Digital buttons, four microphone array, and more
Chris Norden, Senior Staff Engineer, gave a developer overview of the PS4 this morning at GDC 2013, with a section covering the controller and camera specifically.
Those belly button-looking sticks? Norden says that the analog sticks are tightened up and are more precise than the PS3. Even the top surface material has changed, though he didn’t disclose the material used.
The gyrometer is also more precise than the DualShock 3 or even the Vita, and the touchpad has a tactile click. It sports a 1920 x 900 resolution, and gestures are supported. Sony suggest UI navigation, cursors and more for this pad. Additionally, the light bar for the controller is always on. It replaces port numbers on the top of the DualShock 3, and can be seen by the new camera as an identifier.
A mono speaker is included on the controller as well, streaming audio directly from the PS4. A headset and mic are included in every box. The port at the bottom of the controller is used for voice chat with this mic.
L1 and R1 are digital buttons, as are the action buttons. Inside, there’s one “small” and one “large” motor, so expect some “cool effects” according to Sony.
R2 and L2 can now sit on a table so they’re not pushed when you lay them down. They’re a curved design with a smooth throw and linear output. Interestingly, PS4 controllers can be charged when connected even when the system is in standby mode.
The camera is all about enhancing the PS4 experience. It works in conjunction with the controller, says Norden. There’s two cameras inside running at 1280 x 800, 12 bits/pixel, running at 60Hz. It has an 85 degree wide angle view. There’s even a 3-axis accelerometer/ tilt sensor inside. A four microphone array will pick up voice and sound, and there’s a dedicated port for it — an exclusive SCE connector (so no PC connectivity it seems!).
HD wide-angle video, PS Move support, and speech recognition are all supported with this camera. Sony suggest using the camera to create easy walkthrough videos, and developers could use it to log people into the game quickly. They like the idea of people leaning in a racing game, or leaning to peek your head around the corner in an FPS.
Camera-only use can be likened to Eyetoy type games — for PS Move use, it works better than the PS3 camera — better tracking and sensing were mentioned.