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Hands-on with Sony's PlayStation 4 and DualShock controller

Hands-on with Sony's PlayStation 4 and DualShock controller

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Several months after it was first revealed, we now know what Sony's PlayStation 4 looks like, and surprise: it's a black box. While we still haven't gotten to see the PlayStation 4 in action, we've gotten a quick look at both it and the DualShock 4, Sony's new controller. Where the new PlayStation is hard and blocky, the controller has gotten softer, with rounded sides and a matte black finish.

Practically, the basic controls aren't terribly different to the DualShock 3; you'll get similar springy triggers and a relatively similar feel, though the rounded (and somewhat more Xbox-like) shape will change the experience a little. The buttons are also slightly shallower across the board, and the dimpled analog sticks are much easier to wield, though it's not something you'd really notice unless you held both controllers side-by-side.

The most obvious change is the center trackpad, which appears as a box of shiny, stippled black in the center of the controller. It feels good and is easy to reach, but it's the kind of thing that seems likely to quickly get covered in fingerprints — not that it will make a dramatic difference.

On the front of the DualShock, you'll see a light bar that allows it to interface with the PlayStation Eye. The Eye should be able to track motion and tell the difference between different controllers in local multiplayer. Unfortunately, while the controller was on display and we briefly saw a PS4 on stage, neither was actually in use, meaning that the light bar's effectiveness remains largely speculative.

While the PlayStation 4 tower itself was sequestered at the back of the stage, we got a slightly closer look at it as well. Like the Xbox One, Sony has decided to go for a blocky look that's sure to draw the same comparisons to a VCR. But its design is surprisingly tasteful, with a rhomboid shape that makes it look like more than just another box. Of course, to some extent, it looks like a series of boxes, separated in the middle by a white light bar.

Sony PlayStation 4 controller hands-on images