913d ago
Right now, this is my only question mark concerning the controller. Everything else, and I mean EVERYTHING else about it is a step up from the classic design, from the handles and triggers, to the sticks and the d-pad. I just can't see the touch pad being useful for anything beyond menu screen navigation, personally. Any other functions I could imagine for it would be easier/more intuitive with the sticks + buttons...and the use of this touchpad would require that you take your thumb and fingers away from the sticks + buttons.

I think a possible alternative would have been to put the touchpad on the back of the controller, but that may require too much dexterity, so who knows? Just like rumble and motion control; however, I don't think it detracts from the controller in any form or fashion, be it functionally or aesthetically. However it is employed, I hope it is employed well and taken seriously by developers, and not shoved to the side like the sixaxis controls were.
Jag-T1000  +   913d ago
That touchpad is so small, you can't do $hit with it.
cyclindk  +   913d ago
I have an older Cricket phone with a touchscreen and slide down keyboard and the screen is roughly the size of the one on the new PS4 controller and it works just fine.

And considering it is likely more of a tactile interface as opposed to one used for both viewing and interaction, the size shouldn't really be an issue.

It's larger than the joysticks and we use those just fine for navigating menus and such. It will all come down to how well it has been designed really, I think.
telekineticmantis  +   913d ago
As I've said before
you can use it in sword fighting games, use it as a automatic way to switch into secondary fire in shooters, but you can also use it to cast spells, as in draw a symbol in order to cast the spell.
cyclindk  +   913d ago
Wonder how sensitive it is, can it discern varying degrees of pressure? Multi-touch?

Can't recall, but does it actually emit light, or is it entirely devoted to being a mechanism for controlling what's on-screen?

Be cool if a game asks to "scan" your thumb print and you put your thumb on the little screen to open a door, or safe or something :)

What else... swipe functions, quickly raise a "visor" with, lets say, additional HUD overlays that you can swipe up and down to retract and lower at will. Like one attached to a helmet in a shooter.

Theoretically, it could also be the equivalent to adding another dozen buttons to the controller, they are simply in the form of a screen (if the screen actually lights up that is).
KosmoCrisis  +   911d ago
From the images we've seen and the actual controller in action on stage at the announcement event in NY and on the Jimmy Fallon show, it doesn't appear to light up.

If we assume the touchpad's functionality is identical to the back touchpad on the Vita, there is multitouch but no press sensitivity. Though, Sony has confirmed that the DualShock 4 touchpad doubles as a clickable button.

IMO, whatever the action being performed in game is, it better not be something that could have simply been mapped to a button. For example: If devs start mapping the jump button to the touchpad, how much would that suck to have to reach over the face button with your thumb, or take your hand off the controller to use your index finger just to do something that could have been done by pressing X.

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