That Infernal Light is the Best Thing on PS4’s Controller


I hated that light.

I spent most of first hours with PlayStation 4 thumbing through menus looking for any means to turn of the light on the top rear of the controller. Either the option doesn’t exist or I’ve missed it. I’m glad in either case.

Said light -which can show any number of colors – is intrusive. For Knack, it stays vivid blue. It has no function. It taunts me as it glares off the glossy frame of my TV or reflects back onto my glasses. The feature is an absolute waste for this first-party platformer.

Killzone Shadow Fall is the in-between. The light will stay green for most of the play session until you start taking damage. It begins a rainbow effect down to red as you take fire, and when down to one hit, it begins to frantically blink fire red. The warning is unobtrusive and garners attention. Still not sold however.

It wasn’t until Warframe, a third-person, free-to-play dungeon crawl shooter where it finally caught me as a legitimate addition. Playing in a darkened room, each hit received caused a flash of bright white light to cascade across the room. It becomes an extension of the screen, much like the gimmicky ambient lighting certain TV sets use. Said flash becomes a shock to the body’s sensory system and an instant alarm system to state something is wrong. The more it flashes, the more a sense of urgency surges through to your brain to get out of danger.

In a room where daylight pours in from the windows, the effect would disappear. It also would not be so obnoxious in something like Knack. That aside, that viciously bright cross section of lighting is not entirely pointless. It has proven its worth beyond PS Move functionality. Warframe’s use is smart and hopefully a show of potential to come.

I like that light as much as this controller as a whole.

Image: Giant Bomb