Sony’s PS4 Controller Prototypes Sounded Completely Crazy

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 analogue sticks,” he says, “we did test having the analogue 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]


    • There’s that oft misattributed to Henry Ford quote that goes:

      “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

      Just because something works well, doesn’t mean there’s not something that works better. You can’t go through life with that attitude Andy.

      • And “change for the sake of change” too often leads to throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

  • So Sony and Valve had similar ideas, but Sony went traditional and Valve went innovative…?

    We shall see who wins.

  • I love the look of the Dual Shock 4. The better grips and the improved triggers pretty much fix my main problem with the Dual Shock 3 (and 2 and 1).

  • Derr, its a prototype. Its the only opportunity throughout basically the entire console’s life to do weird and strange (and sometimes innovative) things without the public backlash (like prematurely showing off the PS3’s boomerang controller).

    “Why mess with something that aint broke” is like saying “its the best we’re ever gonna achieve so lets not even try to innovate”.

  • I used to think that DS3 was the best controller, until I got one of those Wii U Pros. That thing is boss.

    • Yeah, I got one half price and I’m using it for WW. It’s light, comfortable, and the stick position is pretty neat.

  • Very happy with the DS4. The one they’ve stuck with the last 3 or so generations has always bugged me. The D-pad is given prime real estate under the thumb’s neutral resting position at the expense of the left analogue stick, which requires some extending to reach. It’s a vestige of the PSX when Sony one-upped the N64’s single analogue stick by jerry-rigging two medial to the first controller’s handles. Voila! Call it the DUALshock! For some damnable reason, they stuck with it for 2 more generations.

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