When you play games on your PS4, it’s fair to say that your thumbs and index fingers are generally doing most of the work. Why not put the rest of your lazy digits to work with this accessory that puts two programmable buttons on the rear of the DualShock 4 controller?
Called, imaginatively, the Back Button Attachment, the gadget plugs into the PS4’s accessory port and adds three interactive items to the back end of the controller. There are two paddle-style buttons that seem suited for middle fingers to hit easily, each of which can be programmed to be any of the ordinary buttons.
There’s also a little OLED screen that provides “real-time” information on what the buttons are set to. It doesn’t seem like there’s ever much urgency to find that information out or show others, but hey. The screen also doubles as a button for switching between configurations or changing the settings on the fly.
Great idea from Sony, right? Wrong! The rear button thing has been done for some time by high-end third-party controller makers like Scuf and Astro, which with their customizable sticks and buttons have been adopted widely by pro gamers. (Microsoft, for its part, has a patent for a Braille display and input on the back.)
It doesn’t look good to have all the performance-oriented gamers using third party gear, but with the PS5 around the corner and a new controller coming with it, it doesn’t make much sense to put out a stopgap “DualShock 4.5” with extra buttons. So this accessory makes a lot of sense. (Don’t worry, it has a 3.5mm headphone jack pass-through, so you can still use a headset.)
And the price is reasonable, too: $30. That makes it a fairly easy impulse buy for anyone who likes the idea of the extra buttons but doesn’t want to drop a bill or more on a Scuf or Astro controller.
The Back Button Attachment won’t be available in time for the holidays, though — not until January 23. Chances are we’ll see it on display at CES before that, though.