Console gamepad evolution – or – why did they have to (again) change the dualshock controller?

Posted: 2013/07/16 in Games, Modern gaming
Tags: , , , , ,

We’ve been using dualshock controllers since the first playstation. It started out without its analog sticks, but since the addition of the sticks, the controller has been de facto the one people copied upon. Just look at the xb360 or wiiu pro controllers.


A little backstory on the story of the creation of the dualshock. At some point in time, sony and nintendo worked together on an addition to the Super NES called SNES-CD – Sony didn’t envision yet to work in the game industry.


SNES-CD on wikipedia.

Now, after some shenanigans and disregards for licensing, Nintendo turned around and worked with Phillips for the production of the SNES-CD add-on – which never came to existence. But it did tick off Sony enough to start its own console, the original playstation, which was the direct competitor of the Nintendo 64.


The original playstation.
The Playstation originally came with a “Playstation Controller” wich was the evolution of the SNES controller, that in turn was an evolved version of the NES gamepad. It made sense, since Sony originally thought of it to play Nintendo games.  Nintendo on their part, for the N64, went a completely different direction.

The first version of the Playstation Controller didn’t have force feedback motors, and didn’t have analog sticks. But it quickly evolved. Quickly came the “Dual Analog” with two sticks, and later the “dualshock” which had force feedback. The Playstation 2 was equipped with that same type DualShock, dubbed DualShock 2. They were black Dualshocks with a 2 stamped on it.
The playstation 3 added wireless, and a six-axis variant with gyro controls – that most games completely forget to include in their development.

For the Playstation 4’s controller named (surprisingly?) dualshock 4, they are adding a clickable two-point touchpad. That’s cool, but did they have to change the looks and form factor of the controller for this addition? It worked so well for years, was there really a need to make it round? People kind of liked the bigger area around the DPAD and buttons. However, the better trigger was a way overdue addition. The relief on the sticks too. This thing should play very well.


The Dualshock4 should be the culmination of gamepad evolution.

See Kotaku on a Dualshock3 VS dualshock4 video from a playstation event in NYC.


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