Sony has maintained the concept of the DualShock since it’s inception more than 25 years ago.
It was a solid concept when it first hit the scene, and while it has been updated to fit new features of the consoles as they evolved, it has maintained the core features and buttons through iteration. But with the Xbox Elite controller offering unprecedented customization for decerning players, it was about time for Sony to make the jump and offer more flexibility, and they have with the surprisingly stellar DUALSHOCK 4 Back Button.
Out of the box, the DUALSHOCK 4 Back Button appears to be a very simple device, it is has a little circle screen in the center, and offers up two new bumpers you can add to your DualShock 4. By simply plugging it into the controller through the ports on the front (headphone jack area) the DUALSHOCK 4 Back Button will click in and work with no further setup required. It is an amazingly elegant solution to a problem and one that works better than expected.
Once plugged in, the DUALSHOCK 4 Back Button adds little weight to the overall feel of the controller. It feels natural in the hands, and the new buttons are easy to access and use. It felt almost like second nature, making the controller feel new, yet familiar at the same time. From the first time it was plugged in, and I was jumping into games I know and love, I made use of these new buttons, finally ridding myself of the dreaded L3 and R3 buttons for running or other activities in modern games.
The DUALSHOCK 4 Back Button can be set for any buttons you choose, with the selection requiring nothing more than a long press of the LCD screen, and using the buttons themselves to scroll through the available options. Once done, another long press of the screen and the DUALSHOCK 4 Back Button is programmed and ready to go. While I am a fan of the Xbox Controler Customization app, I have to say Sony’s elegant solution is a great addition to the controller. It is intuitive and easy to setup. Within 10 minutes, the DUALSHOCK 4 Back Button was calibrated to my taste, fully working and I was already in a game, testing it out.
Due to the ease of setting up, and how each game may need something specific — healing potion trigger, run, or special multiplayer toggle, etc — the DUALSHOCK 4 Back Button made things easy to jump between games, and within a few seconds had it ready to go with the new configuration.
I found with games like Bloodborne, or Dark Souls I used the DUALSHOCK 4 Back Button to it’s fullest, with easy doge access, or a quick perry that worked far faster than hitting one of the face buttons. It ultimately depends on your particular style of play, but with the simple design, anything programmed to these buttons was easy to trigger and use.
Best of all, the DUALSHOCK 4 Back Button is inexpensive, retailing for only $39.99 CAD. Yes, if you already shelled out $300 for a new console and another $70 for a new extra controller, this extra accessory does seem a bit frivolous but compared to the staggering $220 price tag of the Xbox Elite Controller Series 2, the PlayStation 4 Back Button is downright a steal in comparison.
All in all, the DUALSHOCK 4 Back Button is a great addition to an already legendary controller design. And, since sony has yet to release anything in comparison to the Xbox Elite Controller that is not from a third party, the options for customization, are limited. If you are looking for customization and love the DualShock 4, then the DUALSHOCK 4 Back Button just may give you what you are looking for.