Accessibility in controller designs has always been a difficult issue with some consoles. From the Nintendo 64 controller, which seemed to be designed for someone with three hands, to the hard edges and small controls of the original 3DS, console gaming can be tough to get into for gamers with mobility problems.
Sony is at least making some concessions to allow more customisation with a new attachment for the DualShock 4 controller. It adds two new programmable buttons at the bottom of the controller to give PS4 gamers more flexible controls.
The new attachment slides onto the DualShock 4 controller where the microphone usually goes. The two new buttons are within easy reach of where your fingers usually grip the controller. The buttons are programmable, allowing for sixteen different combinations of buttons across three different profiles. This allows for different button setups for different players or games. A small icon on the attachment indicates which profile is active.
Now, this new attachment for the PS4 controller does fall short of Microsoft’s Xbox Adaptive Controller. While the two new buttons can be mapped to any command, the rest of the controller’s buttons cannot be manually altered unless toggled in the System or individual game settings.
However, the main benefit for this attachment over the Adaptive Controller, and other premium gaming controllers, is the cost. This attachment will have a retail price of $49.95. That sounds fairly pricey, however compared to the cost of the more extravagant options, it’s quite a steal.
While many games and modern consoles fall short when offering accessible options for gamers with disabilities or who would prefer more re-mappable controls, this is at least a step in the right direction. If you are looking for more customisable controls for your PS4 and are on a budget, this attachment may be what you’re looking for.
The DualShock 4 Back Button Attachment will release on February 14th in Australia.