Early DualShock 4 Prototype Sounds Awfully Familiar
You know that Steam Controller? The really weird one with no face buttons or D-pad that Valve unveiled. Turns out they’re not the first ones to come up with that sort of design though they were clearly bolder and more confident in their design. It helps that their design is actually very refined and well thought out. That wasn’t the case when Sony experimented with something similar for the DualShock 4 in an early prototype design.
The above image is unrelated but it’s kind of cool, right?
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In the same way that Microsoft went through numerous redesigns for its Xbox One controller, Sony burned through something like 20 prototypes before finally settling on the DualShock 4 that we’re all familiar with.
Funny that because while the controller feels perfect in my hands, many say it’s an improvement over the DualShock 3 yet nowhere near as good to hold as the Xbox One controller.
Ultimately, the controller we got is a chunkier version of the current controller rather than anything drastically different. But it could have been so much bolder.
In an exclusive with VentureBeat examining the development process behind the DualShock 4, Toshimasa Aoki, the man helming the design team explains just how far outside the box Sony went with some of its prototypes before returning to boring reality.
“…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 at least sounds plausible considering Valve pulled it off. However, things got far wackier than that.
“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.”
What!? People actually said they’d prefer analogue sticks on top? I struggle to see a world where that would work with the face buttons in an rather awkward position.
As it is, there’s nothing wrong with the DualShock 4 and I kind of like it but it’s nothing amazing. Though the touch pad does have some potentially cool applications.