Right now, it's impossible to use a PlayStation 3 fighting stick on PlayStation 4. You need to buy a new stick. Lab Zero Games is going to change that for Skullgirls, however, as the studio announced it's developed a USB driver to introduce stick compatibility.
This is big news for fighting game fans, and has the potential to save them some money.
There's a catch, though. While Sony already given the compatibility driver an official thumbs up and Lab Zero is moving into a public testing phase, this doesn't automatically mean every fighting game on PS4 will suddenly have support for old fighting sticks. It's not an official PS4 feature, and the driver needs to be implemented into every game.
Thus, stick compatibility only applies to Skullgirls at the moment. But that could change.
"We think it’s better for the consumer and the industry that you be able to spend your hard-earned money buying games instead of buying a new fight stick," said Lab Zero CEO Peter Bartholow.
To that end, when the driver's finished, Lab Zero will be giving it away free of charge. Any developer interested in Lab Zero's driver only has to ask for permission to use it. That's it.
Lab Zero can't force anyone to implement the driver. Players can ask (and hope) Capcom and others consider using Lab Zero's consumer-friendly solution to stick incompatibility, however.
Building this driver wasn't as simple as flipping a switch, and Lab Zero has partnered with Naughty Dog programmer John Bellomy for help. Giant Bomb users might know him better as Cowboy. This isn't an official Naughty Dog initiative, however. It's a side project for Bellomy.
If you're interested in helping Lab Zero finalize the driver, the company will be testing at its upcoming public events. The next one is this coming Saturday at UGC in Panorama City, CA. It will also be at the PlayStation Experience in December.