What Should Sony Do With The DualShock On PS4?

Since the original PlayStation, the DualShock controller (or, at least its previous incarnations and names) has been the iconic standard bearer for generations of consoles and gamers. Its shape, form and function legendary, perfect for almost any type of game.

It has, of course, evolved. Analog sticks punctuated the sleek design during its first run, and since then there’s been analog buttons, reversed triggers and – famously – vibration. But one thing has remained largely constant throughout: its recognisable physical characteristics.

[drop]This, naturally, has led to a sense of familiarity with PlayStation gamers consciously attached to a brand – it’s meant that those that just want to play FIFA each year don’t have to bend their fingers around anything alien (so to speak) and the core gamer that plays everything instantly feels at home.

It works, because it’s a great design.

When Sony first showed off the PlayStation 3, the hardware designers went off on a couple of crazy tangents with the control, the infamous boomerang shape quickly (and widely) derided by most, and ultimately reversed by SCEI back to the shape we know and love. Minus, of course, vibration, although that was to follow.

With the advent of the PlayStation 4, are we as gamers hoping Sony sticks to their principles, or tweaks and remixes the classic controller?

Familiarity is a warming, comfortable feeling. Imagine picking up a PS4 on launch night and just being able to dive right in, your fingers and thumbs instantly locking into place. That’s a positive – we like that sensation and it means we can just focus on the games.

But there’s a certain appeal of the new, the unfamiliar. Most other consoles change their input devices, Nintendo perhaps most famously. Is there merit in opening the same PS4 box and finding something new, something exciting to fit between your palms?

Yes, and it’s likely this’ll be the case.

[drop2]Now, nobody’s expecting a boomerang again. Sony won’t deviate that far but they may well bring new elements in. Rumours over the last few weeks have suggesting biometric sensors on the palm grips, for starters, although that’s unlikely to result in the overall form shifting too much from what we’re familiar with.

And something we’ve looked at in the past – a touch screen – has today reared its rumour shaped head. We’ve mentioned that we’d like something in the centre of the Dual Shock 4, a small touch pad that’ll let you swing a bat, throw a shuriken or aim a football at a goal. Again, it won’t change the shape, but it does present some interesting gameplay possibilities.

A literal touch screen though? One with actual visuals on it? That seems too much of a stretch. What’s more likely is complete Move integration, somehow – Sony aren’t likely to want to throw away years of technical experimentation and research, and they’re unlikely to throw in a traditional Move wand, too.

Our guesses are simply that – but it’s our hopes that Sony don’t go too far down the route of the unfamiliar but bundle in enough tweaks that mean there’s something new to play with. A Vita-esque touch pad ticks that box, but we’d also like to see Move incorporated too, the mechanics that could open up are limitless.

But this has to be a controller for the masses, too, and that’s the balancing act Sony need to get right. We’ll know soon enough, but in the meantime, what would you like to see them do with the beloved DualShock you know and love?



  1. why change something that works.

    • I agree, they should do nothing.

      Furthermore they should make the console backwards compatible like the Wii U is with controllers.

    • Exactly the same is fine by me.

    • If they did that, we’d still have a digital controller with no vibration or dual sticks.

  2. I wouldn’t mind extra sensors being added to it, but I’d like the shape and size to stay the same myself.

    I much prefer the DualShock 3 (and 2 & 1) layout to everything else.

    And no removing the vibration again!

  3. I’d honestly be happy with the classic Dualshock. I’d be more excited about the box itself, and more importantly the startup sound! Remember hearing the PS3 orchestra for the first time? Class.

    However, I do see the need for an ‘innovative’ controller and so I think they should change the packaged controller whilst also making Dualshock 4 available a la the Wii U pro controller.

  4. I just hope that whatever they add it doesn’t increase the price even further, they’re expensive enough as it is.

    I also don’t want it to drain the battery too quickly, the DS3 lasts a suitable amount of time on one charge, but more gadgets means more battery usage.

  5. I never had a problem with the layout of the DualShock… until I acquired an Xbox 360.
    Using a 360 controller after years of using PS pads felt instantly useable (with the couple of glances down for the D-Pad at the start). But after just a few hours of using a 360 and then switching back to the PS3, the controller felt a bit…. clumsy. The analogue sticks felt like they were an inch tall in comparison. I spent most of the time in FPS games spinning round on the spot!
    The PS3 triggers are also a bit naff. I’ve got a pair of original (not brittle v2’s) RealTriggers to attach to the back which stop my fingers slipping off in races.
    So in all… Lower the analog sticks down a bit and curve the triggers up, not down!

    • i just can’t see how the hell people can slip off the triggers on the DS3… i have tried a couple of times and it’s impossible!

  6. I hope they don’t copy the Xbox pad, don’t get me wrong I can adopt but personally I prefer the D3 & I hope they keep it same size & control layout

    • Same here, prefer the DS to the xbox one.
      Some type of touch pad would be welcome but basically the same as DS3 would be welcome.

  7. Hopefully they will have three options:

    Using the vita as a controller with touch screen capability in more games
    Support for original dual shock and move controllers in all games
    A new funky dual shock with the rear pad like the vita and move support built in

    That way we all have options and don’t have to spend a fortune on new hardware if we don’t want to. I am praying that there won’t be a new Ps eye, as I have extended mine by 15m and its now embedded into my walls.

  8. put into an xbox 360 controller cloning machine and clone clone clone

  9. I’d really like to see some kind of cooling device for your hands. I’d also would like a controller that will charge while the PS is in standby mode. And a feature to turn off the analog on the R2/L2, it works great for some games but it gets in the way sometimes when you want a fast R2/L2 push. oh and they might as well remove the sixaxis feature. but whatever they do the need to keep the same shape and button layout

  10. Also it should launch with an app to perform basic control functions. Don’t make us buy another Bluetooth remote when we all have smart devices

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