Home Gaming The PS4 controller was once more like the 360’s

The PS4 controller was once more like the 360’s

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Dswhat

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

56 Comments

  1. oVg

    October 22, 2013 at 14:07

    Header WIN.

    Reply

  2. John's digital rights

    October 22, 2013 at 14:07

    I quite like the Xbox’s placement, and their nice concave analog heads. Makes for some comfy gameplay and I don’t ever use it for shooters, so can’t agree or disagree to that part.

    But there’s the Steam controller, which might just win my purchase. If I can just give the two test drives.

    Reply

    • Skyblue

      October 22, 2013 at 14:30

      The concave analog sticks were a huge improvement over the traditional Sony controllers. Very happy to see Sony have adopted them for the DS4. I actually purchased thumbstick covers (concave) and clip-on triggers for my DS3 controllers.

      Reply

    • Hesperus Phosphorus

      October 22, 2013 at 15:32

      The 360’s controller is pretty decent for shooters, too.

      I’ve never really had an issue with any controllers – from the NES through to the 360/PS3… except some cheap piece of shiet PS1 controller I bought on a whim on account of its turbo buttons… the N64’s gamepad could also be a bit rubbishy depending on the game.

      Reply

  3. Sentient_Slug

    October 22, 2013 at 14:08

    Dammit all those who have traditionally played xXbox will prefer asymmetry. All those who grew up on Playstation will prefer symmetry. dammit Xbox has “supposedly” the best control by far. BUT when i play on it i cant STAND it, AND it doesn’t have a built in battery. so to me the PS controller is better (but only for me). As far as I’m concerned it doesn’t come down to the controller. UNLESS the controller really is a complete abomination. which i don’t see happening here. Troll article.

    Reply

    • John's digital rights

      October 22, 2013 at 14:12

      I grew up with a PS. Played once on an Xbox controller and bought one for my pc, prefer it over my ps controller which just gets lost in my hands (but to each his own and all).

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief Ninja

        October 22, 2013 at 14:12

        I use a logitech rumblepad 2, works for me

        Reply

        • John's digital rights

          October 22, 2013 at 14:16

          Those are actually quite comfy, bigger than the PS one.

          Reply

        • Skyblue

          October 22, 2013 at 14:37

          I used to use the wireless version, great controller but the X360 one is better.

          Reply

          • Admiral Chief Ninja

            October 22, 2013 at 14:38

            I have that one, lekker for platformers or racing games, not so much the rest

          • John's Steaming backlog

            October 22, 2013 at 14:38

            That’s all us pc gamers use controllers for. I quite enjoyed Batman with my controller, I must say.

          • Skyblue

            October 22, 2013 at 14:40

            It even works great in X-Wing Alliance dammit, now stop disagreeing, BITCH! ;p

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      October 22, 2013 at 14:32

      It’s not a troll article, it’s a Geoff arti…oh.. nm.

      Reply

  4. Kromas

    October 22, 2013 at 14:18

    And on Valves first try they make something that looks comfy and responds like a champ. Sony should have spoken to PC gamers for input 😛

    Reply

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      October 22, 2013 at 14:27

      If they had we all know what the answer would be. “Use a kb&m!”

      Reply

      • Skyblue

        October 22, 2013 at 14:31

        You forgot the “BOOM!!!!!!!!”

        Reply

      • Kromas

        October 22, 2013 at 14:35

        Why change what has worked flawlessly for years. 😛

        Reply

  5. Umar heartless

    October 22, 2013 at 14:19

    I prefer having two speakers on my controller

    Reply

  6. ToshZA

    October 22, 2013 at 14:21

    I’ve always preferred the Xbox controller. It’s always been more comfortable for long weekends of gaming on the couch.

    The new DS4 though is a huge, huge improvement, and while the Xbox is still better, I think the gap is now a lot smaller between them.

    Reply

    • Skyblue

      October 22, 2013 at 14:28

      The entire top of the Xbone controller is better than the DS4. The triggers, LB and RB buttons are much bigger and way easier to access and most important feel really solid to the touch. The triggers on the DS4 are much better than DS3 but still crap imo. The analogue stick placement is a non-issue for me as I’ve been playing Sony consoles since the first and don’t really mind where they are.

      Reply

  7. Umar heartless

    October 22, 2013 at 14:22

    Was busy working, came back and the downvote troll is still active…Dem dedication balls

    Reply

    • ToshZA

      October 22, 2013 at 14:23

      Ah the problems of having no life, no job, and nothing better to do than click little down arrows all day. I want those kind of problems. Minus the financial ones.

      Reply

  8. John's digital rights

    October 22, 2013 at 14:23

    I think someone left their baby by the pc and it’s just clicking away at downvotes.

    Reply

  9. DiegoZicoB

    October 22, 2013 at 14:27

    I do not get these controller vs. controller discussions. I’ve never even given it a thought. I pick up the controller and play and will play for hours. Discomfort or a controller feeling weird has never been an issue. Can someone explain this all to me…?

    Reply

    • John's Steaming backlog

      October 22, 2013 at 14:30

      For some of us with neanderthal hands like myself the PS controller can actually be quite painful to use. And for the rest, a lot of it is about personal preference, that’s why we have articles such as these.

      Reply

      • DiegoZicoB

        October 22, 2013 at 14:33

        It’s just an odd concept to me that people sit and think about a controller so deeply. Maybe it’s just because I have delicate lady hands so I’ve never had to stop and think about these things.

        Reply

        • John's Steaming backlog

          October 22, 2013 at 14:35

          Well, tbh, I’m a pc gamer, so having so many options with everything makes you analyze each before you buy. But that could just be me.

          Reply

          • Kromas

            October 22, 2013 at 14:37

            We need to get a good RSI wrist strap comparison guide. 😛

          • DiegoZicoB

            October 22, 2013 at 14:50

            True. With consoles you’re stuck with what you get. A controller is not going to be the deciding factor in choosing one console over another though.

          • John's Steaming backlog

            October 22, 2013 at 14:56

            No. Definitely not. I love and prefer the Xbox controller but own a PS3.

  10. Purple_Dragon

    October 22, 2013 at 14:27

    My problem with the XBOX controller is the battery thing.

    Reply

    • ToshZA

      October 22, 2013 at 14:40

      After market rechargeable batteries – or the one with a play & charge kit. Work just dandy. An entire weekend of gaming on one charge. It also adds that weight, which is one thing I prefer over the DS controllers.

      Reply

      • Skyblue

        October 22, 2013 at 14:43

        The weight is a factor, agreed. Always just felt like a better controller with the additional weight. The play and charge kits are fine but with rigorous use they don’t last forever. My son has been through 3 in the last few years.

        Reply

        • Circuitflow

          October 22, 2013 at 16:42

          Weird, i have had my xbox recharge kit since 2007 and it never failed me , ever. maybe i am just lucky but im still using the same one today even though i have changde controller from original white to black i still have the white recharge kit.

          Reply

          • Skyblue

            October 22, 2013 at 17:01

            Geez well that’s pretty awesome. I must say that the batteries in my house get abused though as the X360 is always on.

      • Rikus

        October 22, 2013 at 14:56

        Those charge and play kits are rubbish IMO. I have two and both stopped working after a couple of months. They don’t charge the batteries anymore.

        Reply

        • Hesperus Phosphorus

          October 22, 2013 at 15:25

          Haven’t had that problem, but I found that the battery’s play time drastically decreases after a good few months… and then finally you’re forced to play wired until you get yet another one.

          Reply

          • Rikus

            October 22, 2013 at 16:01

            My Xbox controllers have been wired ever since. That’s just how I roll.

          • Hesperus Phosphorus

            October 22, 2013 at 16:16

            I’m still living a lie thinking my controllers are actually wireless…

  11. Maxiviper117

    October 22, 2013 at 14:51

    I just get on an play the game, ps3 or xbox control, doesnt bother me

    Reply

  12. Deano

    October 22, 2013 at 14:52

    Xbox Controller by far, it just feels so much more comfortable, my hands always feel cramped on DS3. But from the above article Sony have pretty much admited that.

    We know the Xbox controller layout is better but our two symmetric sticks are our trademark so we not changing. Is pretty much what he has said. Candy coat it how you like.

    Now before people jump on my Xbox fanboi post, I’d like to agree that the xbox battery is a down side, I have’nt really seen many pics of the Xboxone controllers backs but hopefully they smooth like the PS controllers, and I must add that the DS4 looks like a marked improvement on the DS3.

    Overall Xbox controllers just feel better built, and for some reason you can get them for R400 – R500 where as Sony’s DS3’s go for R700 – R900. Dunno what drives their costs up.

    Sony have always struggled with controllers thou, Remember when they launced PS3 and said rumble was a thing of the past, then backtracked to include it and now PS4 still has old gen rumble included.

    No one jumped all over them for backtracking on that statement. Just saying.

    Reply

    • John's Steaming backlog

      October 22, 2013 at 14:55

      Price difference is a bit much, I agree, regardless of having a built-in chargeable battery.

      Reply

      • Deano

        October 22, 2013 at 14:56

        Yeah, for R150 you can get 4x AA rechargable batteries with a charger.

        Reply

      • TiMsTeR1033

        October 22, 2013 at 15:30

        xbox 360 current controller feels great! Ps4 controller should of gone for the layout in the header. Feels more natural for the thumbs..

        Reply

        • John's Steaming backlog

          October 22, 2013 at 15:32

          It does hey?

          Reply

    • Skyblue

      October 22, 2013 at 14:59

      The back of the controller is now flat. The battery compartment has been incorporated into the design so it doesn’t protrude anymore.

      Reply

      • Deano

        October 22, 2013 at 14:59

        Thats great to hear 🙂

        Reply

  13. Ir0nseraph

    October 22, 2013 at 15:06

    I prefer my 360 controller over Xbox one ( had a quick go at rage) I don’t like the new smaller feel , while the new DS4 is bigger which in turns helps , but I need more game time to announce a clear winner.As to the question thou xbox layout is more comfy for me.

    Reply

  14. Devourer of Small Bunnies

    October 22, 2013 at 15:21

    Wait a sec. 5? There was the digital + analogue of ps1 days. the DS2 for PS2 and the DS3 for the 3? What did I miss?

    Reply

    • Devourer of Small Bunnies

      October 22, 2013 at 15:21

      thats 4 total for the folk with m4thz0r sk1llz

      Reply

    • oVg

      October 22, 2013 at 15:32

      That missing control pad ?

      Remember when SONY were the dicks and Microsoft where the cool kids? 2007 SONY decided to loose the vibration because they did not want to pay royalties to Immersion Software. Whereas Nintendo and Microsoft were more than happy to keep the RUMBLE.

      SONY told us that rumble was old gen. So they released the PS3 with a control pad that was as light as a wafer. They FAILED so hard when they realised that GT5 needed it.

      I never got TWO jobs in the end and could only afford a 360.

      Reply

      • Devourer of Small Bunnies

        October 22, 2013 at 18:08

        Completely missed out on that. Holy shit. Interesting, Im gonna go read up now 🙂

        Reply

  15. Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    October 22, 2013 at 16:19

    I’m glad they stuck with the classic layout. I’m probably in the minority, but I absolutely hate how the xbox 260 controller feels in my hands.

    Reply

  16. Ricardo Harvey

    October 22, 2013 at 16:32

    UX FAIL: When you know whats best for the user but decide not to give it. Because of pride in this case I might add. I still think that they should have an official Playstation controller with asymmetrical analogue placement. Then to each his own, I will fork out the extra cash for it. Just give me the damn choice. Especially for those coming from a sbox 360 background

    Reply

    • Stoshy

      December 14, 2013 at 22:03

      No, UX WIN! They managed to keep their product identifiable and original, all while improving the ergonomics of its predecessors. The PlayStation 4 controller is very comfortable to use. The analogs are much easier to access and control. This is coming from someone that despised the PlayStation 3 controller. You must remember that not all games are first person shooters. Where the Xbox controller fell short was on performers, fighting, and racing games. The PlayStation is well known for its large library of these genres. Its controller takes the cake.

      Reply

  17. Zubayr Bhyat

    October 23, 2013 at 07:23

    TBH The Xbox One controller’s analogs are not that grippy as the PS4’s. Both are good though, in different ways at least.

    Reply

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