PS4 mini wired controllers coming to the US, parents concerned

Last week, Sony revealed three new officially licensed PlayStation 4 controllers made by popular third party manufacturers. All of them were wired, but one in particular proved to be particularly interesting, the "mini gamepad" from Japanese maker Hori. That controller is now confirmed to launch in the US, with pricing information included. But the comments on Sony's announcement is proving to be as interesting as the controller itself.

Small is in again with these new controllers but the Mini Wired Controller is the king of the small. It has just the exact number of buttons and sticks you'll need to play a PS4 game, including right and left sticks, D-pad, four action buttons, and the four shoulder buttons. It also comes with a 10 ft cable inversely proportional to its size.

Naturally, with something this small, something had to give. The controller doesn't have room on the surface for a touch pad, but that can be emulated by the analog sticks. But there also isn't room inside for a light bar, a stereo headset jack, a speaker, vibration feedback, and motion sensors, and those you can't emulate.

The Mini Wired Controller is obviously designed for those with smaller hands or less stable grips. That's almost a shorthand for "kids", which is why some commenters are raising concerns over the safety implications of wired controllers. Some worry about kids tripping over them, pulling them hard and the PS4 along with it, or accidentally strangling themselves. Some, however, point out that wired controllers have been the standard for decades, and very little near fatal accidents have been reported.

Regardless, the PS3 Mini Wired Controller is coming to the US and Canada this holiday season. It will go for $29.99, which is indeed pretty low. You will need to have a preference or at least a tolerance for blue, though, as that will be the only color available.