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Sony won't offer option to disable DualShock 4 light bar


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#1 BajiRav


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Posted 16 January 2014 - 21:24


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.

#2 Brendeth



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Posted 16 January 2014 - 22:35

Oh man that extra time without the LED is insane, hopefully they will flip on this decision and turn it off by the time I get a PS4.

#3 Co_Co


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Posted 16 January 2014 - 22:46

the battery life of the DS3 is one the best feature of the controller even though its too small for some hands. too bad about the DS4

#4 firey



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Posted 16 January 2014 - 22:49

I have never had an issue with the LED.  The controller has yet to die on me (when it gets low, I throw it on USB, and it charges and works fine).  Then when I am ready to play again, it's charged and ready.

I actually like the blue led it gives a bit of.. atmosphere I guess.  I don't notice the reflection, I do see it but it's not something I really notice unless I look.  I can see the benefit to disabling it, but overall I have no issues with it.

#5 Lizardslap



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Posted 16 January 2014 - 22:56

I dont like bright lights on anything wish there was an off instead of electrical tape fix

#6 +Nik L

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 23:11

"Wont offer an option", but that doesn't preclude it being automatically turned off when not needed?

#7 firey



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Posted 16 January 2014 - 23:12

I dont like bright lights on anything wish there was an off instead of electrical tape fix


I honestly don't even notice it unless I look directly at it.

#8 D. S.

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 23:22

If it can be turned off on a game to game basis by the developers, there is a modicum of sense on not allowing it to be disabled on the OS level as to avoid any conflict with games that do require it to be on. Still, I don't see many sympathetic developers out there that are going to pass on the chance to use the light bar in something in their games.

#9 Andrew


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Posted 16 January 2014 - 23:26

Unless it's technically impossible to do it with an update, I'm sure/hope they'll cave to negative feedback eventually.


I'm not fussed if it's there or not, I don't have an issue with the reflections in my set up, but I certainly wouldn't say no to longer battery life.

#10 Boxster17


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Posted 16 January 2014 - 23:54

I don't care either way to be honest, and those neogaf numbers don't mean anything.  It doesn't take into consideration that no one sits idle with their controller like that, how much does it drain when commands are being sent to the system from button presses and the rumble motors are going. I'm more so curious to see the drain compared to the other components.


While I say "I don't care", if it was much shorter than it is then I'd be annoyed.  It's lasted me a full day when I've been home sick, so that's all I'm asking for (that's not to say I wouldn't want something with the DS3 battery life again).

#11 +Audioboxer


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Posted 17 January 2014 - 00:41

"Wont offer an option", but that doesn't preclude it being automatically turned off when not needed?

This is what's needed, not faffing around in settings menus turning it on/off. Be intelligent about it.

#12 greenwizard88


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Posted 17 January 2014 - 00:59

How does it effect battery life while you're using it? Because if it gets 2x the battery life when you're not using it, but only 15 minutes more if it's in use, that's a big difference.


Based off of how little power components can use while in standby, it wouldn't surprise me.

#13 Enron


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Posted 17 January 2014 - 01:25

Can you disable it by opening the controller and disconnecting the LEDs?

#14 trooper11


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Posted 17 January 2014 - 01:45

I don't have any issue with the reflections, but I do notice the battery life. Its much different that my ds3 controllers. I rarely get close to the 7 hours that is claimed.

Sure, I can plug my controller in to charge it, but I'm use to not having to worry about that for longer than I do now, so its an issue for me.

Anything they can do to improve that is very welcome.

#15 AJerman


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Posted 17 January 2014 - 03:24

Well, it does seem a bit silly that it can't be turned off, but at the same time, I don't see all that much issue with it personally. I don't understand the complaints about it being so bright it's distracting. I've never noticed the light while playing, even in the dark. Are you guys sitting a foot from your TV? At the roughly... 7 feet I'd say I am from my TV, I don't see the glow at all. As for battery life, I'm not an avid enough gamer to have it bother me. I have never once, and probably never will use my controller until it's dead, and it's pretty easy to plug it in when you're done playing. That's also why I bought a couple of 15 foot micro USB cables though, so I can charge while playing if it does get low.


Still, I don't have the camera, and I don't have any intentions at the moment of getting one, unless some game comes out and makes amazing use of it and leaves me no option, and I expect I'm not the only one like this. It would be nice to be able to disable it, or even have it automatically disable when no camera is detected. That doesn't seem that difficult to do, and I know they have to be capable of controlling it since it changes colors depending on your player number and, as mentioned, in some games.