The DualShock 4 controller has been tweaked to improve the level of comfort over the PS3 version, the DualShock 3. It may irk old-school gamers that Sony removed the “Start” and “Select” buttons in favour of “Options” and “Share” (used to share recorded footage and screenshots), but the redesign works well in practice. Tucked between the buttons is a touch pad which we found to be responsive and smooth.
If you own a PlayStation Vita handheld, you can connect it to the PS4 via a Wi-Fi network and play games remotely. It works very well as games are optimised to suit the Vita’s unique controls and you can turn on remote play without having to quit the game or reset the console. It can also serve as a second screen, which could encourage developers to treat the handheld as an additional touch-screen controller, similar to Nintendo’s Wii-U.
Although the PlayStation Eye motion-sensing camera is available as an optional extra, it’s not essential unless you’re playing motion sensing games such as Just Dance 2014
. If you buy one you’ll unlock a few extra features on the PS4 such as basic voice navigation and facial recognition.
While the Xbox One scores well for its capabilities as an all-around entertainment device, the PS4 earns its stars as a games console. Its streamlined approach to sharing, remote play and even the menu layouts suggest that if Sony adds more media functions later, the PS4 will still appeal primarily to gamers.