The Playstation 4's Dual Shock 4 controller comes packed with a handful of nifty new features but its lightbar is one of the most subtle yet interesting pieces you can add to it. Perhaps i'm just a sucker for the simple yet awesome, however we have yet to see what developers have in-store for features like this. For Transistor, Supergiant Games aims to turn that lightbar into your weapon, and no, not in some quirky, motion-controller kind of way:
“We soon found, however, that the [Playstation 4's] light bar works really well for that. We got it to match the exact turquoise hue of the in-game weapon, and the flashing effect was in perfect sync. When I played with this for the first time, it felt a little more like the Transistor was right there in my own hands.”
Greg Kasavin // Creative Director, Supergiant Games
It's something so small yet so cool at the same time. The speakers on the controller were also noted to make sounds at the level of a PS Vita so it just adds to the immersion from there. As long as it's better than the crackling sound the Wii-mote makes, I'm fine. The best part about doing this was it was apparently easy for Supergiant to do anyway.
“Our use of the light bar took nothing more than a quick conversation and maybe a couple of hours of engineering time. But to me it’s a microcosm of our development process. If we can pull together little touches like this spontaneously and often, then Transistor will be filled with them and I feel strongly that the small stuff in games — those fun and interesting little details you notice in your favorites — are just as important as the big stuff. It’s what gives the best games their distinctive character and personality, and it’s the stuff you end up remembering long after you’ve finished playing.”
Now, the lightbar is something you may never notice unless you play in low light, but it's a tiny, hidden feature that further immerses players into the game when you actually do see it and this a step taken with the game and console not even released yet. Perhaps we'll see more creative ways for developers to use these tiny features. Can't wait to see the creativity put into tech like this in the near future.