February 5, 2014 // 2:32 pm
- Below are some videos on a PlayStation 4 DualShock 4 (DS4) controller modification that offers portable PS4 gaming from FamilyGamerTV
To quote via Forbes (linked above): "Controlling a Vita and Dual Shock 4 improves the experience more than you might imagine. Hack them together like my daughter did and you have a new way to play PlayStation 4 games on the go - big bright screen, controller sticks, lights and rumble.
While console battles excite and drive avid gamers to buy technology early, it’s not until these devices find themselves battered at the bottom of toy boxes that we really know how valuable they are.
It’s obvious that the DS is a big success in the families I work with, not just because of the sales curve but seeing them covered in stickers, half falling apart and with an old pen replacing the stylus. Like writing their names on the underside of favorite toys, this kind of treatment is a child’s way of saying they love something.
Both grown-ups and children have been increasingly using the PlayStation Vita, but it wasn’t until this weekend that the little device really came of age in our household. It felt like we finally found some ways to use it that really fitted how we wanted to game as a family.
First, as I wrote last week, I’ve been playing Tomb Raider on it via the Remote Play feature. This not only meant I could free up the TV for my wife to use in the evening, but also I could progress with the game in the daytime when I wouldn’t want the kids to see what I was playing.
They were happily working on Minecraft creations on another console while I kept an eye on them from the sofa, and played Tomb Raider without worry of them seeing one of those many Lara-death-grizzly-bits.
But playing on the Vita I was missing the movement and accuracy of the PlayStation 4 controller, and also the added immersion that comes from its use of rumble and controller speaker. “Why don’t you use the Dual Shock to controller the Vita dad?” was my son’s suggestion as I bemoaned this down-side of Remote Play over a bowl of corn flakes. This was certainly a nice idea although one that I thought wasn’t possible. When you log in via Remote Play the Vita knocks out the Dual Shock controller and automatically turns it off.
My son had got me thinking though, and after some investigation I had cracked it. By logging in with a second account on the Dual Shock controller I could then Remote Play with the Vita and still have control with the game-pad. Then, I simply switched to the second Dual Shock’s home screen and start the game from there while still using the Vita screen. Magic!
It worked perfectly, and my son soon realized he could also use the setup to play Knack or Lego Marvel on the PS4 while his siblings played something else on the TV. “What you really want to do now Dad is to clip the Vita onto the Dual Shock, like this” my son slapping the two together with a healthy clack.
I could see his point, but wasn’t sure how you would really do that. But the next morning coming down for breakfast I finding my daughter had rigged up the Vita and Dual Shock 4 using a bunch of elastic bands.
At first I politely approved of her customization attempt thinking it wouldn’t hold up. But playing it like that actually worked pretty well, and transformed how the Vita felt - from a handheld device into a real mobile PlayStation 4 on the go. Ben Heck
eat your heart out!
The rest of the day we scoured the shops for a way to improve the mobile PS4 set-up, to make it more robust and also easier to take on and off. “If only we had a 3D printer this would have been so much easier” was one my son’s contribution and I could see his thinking.
We soon stumbled upon some great little Velcro cable-wrap ties
that were perfect for the job. Not only easy to attach the Vita and Dual Shock together but also eliminated the wobble from the elastic bands while still allowing easy access to the charger port.
One problem remained, the setup meant that the Dual Shock 4 blocked the headphone jack on the Vita. To really play in the same room as someone else you needed to use a pair of headphones.
After some more fiddling I realized that you can configure the headphone port on the Dual Shock 4 to pump out full game audio rather than just voice chat. This does mean that the PlayStation 4 would be working a little harder to send audio and video to the Vita while also sending audio to the Dual Shock 4, but it seemed to cope fine.
So there we had it, our Portable PlayStation 4 hack, or maybe it should be our Vita Dual Shock hack. The kids were pretty proud of all our problem solving, and I really liked the way they used some inventiveness to make the idea a reality.
The end result was actually much more appealing than I had expected. Rather than a Vita, with it’s Dual Shock sticks, lights and rumble it now felt much more like a console experience. Streaming PlayStation 4 games to it via Remote Play I guess that’s pretty much what it was - a portable PS4."
Finally, from the video's caption: The second video in our big family project to get the Vita working with a Dual Shock 4 controller. We used the remote play function to do this along with a second Dual Shock 4.
Having solved the technical side of the problem the kids went on to use a variety of household stuff to connect the Vita and Controller together to make one portable PlayStation 4 experience.
Here's our test of using the Dual Shock 4 to control a Vita game:
Here's details on how we used Velcro strips to mount the controller on the Vita:
Here's a detailed account of how we set-up the Vita to be controlled by the Dual Shock 4: