Picture this: You're playing your favorite game. You're low on lives, low on ammo and know there's a boss battle coming up. Your PlayStation 4 controller can sense your fear -- or at least that was the plan.
In an interview with Stuff magazine, Sony's lead system architect Mark Cerny said the company "looked at pretty much any idea we could think of" when updating its DualShock controller for its new game console. One of these ideas was apparently measuring a player's stress based on how much their hands were sweating.
"Would it help to measure the galvanic response of the skin?" Cerny said to Stuff. "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."
The DualShock wouldn't have been the first controller to take note of a gamer's vitals as they play. Nintendo featured a heart rate monitor as far back as 1998 while more recently the Wii featured a vitality sensor.
Moving away from feedback sensors, Cerny and his team instead focused on other issues, such as how old DualShock controllers had "not been ideal" for first-person shooters. He boasts that the new experience of playing "feels extraordinarily natural." New features on the DualShock 4, the latest in a series of controllers that debuted on the original PlayStation, include a touchpad, a light bar and improved, more responsive triggers and joysticks.
For gamers craving biometric features, there are other things brewing. The game developer Valve has already begun conducting sweat-based experiments for its "Left 4 Dead" series that adjust gameplay based on how excited gamers are. This is in addition to their development of a version of "Portal 2" that is controlled using a player's eyes.