Light bar lighting the way

Being able to tell which player you are on PS4 vs PS3 is done in much more next-gen fashion thanks to the DualShock 4 controller's light bar.

The light bar's three LEDs, which can illuminate in various colors, replace PS4's four tiny red LEDs that were effective, but not very flashy.

Besides player identification, the light bar can interact with the PlayStation Eye and change patterns during gameplay to deliver messages of low health and minor damage.

Like the touchpad, we're taking a wait-and-see approach on how developers use the lightbar when PS4 launches this holiday.

Charges even when PS4 is asleep

Both the PS4 and PS3 controllers feature a microUSB port to recharge their lithium-ion batteries.

The ports are in the same exact location at the top, although Sony covered up the DualShock 4 micro USB with a security cable during E3. This ensured that the controller stayed powered during long demos sessions and that no one took it home with them.

Nevertheless, we discovered one difference between the PS4 and PS4 controller's battery: DualShock 4 can be charged even when its console is in sleep mode.

That's a relief because no one wants to charge their game-essential controller battery when their system is on.

PS4 gamepad vs PS3 gamepad
Included headset makes for easier online strategizing

Getting to the bottom of PS3's mistakes

The bottom of the DualShock 4 controller isn't as exciting, but it does feature a stereo headset jack built into the gamepad.

That's something PS3 designers didn't think about, even though Xbox 360 had one all along.

It gets better. Sony announced that the PS4 console will be bundled with a mono headset that gamers can use for communicating with fellow online gamers.

That may encourage owners of Sony's next-generation machine to actually use voice chat during games like Call of Duty more so than today's mostly silent PS3 online matchups.

Don't turn back in anger, I heard PS say
The exciting undersides of the PS3 and PS4 DualShock controllers

Getting a handle on things

Another reason the PlayStation 4 gamepad is more comfortable than its predecessor is because it has slightly larger handles that are more ergonomic.

Plain and simple, the DualShock 4 doesn't feel as cramped.

Take a PS3 controller in your hand and you'll notice that gripping it can be a tense experience. This is especially true with hours-on-end gameplay. Loosen that grip and that's how holding a PS4 controller feels.

Playing a PS4 game using the DualShock 4 controller is a much more relaxing experience, one that rivals what Microsoft has been doing for Xbox in more ways than One.