PlayStation hasn’t always had a solid controller, sorry for the blasphemy PlayStation fanboys. While the PSOne’s and PS2’s controllers were fantastic for their time, Sony dropped the ball heavily when it came to the PS3.
Sony did fire back into the game with the PlayStation 4’s great DualShock 4 pad. It’s far from the that’s released best this generation, but it’s solidly built. While I’m not the biggest fan of the controller, I’ll now hold it dear as I gaze upon the ungodly sight of its accursed prototypes.
Revealed during Sony’s GDC 2019 presentation for their VR darling Astro Bot, the DualShock 4 went through some horrific design phases. While many are similar to the final product there unsettlingly similar to the PS3’s interpretation of a controller. However, some are simply horrors forged in the fires of hell.
Take this one (below), an obvious attempt at recreating Nintendo’s Wii U tablet. While the Wii U controller definitely isn’t the worst pad Nintendo have created, it’s certainly far from the best. If PlayStation released this monstrosity, I’m sure its ridicule would have rivalled the original Xbox’s Duke controller.
While this look may not be the best, it’s this monstrosity that haunts me the most. Only God knows what they were doing with this design, and God is unhappy. While close to what the DualShock 4 would eventually become, the thin-but-long touchpad and bizarre button placement would have made this a much worse controller.
Thankfully, the PS4’s DualShock 4 controller did turn out to be a pretty great controller. While we all have our preferences (yes, I prefer the Xbox one) it’s certainly not a bad piece of hardware by any means. And, judging from this, we could have had much worse.