Sony’s Adding Back Buttons to the PS4 Controller With This Official Attachment
Sony today unveiled an official attachment for its Dualshock 4 controller, called the Back Button Attachment. This adds, as the name suggests, a button and a pair of paddles to the back of the controller.
The new attachment is attached to the Dualshock via the port on the back of the controller. The paddles can be planned with up to 16 actions from elsewhere on the controller, such as Triangle or any other button. The round OLED display tells you what each button is planned to do at that moment. Pushing on the lower part of the screen allows you to remap the buttons however you like it. It also has a passthrough for the audio port, which it covers up.
It’s not the aesthetically pleasing addition to the controller. It looks like Dualshock 4 has developed a tumor on its underbelly. It seems a little asinine to put an OLED display on the backside of the controller, so you have to turn it over to see what your back buttons are mapped to. Also, Sony said you can have up to three “profiles” for your two buttons, customizing them for different situations, but it doesn’t share how you switch between said profiles quickly.
Given this is being included so late in the console’s lifecycle, I can’t help but assume this is a prelude to the PS5’s controller. So far, all we know about the Dualshock 5 is what we’ve been able to observe from sneak previews — most prominently, Peter Rubin’s sit-down with PS5 architect Mark Cerny. Rubin explains the new controller as looking “an awful lot” like the Dualshock 4, but with adaptive haptic feedback. He doesn’t suggest anything about back paddles, which is not the type of thing one would not notice. That doesn’t mean the Dualshock 5 won’t have them — just that they may be keeping the last product under covers for now.
The attachment releases in the US and Canada on January 23, 2020, and will cost you $29.99 USD and $39.99 CAD.