Sony tested PS4 controller that could detect sweat

Lead system architect Mark Cerny reveals Sony tested a DualShock 4 controller that could measure a player's galvanic skin response.

Sony tested a PlayStation 4 DualShock 4 controller that could detect stress and sweat levels, lead system architect Mark Cerny has told Stuff.tv.

The scientific term, galvanic skin response, is a measure of how conductive a person's skin is at any moment, which fluctuates depending on how much a person is sweating.

"We had a long research project where we looked at pretty much any idea we could think of," Cerny said. "Would it help to measure the galvanic response of the skin? We tried out a tremendous number of things--and then we went to the game teams to ask them what they thought they could use from the controller."

Cerny's revelation confirms past reports that suggested Sony was testing biometric sensors for the DualShock 4.

A stress-sensing sensor is not featured in the final DualShock 4 design, though the pad does include a touchpad and various other updates over the DualShock 3. Cerny explained that his team ultimately wanted to build a controller that would be better suited for first-person shooters.

"Historically, we have heard many times that our controllers have not been ideal for first-person shooters," Cerny said. "So we wanted to make sure we had something that would be much better for that genre. We tested the throw of the triggers, the position of the triggers, how much pressure it takes. We looked at the joysticks, the dead spot, we looked at convexity and concavity."

Cerny said the final result is a controller that "feels extraordinarily natural."

"I haven't heard a negative comment about it yet," Cerny said. "For a controller with a very different form factor that was just amazing to see."

The PS4 launches this holiday season for $400.

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Discussion

497 comments
chris120379
chris120379

nexth thing u know they´ll be developing a controller that detects whern a person is horny...lol

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

Pointless idea considering a lot of people sweat just by holding a controller, especially one as flimsy and droppable as the DS3.

beardface21
beardface21

At first glance the PS4 controller doesn't look that big, but you get a shocker when it's next to the XBone controller.

Unbound72
Unbound72

They should have added a feature to detect the heart rates of the kids that are still crying over TLOU review here on GS. Wouldn't want one of these super intellectuals to drop over dead from their daily dose of HotPockets, Mountain Dew and rage induced cryfests would we?

zenstrata
zenstrata

The artificial intelligence is not there yet to properly implement this in a way that will really improve gameplay.  I mean, lets imagine how a scenario where a controller that detects sweat will change a game for the better, and exactly how that could so easily go wrong.  What if the person just happens to live in a hot or cold environment?  What if they decide to play their game after washing their hands and not drying them completely?  Or Say they go work out at the gym?  Or have an argument with someone in real life and turn to games to unwind?

I can not see this going well at all.

Mario_VS_DK
Mario_VS_DK

I thought that was already known. I'm pretty sure they also had a prototype detect heartbeat and some other stuff as well. 

Venom_Raptor
Venom_Raptor

Galvanic skin response? What a waste of time and resources, not to mention completely pointless

Nathalmighty1
Nathalmighty1

I do see what you mean! My friend actually thinks the same thing so it is understandable. I actually find the xbox controller rather big and awkward lol Just boils down to personal preference in the end. Hopefully the PS4 controller is a better fit for us both!

rushiosan
rushiosan

They'll use it against us, I'm pretty sure.

Sargoroth
Sargoroth

How about a smell sensor? Then the game can give out comments like "You know you COULD open a window once in a while" or "That was a good one" when a little gas is passed...

Mega_Skrull
Mega_Skrull

"Historically, we have heard many times that our controllers have not been ideal for first-person shooters," Cerny said. "So we wanted to make sure we had something that would be much better for that genre. We tested the throw of the triggers, the position of the triggers, how much pressure it takes. We looked at the joysticks, the dead spot, we looked at convexity and concavity."

They've sure done a lot of research and changes for the PS controllers to be... the same? Not hating, I'm perfectly comfortable with them since psx, but where's all that change? All i can think of is triggers instead of buttons so far.

tightwad34
tightwad34

So can you program it to detect whether or not I need to pee? Sometimes I won't even notice that until I pause to get up for a minute.

auliaackckck
auliaackckck

Soon doctors can just put a dualshock controller on your head for medical checkups.

Irvin Salazar
Irvin Salazar

I sweat already with xbox 360 and ps3 controllers already lol

SuperBigBoss100
SuperBigBoss100

All I can think is the future Dark Souls games getting harder as the controller detects stress. If that happens, I will never pass one area of the game.

shenhua1337
shenhua1337

As for the Arabs on the forum... I think everyone should all of a sudden start talking in his home language... better yet, with all the languages we know. I'm sure this would work...

But then again, It's probably ONLY them who have their own distinct ancient monumental everglorious langauge, and all the "outsiders" speak English, hie hie...

foxrock66
foxrock66

Buuut why? It would be useless to someone like me. My hands are naturally sweaty, and on top of that I often play immediately after a workout. The sweat sensor would be perpetually on

sonyfreak456
sonyfreak456

Nintendo has been making strange controllers on their console since the NES. First, The Power Glove for the NES was a clunky robot hand with bad controls. The N64 controller was a bit strange with it's M-shaped controller .The Wii Motion Control Work great in some cases, but it wasn't that good. Now, The Wii U Gamepad seems a bit strange to some people but I felt it was a great controller.

Dinostrich
Dinostrich

As far a controllers, N64 was a little wonky but it got the job done, PS2 was a good controller, the Xbox took a long time to get use too, I personally didn't like the PS3 controller, but the 360 felt the best.  However I did get a modded controller with the A and B buttons on the bottom...

Zerabp
Zerabp

For those of you seeing facebook crap download ghostery.

Hobbes444
Hobbes444

Meh, cool but i only play BF3 and some other FPS games just a little. I still play skyrim a lot.

gaming_binge
gaming_binge

i hope they made improvements because the playstation controller is in fact horrendous to use playing a FPS

Gen007
Gen007

My hands really don't sweat for the most part especially while playing games. I like to think most people are the same. Playing games for the most part is not a highly physical activity. Why they would even begin to entertain the idea is beyond  me. Its like someone ran out of ideas and started wasting time so they could get a paycheck.

FoxbatAlpha
FoxbatAlpha

Why stop at detecting one bodily fluid?

OldKye
OldKye

@chris120379 Only worth it if it pauses my game and switches to Tv(something romantic) so when my girlfriend walks in it looks like I got "time" lol.

beardface21
beardface21

@Grenadeh I've actually dropped my DS3 controller by accident multiple times and each time it held up.  I don't think it's as flimsy people say it is.

And it fell on some hard stuff, like on garbage cans, and on tables.

justerthought
justerthought

@Venom_Raptor I agree it does sound like a dead end function to be considering, but research has to think outside the box and look at every possibility. That is why Sony are good at design. They consider everything and thoroughly evaluate it's usefulness before coming to a final decision. Quality does not come cheap. At last they had the sense to dump it.

MS is still bragging about Kinect reading your heart beat. Totally useless apart from impressing non gaming friends who haven't got a clue.

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

@Nathalmighty1 Really it's preference but the reality is the 360 controller is better and has been all gen, DS2 was the last good PS controller.

Vozone
Vozone

@Mega_Skrull 

Thicker handles, touchpad/button, rimmed analogue sticks, triggers. Subtle changes that can make a big difference...

TenraiSenshi
TenraiSenshi

@Mega_Skrull Despite looking somewhat classical, it's easy to see that the shape of the controller has, in fact, changed quite significantly. I don't get people who say it looks the same because if you put images of the two controllers side-by-side it's easy to see that they do not.

tightwad34
tightwad34

@auliaackckck Ha ha, that would be pretty cool, yet a bit disturbing and weird at the same time. Pretty funny comment though.

DeanoFantasy
DeanoFantasy

@Dinostrich There isn't much if any difference to the PS2 pad to the PS3 pad at all, never understood the hate here. everything is in the same place and proportion???

Zerabp
Zerabp

@Gen007 During extended play session my hands would acually sweat pretty bad. I loved the third party controllers that had the fans in the handles they ruled.

gf61
gf61

@Andrew Richtmeyer To read your emotions.

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

@justerthought @Venom_Raptor This entire comment, lol. Sony doesn't innovate anything and it's highly doubtful they did any research that wasn't psychological, for the PS4, considering it's  not different from the PS3 in any way.

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

@Vozone @Mega_Skrull Unless the analog sticks themselves are actually responsive this time, unlike the DS3, none of that makes a difference.

Mega_Skrull
Mega_Skrull

@TenraiSenshi @Mega_Skrull The main shape looks a little bit different, yeah. Maybe that's enough when you get your hands on it? I guess I'll know when I try it myself.

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

@DeanoFantasy @Dinostrich They're the exact same controller. The differences being: PS2 was wired by default. PS3 is wired by operation, because the battery is fucking horrible, and the cord is too short.

The PS2 controller was responsive and functional. The DS3 isn't.

wolfmgs
wolfmgs

reading your comments is fun cuz my hands dont sweat either online or offline when something goes wrong in the game i just scream FUFUFUUUUUUCK. and throw my controller into bed

Dinostrich
Dinostrich

@Zerabp @Gen007 My hands usually sweat during online play.  However if I'm playing campaign I'm fine, unless I'm playing a scary game lol

shingui5
shingui5

@gf61 I just want my PS4 to love lme!!! 

wolfmgs
wolfmgs

Really? Then i suppose playing with AA batteries is better than playing with a litium rechargeable battery -_-...

DS3 is way more responsive than DS2 if you didnt feel that way is because your games werent enough responsive or you a dont want to accept it besides you can change the wire for other that is more long genius.