Sony's PS4 Controller Prototypes Sounded Completely Crazy

Illustration for article titled Sony's PS4 Controller Prototypes Sounded Completely Crazy

The DualShock 4 marks the first time in over a decade that substantial changes have been made to the design of a PlayStation controller. But what we ended up getting is nowhere near as drastic a change as we could have got.


In a great piece on VentureBeat examining the development process behind the DualShock 4, Toshimasa Aoki - the man charged with leading the design team - explains how Sony went a little nutso in the prototype stage.

"...we made, I don’t know, more than 20 prototypes", he said. "Some had no buttons, just touch panels. Some were rounded. All this crazy stuff.”

That's nothing compared to what else they dabbled in.

"For the analog sticks,” he says, “we did test having the analog sticks on top, since the Xbox has the left side on top [above the D-pad]. Especially from the shooter teams — we got feedback that that’s what they wanted. They knew that consumers liked the 360 for shooters."

Seems that despite the Xbox influence, this particular prototype was almost identical to the Pro controller Nintendo would release for the Wii U, with the face buttons below the right stick. Sony didn't go through with the idea because the team felt that it put the X button in the wrong spot.

The PlayStation 4 controller: The weird stuff that could’ve been (part 1, exclusive) [GamesBeat]


The thing that bothers me, is that it has been openly expressed by Sony, and Cerny too, how important the FPS is to them. That's why they developed the controller the way which they did. This reasoning to me is just limiting.

There is a lot of stuff which can be done with FPS games for sure, and loads of expansion around the first person perspective too, but shouldn't that have been pushed in a way which also encourages a new way to play games, and next-generation of play?

It kinda ties into the overall theme of the PS4 , in that it really does seem like a upgraded PS3. It's more power to play the same games, and that was some of the aim with the controller.

From a core gamer perspective, and long time console gamer, I am happy in some respects to see Sony still look to put out a machine for gaming. But the way they are opening, with Indie's and an FPS capable focused controller, it's like they're banking on the current trend being the longtime target. It certainly has helped their appeal over the other consoles though. They have become the ultimate crowd pleaser with this direction.

Having had all this time to digest it, the PS4 is just very boring. The Wii U comes a standard with the touchscreen, the Xbox One comes with Kinect, even the Steam Console looks to have tried something with their controller. Everyone else is at least offering a different taste, whereas Sony seems to have took a chance at playing to the space left by these alternate paths, and offered what gamers want right now. Sure, it can evolve, but still, it's kinda dull.