Given the fact that the PlayStation 3’s gamepad was a total chore to get working on the PC (at least in Windows), I would have never anticipated the experience with the upcoming PlayStation 4 gamepad to be any better. This is one of those times when I’m glad my assumptions are wrong, however.
Out-of-the-box, the PlayStation 4 gamepad will plug into a PC and just work, at least with its basic functions in tact, such as the buttons, analog sticks and so forth. Advanced functionality, such as the touch pad, are sure to require special drivers, and those won’t come from Sony. Because the gamepad can plug in and seemingly work without drivers, it seems likely that the gamepad would operate just fine under Linux as well, and possibly even Mac OS X (I am not sure what the gamepad support there is like).
For those who prefer the design of Sony’s gamepads, this is undoubtedly going to be considered a big win. While I prefer the Xbox 360 gamepad, I tried to get my PS3 gamepad working under Windows years ago, and the experience was less-than-pleasant. I was much easier able to get the gamepad working under Linux – simply plugging it in was all that was required.
Microsoft confirmed not long ago that the Xbox One’s gamepad would also work in Windows not long after launch, and overall, this is great to see.