PlayStation, also known as PS and PSX is a 32-bit video game console manufactured in Japan by Sony Computer Entertainment, designed by Ken Kutaragi. The console was released on 3 December 1994, when the first units hit the shelves of Japanese shops. Less than a year later, on 9 September 1995, the console was released in the United States, and on 29 September of the same year in Europe. It has therefore been 28 years since the first controllers for Sony’s consoles were launched. That is quite a long time, isn’t it? Well, that’s certainly plenty of time to chart the evolution of this hardware! How have PlayStation controllers evolved from PS1 to PS5? We are about to find out.
The Original PlayStation Controller
The first gamepad released by Sony Computer Entertainment for its PlayStation home video game console was the DualShock model. The original version, model SCPH-1010, was released with the PlayStation 3 console in December 1994. The controller was based on the basic button configuration introduced in Nintendo’s Super NES controller, but featured a second pair of buttons for the middle fingers. According to the developer, the idea behind using shoulder buttons for the index and middle fingers was to upgrade the gamepad for the 3D environments the PlayStation was designed to generate. To compensate for the less stable grip resulting from moving the middle fingers to the shoulders, Sony added special grips to the controller.
On 4 March 2000, the second PlayStation series with its second version of controller arrived on the Japanese market and instantly conquered it! The PlayStation 2 became the best-selling video game console of all time, and the DualShock 2, became one of the most iconic in history. This model is very similar to the original DualShock, except that it was lighter and more accurate. The basic model had two analogue sticks, which are still a staple of video game development to this day. Another differentiator of the DualShock 2 was that it applied haptic feedback to every button except L3 and R3 and had 256 degrees of detection. With this, the console measured how hard the player was pressing a particular button. It wasn’t a huge improvement over the wireless controller for PlayStation 5 or gamepad for Sony PlayStation 4, but it definitely laid the foundation for future versions to come.
Thought it was time for the DualShock 3? Well no, because when Sony released the PS3 it included its latest and so far best controller called the Sixaxis. What made it stand out? In that it was the first ever to be wireless. However, this involved some issues, such as it discharging while gaming. The Sixaxis controller was also motion-sensitive, which meant that certain elements of the game could be controlled by simply tilting the controller – for this reason, the pad did not vibrate. For this reason, the pad did not vibrate. This version also ditched the analogue button in favour of a home button with a PlayStation symbol, which is still used today to exit a game and return to the home screen. It wasn’t as high-quality hardware as the PlayStation 5 controller, but it aspired to be.
Now it’s time for the third version! DualShock 3 debuted on November 11, 2007 and since then has become a cult controller. Sony retained the look, proportions and layout of the original controllers, but incorporated the missing key features and functions of the older models of controllers. Which ones? Fun features such as rumble and haptic feedback. This made it the best of both worlds solution. Sony’s designers, realising the importance of rumble joypads to gamers, phased out the previous version in favour of the new DualShock 3, which differed from the previous model by introducing Force Feedback and the DualShock lettering. A sort of mini rebranding. The controls, wireless functions and micro-USB to USB charging remained unchanged, and the DualShock 3 also kept the motion sensitivity identical to the Sixaxis. So it was a compromise of old and new.
Heads up, finally something that even our younger readers might remember – the Sony PlayStation 4 DualShock 4 gamepad! The DualShock 4 was released alongside the PlayStation 4 console in 2013 and was quite similar to its predecessor, but with a few differences. What made the PlayStation 4 wireless controller stand out? The overall controls and analogue sticks remained the same. It also used motion sensing technology and haptic feedback well known to all from previous versions. The PlayStation 4 controller, however, had a capacitive touchpad in the middle of the device that was able to respond to two simultaneous touches, as well as take on different button functions. In addition, the gamepad for Sony PlayStation 4 has a light bar that illuminates at certain times, such as when it is disconnected. But the differences don’t end there! What else does the PlayStation 4 controller have? You can connect any wired headphones or 3.5mm headset to the DualShock 4 controller, which definitely adds to the gaming experience!
After more than 20 years since the first version was created, we have the release of a brand new controller with a brand new name. As you may have guessed, we come to the sony PlayStation 5 gamepad DualSense controller. This is a dedicated PlayStation 5 controller that premiered in 2020. What has changed in the wireless controller for PlayStation 5 compared to the PlayStation 4 controller? Let’s start with the most obvious one, which is the look. The Playstation 5 controller has been designed in a new colour scheme, namely white and black, which corresponds to the new console. In terms of shape and design, the new controller is quite similar to the Playstation 4 controller. In terms of design, the cosmetic change was the blue backlighting of the touchpad. Is there anything else? Wireless controller for PlayStation 5, DualSense also features a Create button that has replaced the Share button, allowing gamers and streamers to communicate with other users using the DualSense microphone without headphones. Apart from that, the charging port has also changed – from the outdated micro-USB to USB Type-C. The biggest changes to the sony PlayStation 5 gamepad DualSense, however, are the adaptive triggers and haptic feedback – in addition to adding touch force to each button, the controller itself can offer a distinct resistance in the triggers, which is very engaging for gamers.
That’s all the news from Sony for today, but we’re looking forward to new releases by this company! And if you’re looking for something more than a standard controller for your PS4 or PS5, please visit our site!