Here’s the whole story; this is a tale of the original PS4 launch. I have a launch day PS4. Both controllers I have are launch day controllers. For years I have experienced latency spices, and occasionally I would experience a complete loss of control. You know the kind I’m talking about; your guy starts running and aiming in places you didn’t intend for three of the most critical seconds in the round.
I want to be fair here, though. The Dual Shock 4 is my favorite controller. I hate anything that ever came out of Microsoft or Nintendo. The Dual Shock, and more specifically, the Dual Shock 4 is the only controller I would consider using on a regular basis. This is a testament to controller quality after fighting through years of lag. I loved the DS4 so much that I didn’t even contemplate anything else.
My setup has changed over the years many times. My ultimate setup always ended with me having the PS4 in an obscured position behind the wall mounted TV with its little head poking out to expose the USB ports. I am completely aware that an obfuscated PS4 could experience lag and latency via Bluetooth. However, these launch day controllers experienced lag even when in direct line of sight unless I was within three feet of the console.
Naturally, the solution for someone in my predicament would be to hardwire your controllers so you can keep your neat and tidy looking home theater setup when you’re not playing. Sadly, 1st and 2nd gen DS4 controllers do not allow you to play via USB. Even if you plug them in, they only charge via USB while being connected via Bluetooth. This is unquestionably mind blowing, and frustrating to boot. I had to either give up my tidy and compact theater setup or deal with the lag. Running a ten foot USB cable to my controller wasn’t going to solve anything.
On top of all this, my launch day Dual Shock 4 controllers experienced the famous rubber thumbstick issue. The actual rubber coating of the L3 and R3 sticks started to peel off and make playing unenjoyable. This is something that was remedied in the second generation Dual Shock 4 controller, so many of you have never experienced this.
This is where the new Dual Shock 4 comes into play. Not only are the sticks made differently as to prevent the whole problem with the rubber coming off, but its simple USB refinement makes pro-gaming a real possibility.
You can also see the lightbar from the front of the controller now, so games that offer feedback via the lightbar make sense. If you have low health while playing a game, the developer may make your light bar flash red. Previously, the light bar would be facing the TV, so you had no idea this was happening. Now you can see it from side of the controller facing you. This is irrelevant to me, but a nice touch nonetheless.
Now to the big finale of this review. The USB connectivity. This feature is a MUST HAVE feature for any serious gamer. I LOVE Bluetooth and the convenience it allows. I would play any RPG or MMO using Bluetooth. However, in an FPS game, or a fighting game, there is no substitute for being hardwired using this new Dual Shock 4 controller. The response time is extremely noticeable. Additionally, it solves my home theater issues. When I want to play a game that requires very quick responses, I simply hardwire the thing.
I have made substantially more kills and achieved substantially higher scores using the new DS4 controller when connected via USB. It makes that much of a difference.
I will warn you, though; it doesn’t automatically use the USB connection when it is plugged into our PS4. It took me a good half hour to figure this out. You need to go to your device settings and switch your controller from Bluetooth mode to USB mode. While in USB mode, your camera microphone and your controller speaker are disabled. I can’t tell you why this is, but I image it has something to do with memory overhead. Maybe in the PS4 Pro this will be different. However, this has no affect on me. I use the Sony wireless gold headset for microphone and audio.
So that’s the whole story. Buy this controller if you experience lag, need a second controller, or want to get serious about FPS and fighting games. I purchased this USB 3.0 A-Male to A-Female Extension Cable to reach the couch from my TV, and it works great for USB mode.