PlayStation's president of worldwide studios Shuhei Yoshida has ruled out the possibility of offering PS4 owners the option to disable the DualShock 4's light bar.
Yoshida addressed fans via Twitter after the exec was quizzed on the likelihood of a "future update" that may offer the ability to turn off the illuminated panel on the upper surface of the controller for games that make no use of it.
"No," replied Yoshida, in response to the question.
Common complaints from players and critics include the light bar reflecting in the TV screen and the controller's relatively short battery life (around 7 hours) compared with the DualShock 3.
When it was later implied such a feature would help extend the controller's battery life, Yoshida added, "The LEDs do not use much battery".
The light bar's primary function is to serve as a trackable beacon for the PlayStation Camera, which provides motion controls similarly to the glowing orb of the PlayStation Move controller for PS3.
Without the camera and a game that supports it the light bar rendered largely unused, with few titles putting it to use in other ways (Killzone Shadow Fall changes the LED's color in correspondence with player health).
PS4 sales topped 4.2 million units in 2013, Sony claimed last week. Having debuted in North America on November 15 and in Europe two weeks later, PS4 is now available in 53 countries and territories worldwide. Combined retail and digital PS4 software sales have surpassed 9.7 million, said the firm.
A poster on neogaf performed battery tests with and without LED
According to @yosp we are going to have to live with the DS4 LED. Even with multiple tests showing the LED uses twice as much power with it on, on an idle controller:
With LED on .08A (stable)
With LED off . 03A to .04A (variable)
The DS4 has a 1000mAh Li-ion battery therefore the idle battery life would be calculated as:
LED enabled: (1000/80) = 12.5 hours
LED disabled: (1000/35) to (1000/30) = 28.6 hours
Completely disabling the LED is a difficult task and like others I've just kept electrical tape over my LED as I find it distracting and breaks immersion on top of the reduced battery life. Its a shame we can't simply have a PS4 OS choice given PS4 developers and @yosp said that developers can turn it off if they choose.