The Lightbar on the PlayStation 4's Dual-Shock controller cannot be turned off by players, Sony has revealed, though developers can choose not to implement it in their games.
Shuhei Yoshida, Worldwide President of Sony Computer Entertainment, confirmed over Twitter that the Lightbar will always remain switched on. Originally it was speculated that the Lightbar, which resembles the sensor on the PlayStation Move controller, may have been used to allow motion sensitive controls on the PlayStation 4. However, Sony has confirmed it will also have other uses.
If multiple Dual-Shocks are connected to the PlayStation 4, the Lightbar will change colour to indicate which controller is assigned to which player. The player one controller will glow blue, player two's will glow red, player three's green and player four's pink. The Lightbar will also be used for in-game functions; in Killzone: Shadow Fall, which IBTimes UK recently play-tested, the Lightbar changes colour to indicate the player's health.
However, since the Lightbar cannot be turned off, even if users are playing a game which does not implement it, it may be a drain on the Dual-Shock controller's battery.
The wireless battery life of the PlayStation 3's Dual-Shock 3 is around 15 hours of play time. Sony has not confirmed the battery life of the Dual Shock 4.
Testing the PlayStation 4 controller, we noted it felt much lighter than its predecessor, however, the face buttons and analogue sticks have been moved slightly, meaning it may feel slightly uncomfortable for long-time PlayStation 3 users.
The touch-pad in the centre of the PS4 controller was also awkward. Similar to the track-pad on the back of the PS Vita, it allows users to perform actions such as changing weapons by swiping with their finger. However, we often found it unresponsive or unnecessary, since the actions it performed could be much more easily mapped to existing buttons or the directional pad.