In the world of innovative technologies and design, even the silliest thought can turn into an incredibly revolutionary end result. Of course, for every one idea that makes a substantial mark on the gaming world in particular- say for instance, the quick time event – there are hundreds of ideas that never make it past the concept stage. Speaking to Stuff.tv (via Polygon,) PlayStation’s lead system architect Mark Cerny discussed potential DualShock 4 features the team looked into before finally settling down on the current design.
“We had a long research project where we looked at pretty much any idea we could think of. Would it help to measure the galvanic response of the skin?” The team wondered. “We tried out a tremendous number of things – and then we went to the game teams to ask them what they thought they could use from the controller.” Measuring the galvanic skin response has to do with determining the conductivity of your skin usually caused by heightened emotional response. In most cases, this is measured by how much a person is sweating. Basically, the controller would have contained a sensor that could detect how much you were sweating during gameplay. Based on feedback from developers, however, it seems the sensor was scrapped in favor of a touch pad.
It’s great that Sony has worked as closely with developers as they have. Creating an architecture from the ground up that is designed with developers in mind should theoretically allow game-makers the freedom to better realize their ultimate visions.While a fair portion of the praise we’ve heard from developers is likely PR fluff, Sony’s stance on self-publishing for indies and the sheer volume of positive feedback from developers is enough to convince me that the PS4 will be as welcoming as possible when it comes to introducing new game concepts and ideas. In a scenario where developers are only limited by their own imagination, and creativity is both nurtured and encouraged, the entire industry as a whole ultimately benefits.
Still, it’s a shame that this feature in particular didn’t make it into the final console product. Truth be told, I can’t really think of too many uses for the ability to detect how much a person is sweating while playing; but that doesn’t mean someone else wouldn’t turn it into the next great innovation. Perhaps on its own, the feature wouldn’t serve a much greater purpose than reminding players to take a short break from playing during emotionally stressful situations. But when combined with a camera like the PS Eye or Kinect, which can serve as a heartbeat monitor, coupled with the game’s awareness that you’re playing alone, it could be the perfect scenario for a survival-horror game; one that knows exactly when you’ve let your guard down and are most susceptible to jump scares.
Would you have liked to see a galvanic skin response detector built into the DualShock 4? Can you think of any other features that could lead to interesting innovations in game design? Share your thoughts in the usual place, and don’t forget to like IGXPro on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or give us the ‘ol +1 on Google+. If you can’t get enough of my shenanigans, (who could blame you?) you can check me out @GamingsNirvana, or add +VinnyParisi to your circles.