News Article

Sony Wasn't Allowed to Tell You What the PS4's Light Bar Is Really For

Posted by Sammy Barker

It's virtual reality, by the way

To date, the PlayStation 4 controller’s light bar has caused two accidental marriage proposals, a minor earthquake, and aliens to avoid contact with Earth. Granted, we read all of this on the Daily Mail’s website, but it hopefully illustrates the serious issues that the DualShock 4’s illuminated surface has caused not just around the world, but also in outer-space.

And do you want to know the worst thing? Sony’s been lying to us about the eye-searingly bright bulb for the past year or so. Originally billed as part of the PlayStation Camera pipedream, the platform holder has since admitted that it included the controversial beam for virtual reality purposes – it just wasn’t allowed to talk about it until now.

“The tracking light… It was our department that said that we need that on,” revealed shifty SCEE senior designer Jed Ashforth in an interview with TechRadar. “It was for tracking for virtual reality. And when all of these things were coming out six months ago and everyone was going, 'It's reflecting in my TV,' we were going 'oh no' because we couldn't tell anyone what it was for.”

Seeing as the platform holder has been eager to demo its Oculus Rift-esque headset Project Morpheus with PlayStation Move controllers, it does make sense. The organisation has stressed on multiple occasions that motion tracking goes hand-in-hand with virtual reality, so we’re not surprised that it wanted some sort of solution out of the box.

Still, we can understand the frustration from some serial whiners, as the contentious luminescence – cheque’s in the post, Kell – is pretty bright. At least, it is unless you take advantage of the system’s new dimming functionality, which will not only prevent your neighbours from thinking that you’ve stolen the Northern Lights, but also extend your battery life to boot. Bonza!

[via techradar.com, eurogamer.net]

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User Comments (18)

KAPADO

#1

KAPADO said:

He he,sneaky Sony ...I have anti glare technology on my Bravia though.

Bad-MuthaAdebis

#2

Bad-MuthaAdebis said:

Makes sense, its already used when messing about with the ps4 cam, I'm guessing the cam will aslo be needed to use Morpheus properly/fully then.

eLarkos

#3

eLarkos said:

Is there any official word on why the light cant Just be switched off?

mitcHELLspawn

#5

mitcHELLspawn said:

What's all this about?

To date, the PlayStation 4 controller’s light bar has caused two accidental marriage proposals, a minor earthquake, and aliens to avoid contact with Earth.
??

Paranoimia

#7

Paranoimia said:

Still doesn't really make sense, and I say this as someone who hasn't been at all bothered by the light being on all the time.

They've said the light can be turned off by developers in software, so surely the logical thing to do would be to have it switched off unless a camera and/or Morpheus headset is connected and active? If neither are being used, it's just pointless, as it adds nothing to standard gameplay.

Munkyknuts

#8

Munkyknuts said:

The bright light was an annoyance when playing games set my in dark locations, like Outlast, but it wasn't ruining my quality of life....now that there is an option to dim the light bar it's making no negative impact at all :) which will be awesome when I play the Whistleblower DLC for Outlast. It's good to know the light bar is part of a bigger plan by Sony...it might end up being less contentious. Maybe. But probably not :p

Squiggle55

#10

Squiggle55 said:

I can't figure out why my dualshock would need to be tracked for virtual reality.
I'm sure there's a reason I guess, but I can't figure out what it would be. And still they should have put in a "turn off" option when they went through all the trouble of patching in new dimming settings. Give people another hour of battery life and let them turn it on if they ever need it for VR.

Crimson_Ridley

#11

Crimson_Ridley said:

I think the majority of you are lying when you say it reflects in the TV. It doesn't, or you'd have to be really, really close to the TV.

Bad-MuthaAdebis

#12

Bad-MuthaAdebis said:

@Paranoimia agreed, in all the time I've had my ps4 I've never noticed the lightbar once, I did notice it when my friend was playing, so what's the point. There isn't one whilst I'm not using a cam or Morpheus. More plain stupid.

get2sammybAdmin

#15

get2sammyb said:

@mitcHELLspawn I was just being silly, really. People on message boards make out like the light bar is going to cause World War III, so I was trying to think of some less than ideal situations... My excuse is that it was 1AM when I wrote this! ;)

Haha.

blindndeaf

#17

blindndeaf said:

this just goes over my head aswell,not got the camera thing yet and not sure if i will like it

eliotgballade

#18

eliotgballade said:

@mitcHELLspawn : here IS a funny joke related to the article :
Superintendant Chalmers "The Aurora Borealis ? At this time of year ? At this time of day ? In this part of the country ? Localized entirely within your kitchen ?"
Principal Skinner "Yes"
Superintendant Chalmers "May I see it ?"
Principal Skinner "No"
:)

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