Sony’s Dualshock 4 is a pretty fantastic controller. Mostly because it’s actually different from their last 5, which were all essentially the same thing, just with extra bits added on to them. Still, though it’s got some extra bells and whistles, it’s really not fundamentally much different from the previous one is it? It could have been. In fact, it could have been a lot like the 360’s controller.
Sony’s planning boss Yoshimasa Aoki revealed to VentureBeat that at one point, the DualShock 4 looked a heck of a lot like the Xbox 360 controller – in that it had similar analogue stick placement.
“For the analog sticks, we did test having the analog sticks on top, since the Xbox has the left side on top. Especially from the shooter teams — we got feedback that that’s what they wanted. They knew that consumers liked the 360 for shooters.”
He added, “The feedback from the user test team said that we needed to test this version, the Xbox version, and this version. [But having the two sticks symmetrical on the left and right sides] is kind of in our DNA. The prototype team, myself, and also the management team really felt that having this look is the PlayStation look, and we had to keep that.”
For PlayStation fans, the symmetrical layout of the sticks will always feel like home – but honestly, saying that the symmetry is “kind of in our DNA” is the worst reason to keep things the ay they are. I prefer the asymmetrical layout you’ll find on Microsoft’s controllers, but that’s probably because I spent a lot of time making hand love to the Dreamcast’s magnificent input peripheral.
I must say, I’m pretty taken with the Dualshock 4, though I still don’t like the triggers on that controller. As far as triggers go though, those rumbling ones on the Xbox one are pretty damned magical.
Right now though? We’re talking sticks. Which layout do you prefer?
Last Updated: October 22, 2013