Unlike prior controller models, the DualShock 4 features digital buttons. These buttons are only capable of registering two states: on and off. Analog controllers, on the other hand, offer sensitivity for how hard and how quickly a button is depressed. A good example of this functionality can be found in Gran Turismo 5, a racing game that allows players to gradually accelerate by slowly pressing the shoulder buttons of the DualShock 3 controller.
Unfortunately for analog fans, Gran Turismo 5 is one of the very few examples of analog functionality in action on the PlayStation 3. This is why the feature has been stripped from the DualShock 4. "With the DualShock 3, we were able to get analog data, which games didn't really use," said Toshimasa Aoki, manager of Sony's product planning division, in a VentureBeat interview. "For DualShock 4, we deleted that, and now it's all digital. The mechanism inside is a little different, and the data that games get is different."