The PS4 Controller’s Light Bar Won’t Turn Off Because Of Virtual Reality

The PS4 Controller’s Light Bar Won’t Turn Off Because Of Virtual Reality

Are you one of the people that’s been annoyed by the fact that the DualShock 4’s light bar never turns off? Well, Sony has finally clued us in to why the PlayStation 4 developers decided not to allow gamers to conserve battery life and their own sanity by sticking an “off” switch on the thing. No, it’s not because they wanted to give players a night light when they got too scared playing Outlast after dark.

Speaking in an interview with Techradar, Sony Computer Entertainment of Europe senior designer Jed Ashforth, explained that the un-turn-off-able light bar was all part of Sony’s master plan for its recently announced virtual reality initiative Project Morpheus.

“The tracking light… it was our department that said we need that on,” Ashforth told Techradar. “It was for tracking for VR.”

“And when all these things were coming out six months ago and everyone was going ‘it’s reflecting in my TV,’ we were going ‘oh no’ because we couldn’t tell anyone what it was for.”

See? Sony knew it was annoying all of us; it just couldn’t explain why. It’s like that frustrating moment when your parents explained that you couldn’t eat all of your Halloween candy in a single sitting because they said so. Except, you know, about video games.

Feel better now? I got to try on the Morpheus headset back in March when Sony was demoing it at GDC and was pleasantly surprised by how impressively the company’s virtual reality experience was already shaping up. So if some extra glare is the price we have to pay, I for one am all for it.

[via Techradar]


  • Doesn’t explain why you can’t turn it off though. Have it turn on when its needed.

    • Exactly. This explains nothing. Sony said that devs have full access to the light in the dev kit. Therefore, forcing the light on when using VR is easy.

      Also, the DIM setting is too low to use with PlayRoom and other PS Eye stuff I think. So this has to be boosted to FULL anyway.

  • That don’t make no sense.
    If it’s needed for VR, then it should be always on during VR. Doesn’t explain why it’s on the rest of the time.

  • So then put in the option to turn it *off* when it’s not needed? Not all of us are going to buy the damn headset. I can’t afford it (Im a student) and the light is draining extra battery time from the controller.

    Also, had to submit this ten times before it would finally post. FIX THE DAMN COMMENTS KOTAKU!

    • Our resident witch @freezespreston found a good workaround – mash the submit button quickly at least 10 times – you’ll get the ‘duplicate comment’ error and the post goes through.

      • So basically do what we used to do with our tellies whenever we would lose the reception? GENIUS.

  • I would say it’s more like my wife not letting me buy a video game because she already had it wrapped up at home. Project Morpheus is a good thing. Too much halloween candy is bad.

  • I use a PS4 controller with my PC, I can turn off the light 🙂
    /PC mustard race

    (incidentally the PS4 controller with PC is really awesome as you can use the touchpad to control the mouse if needed)

  • So is this something I can cover over with some duct tape? I am extremely sensitive to lights like these: to the point that it would be a factor in whether I buy one or not.

    • Yes. Unless you use VR or Playroom/PS Eye software, it has no use. Sometimes it glows when you get hit or on low HP, but that’s it.

  • I did not know you could not turn off a PS4 controller, makes me glad I didn’t rush to get a PS4 like every headless chicken during last Christmas. Seriously, what on Earth were Sony thinking?

  • The minimum brightness setting doesn’t really reflect too much! Heck of a lot less than the max.

  • To butcher a Matrix quote, what good is a light if you are unable to see? I can’t be the only one that didn’t plan on shelling out another $90 for the PS4’s camera, so the light serves no purpose in my setup. If the camera is optional, the light should be, too, no?

  • Honestly can’t say I’ve ever noticed the blue light reflecting in the TV…but now I’m probably going to be looking for it and I won’t be able to un-see it. Thanks internet.

  • Would be nice to be able to turn it off, but I am not exactly annoyed with it, I barely notice it’s on.

  • I didn’t care it was on in the first place. Sounds like a stupid thing to complain about.

  • Oh man, now I really wanna eat something with mustard on it.

    Edit: reply to ponton’s PC mustard race comment. Sigh

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