The DualShock 4 Battery is Small and Stupid

Milliampere Hours: A measurement of how much juice a battery has. The more juice, the more go! Abbreviates to mAh.

Some data!

1000 mAh: Capacity of DualShock 4 battery. AKA the controller for the PS4, the most popular current console.

1960 mAh: Capacity of iPhone 7 battery.

2000 mAh: Capacity of one cheap rechargeable AA battery.

I was going to list a bunch more, but honestly, this is enough.

How the hell did Sony think this battery size was okay?

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You’ll be lucky if this lasts 4 hours with the lightbar and vibration on. What.

The DualShock 4 has a stupidly small battery, and a stupidly short battery life. Sure, people can pop open the controller and put a third party battery in. But then, Sony could also do this and keep its customers from voiding their own warranties.

The DS4 lasts about 4 hours for me, on average. Maybe five, if I’m lucky. It depends on how much light bar and vibration business I’m engaging in. And believe me, I am down for all the vibration and light bar business. I even love that weird little speaker that puts out crappy audio on the front of the controller.

But I don’t want to have to charge this thing every day or three. And I also don’t want to leave it plugged in all the time. The bad controller battery life makes me play my PS4 less than I otherwise would.

I power my Xbox One controller with the above-mentioned rechargeable batteries. Two of them go in there, and bam, I’ve got four times the power capacity that I’ve got with the PS4. And roughly four times the active use time, too, if not more! And when it dies I can just pop some more in.

Why do I bring this up? Sony just launched a “new” Dualshock 4.

When I found out this was coming on Twitter, I frantically scoured the web for information. I came back from my scouring disappointed. Here’s what’s “new.”

  1. There’s now a small slit in the top of the touchpad that lets you see through to the light bar.
  2. The analog sticks and buttons are now gray instead of black.
  3. If you connect the controller over a cable, controller data is now transmitted via the cable instead of bluetooth. This used to work on PC’s before, now it works on consoles too. Yay?

4. That’s F***ing it.

No new battery.

NO NEW BATTERY.

Sigh.

The DualShock 4 is a solid controller. It feels good in the hand. The touchpad is a cool idea that is only effective in a handful of games. The dedicated share button is nice.

But…the crappy battery alone makes me vastly prefer the Xbox One controller. Well, that and the triggers.

Sony had the chance to fix this, and instead they didn’t.

Maybe they should take the headphone jack out of the controller so they can be courageous and have room for a bigger battery BOOM!!!!!!

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I do radio voice work by day, and write by day and night. I studied film and production. I love audio, design, and music. Also video games.

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