PS4 controller attachment adds customizable buttons to the back
When playing video games (on a console, at least), your thumbs are doing most of the grunt work. Most of your fingers are just lazing around on the back, so why not get them to pull their weight? That seems to be the rationale behind the DualShock 4 Back Button Attachment that Sony has just announced for the PlayStation 4.
The small attachment, which looks a bit like rebreather, clips to the bottom of the wireless PS4 controller. As the name suggests, it adds three back buttons – two paddle-shaped ones on the sides, and a big round one in the middle that’s also an OLED screen.
The two side buttons are fully customizable, so players can map up to 16 different actions to them. This basically amounts to choosing which of the buttons on the front of the controller you want to assign to the back. That could be pretty handy if you’re sick of the finger gymnastics of things like pushing the thumbstick in while tilting it upwards to make your character sprint.
So you remember what each button does, the OLED screen in the middle will show the symbol of what’s currently assigned. If you want them to do different things in different games, you can also set up to three profiles, switching between them quickly using the middle button.
Because it clips over the bottom of the controller, the attachment covers up the headphone jack. So Sony has added a new port on the bottom of the attachment, letting audio pass through. The company says that the attachment is compatible with any and all PS4 and PSVR games.
The Back Button Attachment is a good, if not entirely new, idea. Sony has already tinkered with inputs on the rear of its devices with the touchpad on the back of the PlayStation Vita, and Microsoft put similar customizable paddles on the back of the Xbox Elite Controller. Still, it’s a welcome addition to the already-great DualShock 4 controller.
The Back Button Attachment will launch in the US on January 23, 2020 for US$29.99. Check it out in the video below.