PS4 Controllers - Looking Towards the Future

By now, we've all seen a lot of the concepts out there for the Playstation 4 and the controllers that we may or may not be getting with it. Some of the concepts for these newfangled controllers look great and others look...interesting to say the least. The best of the bunch tend to keep with the Dual Shock configuration that has proven so successful that other companies have imitated the design for their consoles, while some of the more far out designs almost eschew the design altogether for something more gimmicky. To get the discussion going, let's take a look at some of the designs of the PS3 controllers on the market nowadays and what it may mean for the future controllers of the PS4.


PlayStation 4 Controller

It's All About the Ergo

Arguably the biggest consideration when designing a game controller is the ergonomics of the thing. In other words: How does it fit in your hand? Those of us that have sat down and played our PS3s for hours on end have a good appreciation for an ergonomically sound controller. Even with the best, most comfortable controller you can find for your hand, after hours of play many gamers will find that their hand has a particular ache that nothing will shake. Sometimes it lasts for days. I've even known some gamers that had to have hand surgery back in the days of the first Nintendo console and those not-so-ergonomic rectangular controllers.

And not to mention the callouses.

The Dual Shock controller effectively addressed many of these issues, wrapped in a very sleek design that allowed for more intuitive gameplay in games that required more and more input from the gamer using the controller. Of course, there was room for improvement, something that many third party manufacturers (and Sony) took advantage of. We've seen the removal of the rumble feature (for other reasons, but it did make for a lighter controller), longer grips, more strategically placed buttons, tilt detection, and various other features.

For future controllers for the PS4, look for more of the same as far as the shape goes. Motion games aside, it seems like Sony really hit upon something with the controllers of today. They fit the hand(s) great, have the buttons in the right places, and overall have been wildly successful.

Other Bells and Whistles

Beyond ergonomics, there are plenty of other factors to consider. When it comes to current controllers, we've seen all kinds of little added features, including raised sticks for increased shooter accuracy, controllers with rumble technology, controllers with fans for sweaty hands, smaller controllers for those with smaller hands, among others.

But what does all this mean for future controllers?

First, you have to figure that third party manufacturers are going to continue to do what they've always done, taking into account what the core PS4 controller will look like. I'd say that they longer grips look like they are here to stay. They provide for nice thumb rests and take pressure off the wrists a bit as well. Beyond that, it's hard to say. Third party manufacturers, of course, will use as much in-house technology as they can, so don't expect a whole lot of innovation in the first generation of Playstation 4 controllers.

As far as the other features, look for them to remain in third party territory. I've never had a problem with overly sweaty hands and I've never heard anyone else really complain about it either. PS3 controllers are already pretty small (comfortably so), so smaller controllers will probably remain in that realm as well - though my wife will definitely be picking one up, naturally.

Some things to look forward to that could actually work? How about LCD touch screens?


PlayStation 4 Controller and Console


Just Say No to Gimmicks

I, for one, am hoping that Sony stays away from the gimmicks. We all remember the "boomerang" design of the initial PS3 controllers that never saw the light of day due to poor reception and some of us would like to see their return. Sony claimed that they were just a concept never meant to be distributed, and many hope they stay that way.

Some of the concepts put out there feature such controllers for the PS4, but I'm a little leery of such designs. If they can make the boomerangs work when it comes down to brass tacks, then by all means I say go for it. Without that, however, we're just looking at another gimmick. We've seen enough of those.

What type of controller would you like to see for the PS4?

Article by - Brett Huffman

April 22nd, 2013 Update -- How Close Were These Concepts?

Now that the PlayStation 4 has been officially unveiled, just how close were these concepts?

Well, we all know by now that none of these "boomerang" style controllers ever came to pass; the DualShock 4 retains the same classic design as the previous DualShock controllers. While we didn't receive an LCD screen in the controller, we will be receiving a touch pad so it's safe to say we were in the ballpark on that one.

The controller is also receiving a host of small improvements, such as a better directional pad, better wireless technology and the integration of PS Move technology directly into the controller for better motion sensing.

Our Official PS4 Experts DualShock 4 Page has all the information you need for this brand new controller!

Update by - Joshua Phillips
Insert Date: 04/22/13

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Comments

I think they should let us

I think they should let us use our mind to control the game...its 2013 for gods sake....come on already

What i like

I like the ergo controller n the second controller n this paragraph I don't think the circular controller controller n the first pic is such a good idea

my idea

i think it should be like the dualshock 3 but when it has the PS3 Controller Grips - with Game Grip Technology and with more intense vibration feedback like in the dualshock 2

your idea

it's actually not a bad idea, but if you have small hands it's not such a good idea, in that case there should be two sizes

Build the controller around an adjustable ball

Everyone's posture and hand position is slightly different depending on their build. I think it would benefit the player to have the controller on a ball that allows you to pivot the two base components holding the buttons, d-pad, analog controllers and even the shoulder buttons to the right position. Make the movement stiff, but be able to shift the base components (by this I mean the handles that fit in your palm) to any angle that feels natural. As well, move the shoulder buttons, independent from the handles, to a position that's also natural. By keeping the movements stiff, it wouldn't shift around as you use it making it feel sloppy and helps to avoid dropping the controller since it wouldn't go limp during use. The major downside to something like this would be that over time the controller would likely have to be replaced as it would become loose from a lot of use.

pointless idea

pointless idea and would never ever happen

DONT FIX WHAT ISNT BROKEN

the ps3 controller is fine! button layout perfect, analog position sheer genius! as for L1 L2 R1 R2 your fingers naturally go to that position so again genius.. D-pad couldn't go anywhere else.. the only thing tht would be cool.. is if it took a special battery tht only had 2 be changed once a yr NO MORE CHARGING lol

Re: DONT FIX WHAT ISNT BROKEN... Charging.

I don't think a battery currently exists that holds enough charge to power a controller constantly for a whole year, not unless you use a one of the newer lithium batteries that doesn't lose as much charge and you only use the console once a month, even then the charge would still probably fade.

IMO a more likely thing is to just have battery packs that can be removed from the controller and plugged into a sock on the console or a reasonably priced Xbox 360 style battery charger.

Another idea would be to have a contactless charger actually built into the console, which works when the console's in standby mode and the machine automatically turns off completely when the controller/s have been fully charged.

Maybe the controller could even have a motion charging feature, this tech is relatively cheap, only requires some copper and magnets as a generator.
If Sony built a new controller, similar looking to the PS1, 2 and 3's only it can split in two, to become a move style motion controller, with maybe slightly longer handles and when used like this the controller gets charged (or through any kind of motion).

Simple is better

I feel that simple would be better. The current controller design is almost perfect "as-is" Why try to re-invent the wheel. Include the technology (by all means) but the button layout is fine. Wireless is a must, and vibration is cool. But LCD screens? what is this Dreamcast? Focus on the graphics and leave the controller alone.

Controllers

That's the ugliest ps4 controller they could ever design come on guys put some thought into into it dammit you are Sony not microsoft.I know you have a budget but I'm sure if you design something better they would allow you a bigger budget,stop stealing idea's for controllers from batman and design one based on how long the average games plays games, what shape would be best suited, what you can do so players can customize the controller to fit more hands and generate revenue,colours astetics,function,customize cause it's the ps way, or nothing.

about ps2

whan is coom cut

i have it

i have drawn a design of what i hope the playstation 4 controller will look like i was gonna sell it to playstation to see how much thay would give me but i have to write them a letter. ok the playstation 4 controller in my desight would have the analog sticks in the senter of the action buttons and the derectional pads the L1 R1 L2 R2 buttons would stay were thay are but if you can draw it out then you mite see what it looks like i hope playstation likes what i have done and i hope in the future i can work with them i also habe a design for the X-box portable and a new type of psp please do not steal this or i will get mad and sue

E-mail:johnnyvissandier@yahoo.com
if you have any questions about this ;let me know

Re: I have it

The layout of the analog buttons doesn't need to be changed, the design has worked well since PSone came out.

Personally I think Sony should incorporate an ability to split the control in two to become a move style controller, but I doubt they will because they can make more money selling a newer motion controller separately and whilst controls may look high tech in many cases they're cheap to make, even modern motion ones with tilt sensors inside.

I don't really like the idea of analog sticks being placed in the center of the d pad and action buttons, simply because it would get in the way of those buttons, will basically cover them to the point where you'd have to be a finger contortionist to navigate around those sticks to use the buttons.
The playstation controller has to be an efficient design for use, this idea of your's makes things less efficient, I wouldn't bother messaging sony as they will not go for your design, sorry if that sounds harsh, but these are the facts, you will not likely get a reply from them.

If you don't believe what I'm saying get a Playstation controller in your hands, imagine the anolag sticks are where you think they should go, they stick out right, now imagine you're playing a game and you need to use the triangle or top of the dpad.
Your design wouldn't work with little sticks or moving the buttons slightly apart because you will have to stretch your fingers far to reach the top action and dpad buttons.

As it stands right now Sony will be put all their efforts into the console, maybe making it compatible with Vita and Tablets for cross platform play that competes with Wii U's tablet design.
They may copy Wii U altogether if they can come up with their own unique enough tablet style controller to make sure that Wii U loses it's edge and the overall hardware will be far more powerful than the U.

The same goes for the Xbox 720, the 360 and original Xbox have basically the same layout of buttons (save for the white and black buttons on the original Xbox's controller), but despit being larger and heavier than PS3's controller design it still works, so it's highly doubtful MS will change much in the design.

As far as a portable Xbox, one has been rumoured for ages and nothing's come of it yet, unless MS is waiting for the tech to get even more powerful in a small package before they release a console.
It seems more likely they brand a tablet, probably call it X-Tab or something.

BTW don't threaten people with being sued when you've posted an idea on a public forum, if you've made proper blue prints then patent your work for protection, otherwise expect to get your work stolen.
TBH you're probably not the first person to come up with such a design, I bet in the concept stages Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft have all played around with such a layout of buttons and the reason we don't see them in the finished controller is because they don't work as well as their current layouts.

Just my 2 pence. ;)

the analog and buttons are

the analog and buttons are way too close it would never work

the basics

i think the design for the ps4 & it's controller should look stylish but simple & durable & should be built to last for years

LCD touch screens sound and

LCD touch screens sound and look good

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