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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?

Tags: dual shock 4 controller, playstation 4 controller, ps4 controller

10/22/2013 10:10:15 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (17 posts)

Sandtech
Tuesday, October 22, 2013 @ 11:20:50 AM
Reply

I like what I see so far on the DS4. I like a good shooter as well as my rpgs, so the changes to the triggers are music to my ears. I still need to see how it feels. If anyone out there has had “hands on”, let us know what you think.

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AcHiLLiA
Tuesday, October 22, 2013 @ 3:20:23 PM

I can't say much but I have custom triggers (that are similar in shape like that on the DS4) on my PS3 and boy what a game changer. The stock R2-L2 45 degree slope style when pressed was a bad design on the DS3.

Last edited by AcHiLLiA on 10/22/2013 3:21:42 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, October 22, 2013 @ 11:37:13 AM
Reply

I think shooter people are just used to the Xbox stick up top, Playstation's placement below the D-pad makes more sense because your thumb has maximum flexibility and range of motion when it isn't stretched across the controller.

Though it woulda been cool if we had the feedback triggers Xbone gets.

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godsman
Tuesday, October 22, 2013 @ 12:39:50 PM

Feed back trigger is exactly as the name implies, meant for shooters. Its a great idea, but not being a shooter fan, I rather see feedback analog sticks or face buttons.

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Knightzane
Tuesday, October 22, 2013 @ 12:02:51 PM
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I really like what 'Thief' is doing with the controller. Can't wait to see what other Devs are going to do with it.

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LegendaryWolfeh
Tuesday, October 22, 2013 @ 12:58:09 PM
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So, how bout those steam controllers? They don't have 'buttons' so it's not that farfetched. Regardless, I would rather always choose a DualShock over any other controller, except for maybe old sega/snes controllers.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, October 22, 2013 @ 2:37:06 PM

The steam controller has buttons aplenty.
It's analogue sticks it don't have, instead is has two pads with so called "haptic feedback", in that it can change character/surface/feedback depending on the game.
So for example it can imitate the surface of a rolling ball, or give button "clicks" as feedback. It's supposedly so precise and quick that they can technically work as speakers.

I'm... Interested. Curious.

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MeXiCaNFiGhTe12
Tuesday, October 22, 2013 @ 12:59:51 PM
Reply

Am I the only person still left wondering what the boomerang controller would have been like?

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godsman
Tuesday, October 22, 2013 @ 1:20:54 PM

You would have a broken tv when you play batman.

Last edited by godsman on 10/22/2013 1:21:16 PM

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Masszt3r
Tuesday, October 22, 2013 @ 1:48:56 PM

Why would you be the only person left wondering?

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bigrailer19
Tuesday, October 22, 2013 @ 2:22:45 PM
Reply

I dont think Sony ever needs to change their basic design. The placement of the sticks is perfect because of the way you hold the controller and your thumbs movement capabilities. Honestly the 360's controller is not comfortable for ling periods if your not used to it. The fact that you have to get used to it is a hinderance. People use it because its all they have not because they like it.

Furthermore Sonys controller works better with a wide variety of gameplay types and thats whats important. Not shooters.

As far as the touch screen Im glad developing teams stepped in. What a huge mistake that would have been.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 10/22/2013 2:22:59 PM

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JROD0823
Tuesday, October 22, 2013 @ 5:43:46 PM

We can just blame the dumb kids that had the misfortune of the original Xbox being their first childhood console and never knowing any better as the reason why that form factor still persists. ;)

There's no other rational explanation for why you would want to place your thumbs at an unnatural opposition like that.

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xenris
Tuesday, October 22, 2013 @ 2:23:50 PM
Reply

I like the DS design. I grew up with it, and it feels comfortable to me. The Xbox 360 controller is good too but I actually find the DS3 just as comfortable to be honest.

However for shooters nothing will beat a Keyboard and mouse in my hands, so I don't care about feedback triggers etc. Truth be told I'm better at shooters on the DS3 because of how I can use both thumbs to readjust my right thumbs positioning on the right analogue stick. Sounds weird but I kind of use both thumbs on one stick for a split second and I can't do that on the 360s.

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Solid Fantasy
Tuesday, October 22, 2013 @ 2:28:32 PM
Reply

I think they made the right move for some pretty obvious reasons. Take the chances on software, not hardware. I'm more interested in the Steam Controller. I'm not saying it's better, just more curious about it.

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JROD0823
Tuesday, October 22, 2013 @ 5:34:59 PM
Reply

I disagree with your stance on the touch pad being a gimmick, Ben.

I think that this is a perfect addition to the controller, and will open up more diverse genres of games to being able to be played more intuitively with the DS4, with strategy type games being one of the biggest.

The touch pad completely removes the requirement of buying a separate mouse and keyboard to properly play those kind of games.

Last edited by JROD0823 on 10/22/2013 5:35:17 PM

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___________
Wednesday, October 23, 2013 @ 3:33:29 AM
Reply

wish they went for the more drastic change approach.
first off the form factor, its just no where near as comfortable as the xbox controller.
wish they would extend the triggers too, i really liked the length of the ps3s triggers but the ds4s feel far too short, and moving up from the triggers to the bumpers feels really awkward, they feel far too far away.
i wish they would get rid of these archaic useless analog sticks though, they were crap imprecise technology when the DS first released years ago!
exactly why valve is always such a successful company, they never ever release something without bringing the needed innovations and improvements to it.
i just wish both manufactures would release something, anything, to replace these f*cking useless sticks!

touchscreen probably would of been nice, games have been trying to remove HUDs for ages now that would of been the perfect way to do so.
but i guess they always have the vita if they want to explore that functionality.
probably would of struggled with size too, as much as i love the gamepad for the wiiu christ is it uncomfortable to game with!
just feels so bulky and clumsily built.

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PlatformGamerNZ
Wednesday, October 23, 2013 @ 5:44:50 AM
Reply

well i looking forward to trying out the new controller. although i did like the idea of the touch screen.

happy gaming =)

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