How large a factor do you think familiarity is? The general consensus from last week’s Tweak It which asked you what, if anything, you would change about Sony’s DualShock 3 was that it is pretty much spot on.
There is a split somewhere down the middle of the community between those who, like myself, would prefer concave sticks and triggers and those who would keep them convex. There are also a small number of you who straddle that line, preferring one but not the other.
With a design that is now about fourteen years old and that was sized for Japanese hands, which are smaller on average than Western hands, it is a little surprising that there were not more suggestions.
One thing that occurs to me is that when you have a console several years into its lifecycle with a large user base it could be the best time to experiment with controller design. Why not develop and release a range of controllers to see how the different designs go down with consumers?
You did come up with a few DS3 tweaks though:
- Make the triggers less sensitive when watching videos so you are less likely to accidentally fast forward or rewind the action. (Would be a trivial software fix to set the threshold level in the PS3’s OS.) ~ Crawfail, hazelam, eye8have9you3
- The early debug Sixaxis controllers, long before the return of rumble, had a red LED behind the PS button. Bring it back and have it glow while the controller is charging as the little ‘ID’ LEDs are not aways easy to see were the controller is sat charging. ~ OllyBobs
- Make them stackable somehow so you don’t end up with an untidy pile of them. ~ MrJimmy (A somewhat off-the-wall suggestion but one that isn’t without appeal.)
- Give the d-pad a lighter feel. ~ gazzagb (I did not think anyone would be unhappy with the d-pad!)
From next month you will be able to buy a third-party PS3 controller that is almost identical to the 360’s, the Speedlink XEOX. So aside from the fact that it is only fair as we looked at the DS3 last week, this is a good time to examine the 360’s controller and find out how it could be improved.
Like the DualShock controller, which was preceded by the original PS controller and the Dual Analog, the current 360 controller is essentially the third iteration of controller design from Microsoft.
The original Xbox controller was too large for some and widely criticised and the smaller Controller S was quickly released and soon replaced the original in the Xbox retail package. The current Xbox 360 controller is clearly an evolution of the Controller S. What would I change about the Xbox 360 controller?
- The first and most obvious one is the d-pad. It’s shockingly poor and while I suspect certain patents are responsible for its hobbled design there must be a way Microsoft can ‘fix’ it.
- It always feels to me that you have to press the Xbox button on the controller for a fraction of a second too long. For what it’s worth, the DS3 has that timing spot on.
Now it’s your turn, what would you change about the Xbox 360 controller?