Some strange gamers have taken a shine to the Xbox 360’s asymmetrical analogue stick layout – and that prompted engineers at Sony to reconsider the shape of its famous DualShock device. The discussion goes that the left analogue stick is often the primary input in the majority of modern games, so should take centre stage ahead of the ageing d-pad. We don’t necessarily agree with the argument – your thumbs naturally sit in the same position when making a gripping motion – but the platform holder tried it before settling upon the PlayStation 4 controller’s current guise.
“For the analogue sticks, we did test having [them] on top, since the Xbox has the left side on top [above the d-pad],” designer Toshimasa Aoki told Venture Beat. “Especially from the shooter teams – we got feedback that that's what they wanted. They knew that consumers liked the 360 for shooters.”
In truth, the platform holder experimented with lots of different styles – including one form similar to the Wii U’s top-heavy Pro Controller. However, the organisation didn’t think that that worked very well. “People are used to having the buttons up there, and this moves the most-used button so far away [from your right thumb],” he explained.
In the end, the manufacturer decided to, er, stick with tradition, and settle on symmetrical sticks. "The prototype team, myself, and also the management team really felt that having this look is the PlayStation look, and we had to keep that,” Aoki concluded. We had had nightmares after learning that the DualShock 3 was on the chopping block that Sony would mimic the Xbox 360’s layout, but fortunately common sense prevailed. Which stick setup do you prefer? Twiddle our bits in the comment section below.