Sony's redesigned Playstation 4 controller isn't just about frilly new features like the touch panel and a Share button. At the Game Developers Conference this week, Sony revealed some under the hood improvements that should be a boon for fans of first-person shooters and competitive multiplayer.
As Ars Technica reports, the dual analog sticks will be tighter on the PS4 controller, so there's less of a dead zone and a better sense of control. Anyone who's used a PS3 knows that the controller's convex sticks are quite loose. Tighter, concave sticks will be a welcome change.
Sony is also eliminating analog pressure sensitivity on the face buttons and directional pad, a seldom-used feature on the Playstation 3 controller. By going digital, Sony can reduce latency for these buttons.
Sony previously revealed that the PS4 controller includes a headset jack on its bottom edge, similar to the one on the Xbox 360 controller. Each Playstation 4 will include one mono headset and microphone, which should make voice chat much more common online.
The result of all these changes should be a better experience for shooters and online games where precision is of the essence. Controls will be tighter, response time will be faster and voice chat will be the norm. And because the PS4 isn't hampered by a lack of RAM, players will finally be able to chat with each other across different games.
Sony has also revealed a bit more about the Playstation 4's Eye, and how games might use the peripheral's dual cameras. Developers will be able to adjust the level of exposure and other parameters on each camera, so for instance, one camera can use high exposure for augmented reality in a dimly-lit room, while the other can use low exposure to track light from the Playstation Move or PS4 controller. Developers can also dial down the resolution on the Eye cameras to get faster response times.
Plenty of questions about the Playstation 4 remain unanswered, including the price, the release date, which games it will launch with, and what the actual hardware will look like (though we know just enough about the internal components to roughly compare the PS4 against modern-day gaming PCs). Sony may fill in some of those details at E3 in June. TechHive editors will be there to bring you the news as it happens, if it happens.