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PlayStation Dual Shock 4 Will Work "Instantly" With PC

PS4 controller confirmed compatibility with PC right out of the box; mechanics of how still unknown.

In the (admittedly niche) world of USB controllers for PC, the Xbox 360 controller rules supreme thanks to its largely effortless integration and functionality with the PC. It simply works. With everything. Including games that were originally released for the PlayStation and have since been ported over to the PC.

I have never known such a blow to my brand loyalty as I did at that moment.

The standout example for this case, at least for me, is Final Fantasy VII. Released in 1997 for the Sony PlayStation and then in 1998 for Windows, it has arguably the biggest fan following of any released Final Fantasy title to date – which explains how often Squaresoft, and later Square Enix, would return to milk the franchise with new spinoffs, prequels, movies... and most notably, re-releases. Final Fantasy VII has been re-released once in 2009 on the PlayStation Network, in 2012 on PC Digital Download, and 2013 on Steam.

The original 1998 release was playable with keyboard controls... if you were a masochist, and enjoyed wholly unintuitive default keybinds. It was also controller compatible; the only reason I didn’t immediately pitch the disc into the bin. I played through the entire thing with a Logitech Dual Action with absolutely no issues, in spite of the fact that the original game pre-dated the dual joysticks and only had a D-pad.

With the release of FFVII on Steam, I was struck with the nostalgia (and probably the want-need-have berserk state Steam sales cast on me) and bought it. Booting it up and whipping out the same trusty controller combo, I found that it... simply wouldn’t work.

At all. I scoured the forums. I trawled the internet. I installed the programs that should have made it work, but didn’t.

Then I pitched the Logitech and picked up the Xbox 360 controller.

I have never known such a blow to my brand loyalty as I did at that moment.

Flawless. No issues. Perfect playability.

Time for some changes.

I won’t say that this Sony picked up on this particular moment of revelation of mine, but I do suspect that I am far from the only person who deliberately chose to eschew the “proper” controller configuration in favor of one that actually works. Enough so that Sony is taking steps to reclaim some of the PC market with its upcoming PlayStation 4 controller.

Through this short Twitter exchange, Sony President of Worldwide Studios, Sony Computer Entertainment, Shukei Yoshida announced that the new Dual Shock 4 will be PC-compatible right out of the box. 

The takeaway from this is that at least the basic functions will be available right off the bat, which leads us to assume that it will be integrated with a pre-existing generic driver already in the Microsoft database. 

It could, perhaps, use XInput from the Xbox controller, as pointed out by Joystiq since many non-Microsoft controllers show up as Xbox controllers on a Windows PC because they have the Xinput API, which the DualShock 3 does not. However, no confirmation would be forthcoming from Yoshida on this matter.

The folks at End-Gamers have a different idea, citing the bitter patent feuds between Sony and Microsoft and the general back-and-forth suing, which suggest that we should probably expect something else entirely. 

Whatever the case, the whys and wherefores will hardly trouble the majority of gamers, so long as it worksFor now, we are at least left with the welcome news that a new controller pad is coming to the PC game controller market... and will hopefully be good enough to take a swipe at the Xbox's throne. 

Published Oct. 8th 2013
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