During the latest Playstation Blogcast, Ken Levine and Scott Rohde discussed several topics, including Bioshock Infinite and a new spin on the DualShock 4’s light bar. While everyone is mostly focused on the light bar as an added peripheral tool for the Move controller, they’ve actually built it to immerse certain types of gamers further into the world they’ve entered.
For people who like to play in the dark, or dimly-lit rooms, the light bar will actually reflect the color scope currently on the screen. The idea is that with the floor, table, or wall in front of you the same color as the screen, you’ll start blocking out the world to your immediate left and right and channel directly forward to the action on your TV. Rohde said the hope is that the feature, “changes your mood” during gameplay.
If you’re having trouble picturing it, put yourself in front of your TV. If anyone has ever used the Move controller, you know just how bright that sucker can be. Now imagine a projected beam perhaps two or three feet wide from the front of your controller. As your character moves from land to water, the light bar could change from an “orangey earth tone” into a “cold blue” color. He went on to explain that as you and your character move around the game, the controller is coming with you.
To me, this mostly seems like a gimmick more than a feature–not to mention it seems to encourage or entice players to darken the room–and there could be health issues for players who don’t practice safe gaming. I foresee a lot of news articles in the future about people’s vision dissipating or getting headaches from using the light bar feature improperly.
But think how freaking cool it would be to unload clip after clip on someone and getting muzzle flash right in your room! And for sound? In case you didn’t already know, you can plug your very own favorite set of headphones directly into the controller. No more needing a fourteen-foot extended cord plugged into the Playstation just to be able to play where you want to. Coupled with the speakers built into the DualShock 4–think Wiimote but with stereo instead of midi–and you have yourself a complete immersion system in your hands. Just imagine, you get muzzle flash in the front of you, the sound of shells pinging on the floor around you, and the mumblings of a zombie creeping up on your right.
So what do you all think? Are you psyched for any of these features? Or is the first thing you’re going to do when your PS4 comes to life is figure out how to turn the light bar off?