Home Gaming E3 2013: Who has the better next-gen controller?

E3 2013: Who has the better next-gen controller?

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controllers

One of my goals at E3 today was to get a little bit of hands-on time with both of the next gen consoles – mostly so I could get a feel for both controllers. I did that – and I like one of them better than the other.

The controller that shows the biggest change, obviously, is Sony’s. No longer sporting that tired Dualshock design that’s been around for nigh on two decades. It’s a little less narrow, a little longer. The analogue nubs are a little less slippery and it’s got that touchpad in the middle of it. It also has some proper triggers on it now instead of those spongy, slippery things that made shooters a pain to play on the PlayStation 3. It’s also got that colour-changing lightbar on it – and, finally a headset jack.

It’s a far, far better controller than the Dualshock – and I love how it feels in the hand. The triggers though are a little off, feeling perhaps a bit too angular, and the touchpad is admittedly quite awkward to use.

The Xbox One controller is, prima facie, not all that different from the 360 controller. It’s a little more ergonomic and classier looking than before, and the triggers are a little shorter, leading to quicker trigger pulling. The analogues are infinitely smoother than their predecessors, and their little nubs just that little bit smaller and more comfortable. It’s snug, and comfortable, and feels fantastic. It’s probably the most confortable controller I’ve ever used,with its only real downside being the fact that it still requires AA batteries instead of the more forward thinking, built-in rechargeable one.

The big differentiator in the Xbox one controller though is in the tiny motors that make the triggers rumble, giving haptic feedback. It’s a little difficult to convey just what a difference it makes. in driving games, it adds the sort of force feedback you’d only get from high end racing wheels. In shooters, each and every bullet feels like it’s being propelled from your hands, and it’ll make stealth sections especially tense with a pulsing heartbeat that you’ll feel in your fingertips. It’s such a small, seemingly pointless addition – but it makes the world of difference.

There’s very little to like about the Xbox One’s anti-consumer DRM policies – but there’s very little bad to say about its controller.

Last Updated: June 12, 2013

89 Comments

  1. Rinceyouropinion

    June 12, 2013 at 12:37

    Yeah, I have to say, I prefer the look of the Xbox One controller, and the micro-motors? WIN!

    Reply

  2. Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    June 12, 2013 at 12:39

    I will concede that to microsoft. Their controller looks good. Pitty I can’t say the same about the box itself

    Reply

  3. Ultimo_Cleric N7

    June 12, 2013 at 12:41

    Cool. Sounds like both are big improvements. Kudos to MS though.

    Reply

  4. Umar Kiiroi Senk?

    June 12, 2013 at 12:41

    I hope this controller will be able to work on PC too, man I will be so happy

    Reply

  5. That Tall Twit

    June 12, 2013 at 12:43

    Wonder if the mini motors would commit mass murder on AA batteries.

    Reply

    • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

      June 12, 2013 at 12:49

      Good point… Never thought of how quickly haptic feedback would eat through AA batteries.

      Reply

      • That Tall Twit

        June 12, 2013 at 12:51

        Can imagine after an hour of playing a FPS, batteries will need replacing.

        Reply

        • Rinceyouropinion

          June 12, 2013 at 12:53

          After an hour, most current FPS games would then need changing 😉 Trololo!

          Reply

          • That Tall Twit

            June 12, 2013 at 12:54

            BWAHAHA!

  6. Happy Hamster

    June 12, 2013 at 12:47

    I think this is where MS gets clever and you can purchase a rechargeable battery pack because the new controller will eat batteries which might convince the gamer to buy there pack….
    just a thought

    Reply

    • Rinceyouropinion

      June 12, 2013 at 12:49

      Yeah, @39f8a9e0d913fbfc100f15d1c5ca4295:disqus just said as much.

      Reply

      • Happy Hamster

        June 12, 2013 at 12:55

        hahahaha i didnt see that

        Reply

  7. Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    June 12, 2013 at 12:58

    I haven’t held either in my hand yet, so it’s a bit difficult to say. Aesthetically, I like the PS4’s controller’s design (it reminds me of a banana), but the xbox one’s controller is a “looker” as well.

    But.. can either of them do this….

    http://25.media.tumblr.com/ce90ea904578e8880a964b0f5f965430/tumblr_mmrce14mjF1rjdfzto1_400.gif

    Reply

    • Trevor Davies

      June 12, 2013 at 13:04

      Well given the precision control shown I would say no, it’s clearly a mouse & kb 😀

      Reply

    • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

      June 12, 2013 at 13:09

      Hahaha. Check the last kick. Guy has his hand destroyed lol. See how he moves it down and in at the last moment. Silly man. Didn’t his sensei teach him how to stand still? n00b

      Reply

      • Spathi

        June 12, 2013 at 13:11

        “Dis jou verdiende loon, jou swaapagtige noolkop bangbroek!! Luister as ek met jou praat, hoor jy my!?”

        Reply

        • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

          June 12, 2013 at 13:14

          Bwhahahahaha!

          Reply

    • John Ambitious

      June 12, 2013 at 13:14

      Yes, but does it have the precision of a banana?

      Reply

      • Brady miaau

        June 12, 2013 at 13:25

        Not at all, no.

        Food for thought, that. Thanks for the input.

        Reply

    • Brady miaau

      June 12, 2013 at 13:15

      So this Banana thing, you just like them or what?

      Seems odd to pattern a lifestyle around a banana. Seriously.

      A Grapefruit, on the other hand, is far more likely to have such an honour. It is complex, hold many different tastes, flavours and textures. Works with most things.

      Ah, I dunno nothing.

      Reply

      • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

        June 12, 2013 at 13:20

        You don’t adopt the moniker Banana Jim without finding yourself – at 3 in the morning – hungover, in a banana suit and lying in a fruit bowl…

        I’ve said far too much already…

        Reply

        • Andre116

          June 12, 2013 at 13:22

          and a banana is technically a herb.

          *pat myself on the back*

          Reply

          • Brady miaau

            June 12, 2013 at 13:28

            indeed

        • Brady miaau

          June 12, 2013 at 13:29

          I get the banana suit, I get the fruit bowl.

          But hungover at 3 AM? Hah, seriously, now.

          Reply

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            June 12, 2013 at 13:31

            My liver works miracles…. 😛

      • HvR

        June 12, 2013 at 13:34

        always thought you were a bit of a sour puss

        only joking 🙂

        Reply

        • Brady miaau

          June 12, 2013 at 13:57

          Awesome!

          Probably….

          Reply

    • Rinceyouropinion

      June 12, 2013 at 15:24

      Haha, if you look carefully, the dude on the left is actually bending the board before it’s kicked. Still wicked cool though!

      Reply

  8. That Tall Twit

    June 12, 2013 at 13:02

    I could not resist…

    Reply

  9. Jakster

    June 12, 2013 at 13:06

    “There’s very little to like about the Xbox One’s anti-consumer DRM
    policies – “… That there just shows how worthless this controller is.

    Reply

    • Brady miaau

      June 12, 2013 at 13:13

      One does not necessarily follow the other.

      Reply

  10. Tbone187

    June 12, 2013 at 13:07

    Whats de fuss about AA batteries…? Haven’t folks heard about rechargable AA’s…? It’s actually a better option than factory lithiums coz u can pick them up just about anywhere and can have many in reserve as backup…

    Reply

    • Spathi

      June 12, 2013 at 13:09

      But why? Why not have a controller with built in rechargeables? Ones that charge in a hour or two and work for days. Ones that can recharge while you are playing?

      Reply

      • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

        June 12, 2013 at 13:10

        Simple, so they can charge you extra for a charge and play accessory. Extra money income for them

        Reply

      • Tbone187

        June 12, 2013 at 13:11

        Errr… you have the option of both, even with the xbox 360…If the factory battery fails, you can always pop down to de store for AA’s…Best of both worlds…Don’t think we should get strung up with factory rechargeables ….

        Reply

        • Spathi

          June 12, 2013 at 13:14

          I don’t get what you are saying about having both with the xbox 360? please clarify?

          What is better, plugging in your controller and then continue to play, or popping into the store to buy more batteries?

          Reply

          • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

            June 12, 2013 at 13:15

            He meant if your battery pack dies. Then what? you have to go buy a new one. AA rechargeables are cheaper than a new factory battery pack

          • Spathi

            June 12, 2013 at 13:19

            Ah okay. I don’t agree with him though. I have the R 200+ (for four) rechargables that I use for my camera and Xbox controllers currently. For a set of extra batteries, it costs an extra R 200+. These rechargeables rather quickly lose their potency, if used a lot.

            My PS3 remote (original, before DS3) still keeps a charge for days and days.

          • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

            June 12, 2013 at 13:24

            Well I’m no console expert so I don’t know. I just thought that AA rechargeables are cheaper than the rechargeable Xbox battery packs. Oh well. One learns every day

          • Spathi

            June 12, 2013 at 13:28

            Most are, but I tend to buy more expensive variants in the hope that they last longer, which they certainly do! Don’t know how much the battery packs costs though…

          • Tbone187

            June 12, 2013 at 13:18

            Mate, you can get a factory rechargeable battery for the Xbox360 controller that charges when plugged into the system or you can use the AA ones…more choice for you , the customer. How is that a bad thing…

          • Spathi

            June 12, 2013 at 13:22

            Didn’t know about the proprietary rechargeable battery for the controllers. I was genuine asking a question 🙂 Choice is always better!

          • Brady miaau

            June 12, 2013 at 13:24

            Popping to the store. The Xbox purposely drains the batteries faster when it detects you are a bit fatigued and could probably do with some fresh air.

            Clever, Eh?

          • Spathi

            June 12, 2013 at 13:27

            Damn Kinect spying on me!

          • Tbone187

            June 12, 2013 at 13:29

            hehe…heard it monitors your heart rate as well…Get too excited and expect some proper marketing material coming your way for whatever was on screen at the time…

      • Jakster

        June 12, 2013 at 13:11

        How does one charge a controller that’s so far away and high up in a cupboard? Do you want people tripping over cables like it’s year 1998?

        Reply

        • Brady miaau

          June 12, 2013 at 13:31

          wireless charging?

          We can use 2.4 Ghz wifi to charge them, probably take about about 4 days to get a 20% charge, BUT how awesome is that?

          Reply

          • HvR

            June 12, 2013 at 13:59

            Until the cat walks between the controller and box and gets turned into McNuggets by the microwave beam needed to transfer the power.

            With current wifi, assuming ideal environment, no loss charging circuit 5m from the wifi source you are looking at 600 000 000 hours for 1800mAh 3V battery pack.

          • Brady miaau

            June 12, 2013 at 14:06

            Well, yes. I got one of the electronic engineers to calculate how much we could get is we put “receptors” on the entire factory roof, covered the damn thing.

            Turns out a small solar panel is better, using far,far,far less room.

            It annoys me, because there is energy out there going to waste.

          • HvR

            June 12, 2013 at 14:28

            not going to waste, needed to send information.

            You are only transmitting at 10mW (typically max 100mW allowed) the power level drops exponentially mostly due to the “spreading” of the transmitting pattern so at 5m (-50dBm) the power level is at 10nW.

          • Brady miaau

            June 12, 2013 at 18:29

            Yeah, I know but there is so much of it out there. All the spectrums, like 433Mhz as well. Massive. I use a spectrum analyser sometimes and we have built “noise floor detectors” for various frequencies and you would be shocked to see how much is just going on around us all.

            Yet, as you say, we cannot transmit very powerful signals and the amount of actual energy is minimal.

          • HvR

            June 13, 2013 at 09:39

            Ever put on a microwave close to the spectrum analyzer, you will see why it is a wifi killer.

      • Brady miaau

        June 12, 2013 at 13:13

        The new controllers can be wired and when plugged in (Micro USB) then they switch off wireless and charge, while you play.

        My wife has a need to not be around too many transmitting devices (a complicated pacemaker) in the Electromagnetic line, so I look out for that type of thing.

        For example, the WII instruction book says my wife may not come within 10 meters of the controller when it is on and in use

        Reply

        • Spathi

          June 12, 2013 at 13:15

          Makes sense.

          Reply

        • Lourens Jordaan

          June 12, 2013 at 13:16

          That’ll keep her in the kitchen.
          *sorry Brady, couldn’t resist.

          Reply

          • Brady miaau

            June 12, 2013 at 13:23

            Awesome!

            I will speak to her. Maybe not tonight, see how the mood is, but yeah.

            Just one small problem: I do most of the cooking, which we, being unconventional people, do in the kitchen.

    • Jakster

      June 12, 2013 at 13:09

      But haven’t you heard about the DRM issue? “There’s very little to like about the Xbox One’s anti-consumer DRM policies”

      Reply

  11. Skyblue

    June 12, 2013 at 13:08

    The X360 controller was always better than the PS3 imo so $ony had to do some fixing wheras M$ made some subtle changes.

    Reply

  12. Sageville

    June 12, 2013 at 13:32

    Can’t say I’ve ever liked the Xbox controller, but I do like that haptic trigger feedback idea.

    Reply

  13. CaptainNemo42

    June 12, 2013 at 13:39

    So the best controller will never be used?

    Reply

  14. brad coetzee

    June 12, 2013 at 13:43

    pity they have the better controller. Wont sway my vote though. PC PC PC!

    Reply

  15. Deano

    June 12, 2013 at 13:58

    The PS3 controller looks like they tried to squash way to much on it.

    The Xbox One Controller is spot on! just wish MS would listen to crit on its console!

    I’ll end up getting both in any case.
    Im a gamer and I want to play games on both 🙂

    Reply

  16. Stanley Watson

    June 12, 2013 at 14:09

    I read somewhere that you can get a Xbox 360 controller to work with PS3 (or maybe it’s a different buy altogether). Perhaps XBox One controllers will become available for the PS4, or some workaround? I’m hoping for that.

    Reply

    • Andre116

      June 12, 2013 at 18:44

      I’m pretty sure that there are 3rd party controllers out there for the ps3 that was modeled on the 360.

      Reply

  17. Khulani Ndlovu

    June 12, 2013 at 14:21

    The Xbox One controller is a win for me although i’m buying the PS4 no questions asked, 🙂

    Reply

  18. TheFez

    June 12, 2013 at 18:43

    Truly

    Reply

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