How Sony Created The Perfect Video Game Controller

How Sony Created The Perfect Video Game Controller
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    -You've probably seen this before.
    It's a PlayStation 4 controller.
    This layout is almost identical
    to the original DualShock controller,
    released in 1997.
    Sony has kept the PlayStation controller the same
    while competitors like Nintendo and Microsoft
    have dramatically changed their designs.
    And ultimately, competitors ended up
    on a similar design to Sony's.
    So, what did Sony get right that others didn't?
    When video games first entered the home in the 70's,
    they were based on arcade games.
    Game design was simple and so were the controls.
    A joystick and a button were plenty for most consoles.
    But the Nintendo Entertainment System changed all of that.
    - Incredible Nintendo Entertainment System.
    - Two controllers, zapper gun,
    and two game cartridges
    - Now you're playing with power!
    - Fast forward to 1983.
    The NES brought us classics like
    Super Mario Brothers and The Legend of Zelda.
    These games were more complex
    and required a controller to match.
    But unlike complicated controllers with bulky keypads,
    the NES separated inputs into two clearly defined groups,
    movement and action.
    Turns out it's not just the gamers who love the NES.
    - I love the NES controller.
    It's really lightweight and it's really simple.
    You can pick it up and you know what to do.
    You don't need to read a manual to understand it.
    It can mean you can have very clean, clear gaming
    without having to get all of these fancy features.
    - Nintendo followed up
    the NES with the Super NES in 1990,
    adding shoulder and X and Y buttons.
    The increased complexity enabled games like Super Metroid
    to add new abilities to the characters.
    Thanks to the shoulder buttons,
    Samus could aim up and down
    instead of just shooting straight.
    Sony owes a lot to Nintendo,
    but it was the DualShock controller, unveiled in 1997,
    that took Sony and gaming in general to the next level.
    Teiyu Goto worked on the first three PlayStations
    and his design was revolutionary.
    But what made this controller so special?
    Compared to the Super NES,
    the DualShock controller offered players
    a relaxed and comfortable gaming experience.
    It was wider, but not thick,
    and the handle design allowed players
    to grip the controller easily.
    - It's still got that familiarity
    so people were able to engage with it immediately.
    But it had those extra buttons in it.
    It's a beautiful piece of design.
    There's a lot of subtlety to it, and it isn't trivial
    to position those controllers in that position.
    The angle, how you hold it,
    how it falls into the palm of your hand on either side.
    The angle of that control - it is in a natural position.
    And it's key to get that correct.
    - Just like the NES,
    you still had well-defined zones of movement and action.
    And the decision to put two analog sticks on a controller
    opened up new possibilities for game designers.
    Other companies rushed to mimic Sony's design
    and the DualShock controller helped
    usher in a uniform layout.
    - You will still see a PlayStation, Xbox
    type of controller in 20 years time.
    It was the recognition that you need to design for the user.
    That was actually, I think, what revolutionized controllers.
    - There's a reason why Sony's controllers
    look almost identical 21 years later.
    Good design lasts, and this is what gamers
    and non-gamers have come to recognize as a controller.
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