Evolution Studios Details Its Contribution to DualShock 4
So far all we’ve seen of the PS4 is its controller – the new DualShock 4. It’s an improvement over the old DualShock 3 in that it’s chunkier, features a central touchpad and improved button design. Basically it’s an evolved, chunkier version of the old controller. Comparing the two then is like comparing myself and Cavie. Wait, what?
Evolution Studios, best known for their Motorstorm franchise is currently working on Drive Club, set to be a PS4 exclusive racing simulator. In a recent interview with Edge, Evolution technical director Scott Kirkland revealed that along with Killzone developer, Guerilla Games, the two studios had been involved with the development of Sony’s new console for a number of years.
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“I think this goes back to Christmas 2011,” said Kirkland. “We started working with the guys in Japan on what became the DualShock 4.
“We were instrumental in securing the specific gyro components that [will] go in the DualShock 4; we had prototypes that demonstrated that the really high frequency gyros were the ones that allowed us to chuck the controller around like a steering wheel, and the ones that they were considering [meant] you could get a fair degree of lag and have to rely on accelerometers to compensate for that. So we put a very compelling case forward to the guys in Japan, they listened and they’re the components that are in the DualShock 4.
“The control side of things has always been a really important thing for racing games, so we made sure that we got involved in the controller discussion very early on.”
Evolution used the downloadable title Motorstorm RC to refine the analogue sticks while working together with Guerilla to perfect the trigger buttons.
“We did a prototype using MotorStorm RC that allows you to exploit the reduced deadzone size on the controller and the more accurate sticks,” Kirkland said. “It’s scary how long we’ve been involved in this – we’ve been secretive about it for so long.
“The triggers is another area where there’s been a huge amount of development. There’s been a great back-and-forth between the likes of ourselves and some of the firstperson shooter guys at Guerrilla. They wanted specific things out of the triggers and, from a racing game perspective, we wanted lots of subtlety of control and to have really analogue brakes and acceleration, and so in some cases we had to reach a little bit of a compromise on that. But the controller sits on the desk beautifully, it doesn’t accidentally press the triggers, [and] they’ve got really nice resistance to them.”
This is a great example of Sony making use of its first-party devs to not only gear the console towards gamers and make sure it works well for the games it will play but also the approach taken of this being a developer-friendly console. The manner in which developers seem to have been involved at various stages of the console’s development is good to see.
Let’s hope it translates into what truly should be a next level console gaming experience.