As Sony explained the hardware and software in the upcoming PlayStation 4 yesterday, two very important input devices -- the DualShock 4 controller and PlayStation 4 Eye camera -- also debuted. But Sony wasn't completely up front about how it will all work.
Fortunately, an official Sony press release (PDF) sheds further light on the two crucial pieces of PS4 hardware.
The Bluetooth 2.1+EDR-equipped Dualshock 4 controller follows the tried-and-true design used in previous generations of PlayStation controller design, but this go around comes with more new features than ever before. Oh, and it rumbles a little harder, too.
The DualShock 4's new light bar contains three color LEDs and corresponds with the PlayStation Move motion capture interface. The LED array can change colors to match the color of a character in a video game, or alert a player to an important situation -- for example, a flashing pattern when you near death.
Say goodbye to the start and select buttons: those old standards now live within the options button placed near the top. Nearby, a share button gives gamers the ability to stream live gameplay to UStream, upload recorded gameplay videos to Facebook, and other social options. Pictures provided by Sony indicate that the DS4 may sport a rubber (or etched plastic) rear for enhanced gripping and less fumbles.
Similar to the rear touchpad on the PlayStation Vita, the DS4 introduces a two-point capacitive touch pad (with the ability to click) above the analog sticks, which opens the door for some unique gaming interactions. The sensitive six-axis accelerometer/gyroscope makes a return.
Sound becomes front and center in this new design, as Sony integrated a small mono speaker as well as a stereo jack that enables a gamer to speak in a headset and simultaneously hear game audio emanating from the controller.
Other DualShock 4 features include improved analog sticks/trigger buttons, and the option to charge the controller even when the console isn't powered on. For those curious about finer details: the DS4 weighs about 0.6 ounces more than the DualShock 3, and the DS4 is only just a few centimeters different in width, height, and depth.
As for the PlayStation 4 Eye, well, it's a much more dramatic shift compared with the predecessor. The new bar-shaped Eye, of course, works with PlayStation Move (and DualShock 4) motion control, and looks on paper as a more suitable contender against a future version of Microsoft's Kinect. Why? Well, the Eye packs dual cameras that can individually capture 1280x800 pixel RAW/YUV video at 30fps (and 640x480 at 120fps or 320x192 at 240fps) each -- these figures stand way above the existing single-lens Eye and its outdated 640x480 video capture capabilities.
Those the dual-lens Eye can observe an 85-degree diagonal viewing angle (up from the previous 75 degrees) and should have little issue perceiving depth and the location of multiple players in a living room. For audio capture, the Eye can hear a great deal due to its four integrated microphones, which could make misunderstood voice commands a thing of the past. Gamers can also log in to the PS4 with the Eye's facial-recognition software.
Sony didn't announce availability or pricing for either accessory during the PS4 reveal, but stay tuned to CNET and we'll have you covered as things unfold.