The PS4 Controllers Are Facing A Potentially Big Problem
We in South Africa received our PS4 consoles in December, but as we know Sony’s black box launched in America and Europe in November, so over here I spent a lot of time reading feedback from users. One thing stood out for me and caused me concern, and that was the issue of users posting images of their DualShock 4’s damaged analogue sticks after just a short time owning the machine.
Initially my first reaction, as well as many others, was that the gamers in question must have used Wolverine claws when playing, or simply had not taken proper care of their controllers. Still I kept it in mind because I hardly believed that all of the gamers who reported issues had been negligent.
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However, unfortunately today I have to report that after one month of owning my console, I have similar issues, which have been emerging recently. Now, before I get into the detail, let me first say that I love my PS4 and I feel the controllers are the best Sony has done, as I said in our review of the console, but this is a potentially huge problem that I feel may force Sony to release updated versions sometime soon. Furthermore, just because I’m a PlayStation fan does not mean I cannot criticize what is obviously an issue that many users are facing, or may potentially face in the near future.
The images in the gallery down below show the extent of the damage right now.
Whether you skipped down to have a look or you’re continuing to read, firstly I need to mention that I take great care of my technology. I’m someone who almost never damages even my mobile phone, and my PS3 launch console lasted me longer than anyone else I know before it packed in, and at the end of the PS3’s entire life cycle I could still use my original Sixaxis controllers if I chose to do so.
Perhaps my one controller that looks horrible with its torn rubber can be somewhat overlooked, because I did foolishly let a bunch of kids play FIFA with it for a few nights while my house was full up in the week before my brother’s wedding. Kids’ fault, right? That seemed a logical conclusion to make.
Of course I blamed that as the issue, but then shortly after my other controller started showing signs of deterioration, and that’s when I started to feel that this may be serious.
I spoke to AG (my good friend and fellow writer on this site) and he too reported signs of damage on his DualShock 4 controllers, although his are significantly less blatant than mine.
But the point is that surely even after harsh-ish treatment, it is frankly ridiculous for gaming controllers to show damage like this after a month or less of ownership. That is crazy. I have no choice but to conclude that the rubber material used is really weak, because firstly this is not an isolated problem and secondly not a single one of my original PS3 controllers ever showed any signs of torn rubber or broken analogue sticks, no matter how much I played or who I let play on them. I have noticed that the PS4 controllers have a very soft rubber that seems a bit too delicate.
Sure I wasn’t a big fan of the DualShock 3’s analogues, functionally speaking, but those controllers were a quality build all-round and aside from the usual bumps and hitches you’d expect to experience after many years of ownership, they never showed anything like this.
I can concede that it may have been negligent to let a group of kids well under ten years old play with one of my controllers. But that doesn’t excuse my second controller from also showing signs of wear and tear this early, and neither can it entirely be blamed on me when others have reported issues like this and my PS3 controllers never once showed anything like this even after over six years of ownership. There is clearly a problem, or unforeseen issues of durability with the rubber material.
Have any of you been experiencing this yet? I feel if this continues, especially after the first year of the PS4’s life, Sony may be forced into releasing a new iteration of the DualShock 4 prematurely.
I’d like that, because this is a frustrating defect on an otherwise beautifully-made, near-perfect controller.