Sony Considered "Drastically Changing" The Dual Shock 4
The new Dual Shock 4 controller for the PlayStation 4 features several upgrades and changes in basic design.
But actually, it's not as drastically different as Sony had originally planned. For instance, did you know that the prototype controller boasted a touchscreen? Yes, really.
Product planning manager Toshimasa Aoki told GamesBeat they ultimately scrapped the idea because it would distract players from what was happening on the TV screen:
"A touchscreen was another idea that we had. We actually tested it, but [besides cost factors], our game teams felt like having to look down at the controller is not what they want to do. They want to have the consumers concentrated on the big picture that they show [on the TV]."
Aoki also said that at the start of the design process, Sony considered "drastically changing" the standard concept of the Dual Shock controller. This included trying out "new devices" and "changing the form factor" and in the end, Sony actually created over 20 prototypes. Some had no buttons at all, just touch panels, which doesn't sound appealing in the slightest. They even took inspiration from the competition:
"For the analog sticks, 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."
Sony further tested other analog stick placements, including one that Nintendo ended up using: Putting the analog sticks at the top of the Wii U GamePad or Pro Controller. Said Aoki:
"When Nintendo came out with that, we were like, 'Wow, that's just like our prototype!’ That surprised us."
The team concluded, however, that this wouldn't work because it would have a negative impact on a player's muscle memory, which is probably true. In the end, they delivered what you've seen detailed as the Dual Shock 4. I still say we didn't need the touch pad (just a gimmick) but other than that, it's pretty sweet, right?
10/22/2013 10:10:15 AM Ben Dutka