A closer look at the Sony PS4 and DualShock 4 controller

We take a closer look at the Sony PlayStation 4, just hours away from its official Australian debut

  • We take a closer look at the Sony PlayStation 4, just a day away from its official Australian debut.

    Some might argue the way a games console looks is irrelevant, since its sole purpose is to play games. However, that doesn't mean it should be an ugly eyesore. Sony has clearly gone for a minimalist look and its compact size is notable.

  • The best way to describe the PS4 is an angular black box. There's nothing that really stands out, aside from the glowing blue strip that runs along the top when the console is powered on. Even the power and eject disc buttons aren't immediately obvious and blend into the unit.

  • The angular design is simple but effective. The cut out on the front makes it easy to access the two USB ports and the PS4 logo on the front is carved into the plastic.

  • We like the use of both matte and gloss plastics, and Sony's attention to detail is pretty impressive.

  • The back of the PS4 has a HDMI port, an Ethernet port, an optical audio out port, and a proprietary port for Sony's PlayStation Camera, an additional accessory that's not included in the sales package.

  • The most impressive feat about the PS4 design, aside from its really compact size, is that Sony has built the power brick into the actual console. It uses the exact same power cable as the PS3 Slim, so if you're upgrading from that console all you need to do is swap out the old one, keeping your existing cables in tact.

  • The minimalist design has some nice touches, including logos printed on the sides, barely visible unless you're looking in the right light.

  • The bottom of the PS4.

  • While strange issue that seems to be a design flaw is the rubber feet on the bottom of the PS4. The console has two rubber feet but instead of being on both sides, one is the centre (pictured above) and the other is on the matte side.

  • If you place the PS4 on a flat surface there's no issue, but if you press down on it, the console rocks from side to side due to the fact that there's no rubber strip on one of the sides. It's not a huge issue and most people won't ever be pressing down on it, but it still seems like an odd design choice.

  • Here's the PS4, with its new controller.

  • The controller is a significant upgrade and re-design from the DualShock 3. It has longer handles that provide a more comfortable grip, the plastic feels of higher quality, and both the triggers and the analogue sticks are significantly more comfortable to use during general gameplay.

  • The longer handles are aided by a more rounded style.

  • On the top of the DualShock 4 controller is a light bar able that can display different colours. It's primarily used to identify different players for local based multiplayer games but there's no way to switch it off if you're not fond of it.

  • A large touchpad sits in between the D-pad and the famous triangle, circle, cross and square buttons. It's relatively responsive to touch but there's not many games at all that take advantage of its presence. We expect this to change once game developers work out a way to incorporate its use into future titles.

  • The analogue sticks are significantly more comfortable to use than previous controllers, and are aided by a raised, circular edge that prevents your thumbs from slipping off.

  • A standard 3.5mm headphone jack allows users to plug in most ordinary sets of headphones for quiet play.

  • The back of the PS4 controller.

  • The L2 and R2 buttons have a more pronounced curve than before, and the R1 and R2 buttons feel more responsive and accurate. The curved design means your finger doesn't usually slip off the triggers.

  • The Sony PS4 launches in Australia on Friday, 29 November and will retail for a recommended retail price of $549.95.

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