PlayStation 4 was launched on the market in 2013, almost ten years ago. A generation later, a function of its controller, the DualShock 4, has helped create a device that will help bring video games to more people, and make interactive entertainment more comfortable and varied for players with motor disabilities. We talk about PlayStation Accessthe modular and configurable controller for PS5 that will be launched on December 6 for 89.99 euros.
In addition to testing the new controller, in Vandal We were able to attend a round table with Alvin Daniel senior technical program manager of Access. In the conversation it was mentioned that the development It started in 2018, two years before the launch of PlayStation 5, so the question arose as to how the controller was tested without the console existing. The first tests were carried out on PS4, but in an unorthodox way.
One of the keys to Access is that its buttons are configurable: You can indicate that they act as any PlayStation button, or that when you press it the command of two buttons at the same time is registered, or even that it is held down as if it were CAPS LOCK on a keyboard. But how to configure all this without an interface like the one on PS5?
Sony created a hardware to reconfigure buttons in Access prototypes
To do this, they developed an external device that connected to the PS4 controller. “The DualShock 4 has an expansion port”Daniel revealed. “It was never used for any product, but it existed. We took advantage of that expansion port to connect the device to the DualShock.” That is to say, The controller could power other devices.
“So now the DualShock can power anything and can be used collaborativelysince all button presses go to the device, from it they go to the DualShock, and from there it is transmitted wirelessly to PS4,” explains the engineer. “It was a very creative solution that allowed us to have button programming without any solution software“.
This had another secondary but very important benefit, as it allowed the team iterate on the mechanical desEsports Extrasof each controller, changing its shape, buttons and other components without having to create a new configuration device with each prototype. In fact, from Sony They proposed including the device in the commercial Accessbut in the end they decided that setting up through the PS5 interface on a large TV is a more accessible way to do it.