Is there more to this controller than it seems?
With only five days left until the (almost certain) announcement of the Playstation 4, this photo appeared and made the rounds of Destructoid, Kotaku and everywhere else.
Is it a prototype controller? Is the silver box a PS4 devkit? Both are very likely, but there are a host of strange things about this photo that are a little confusing. It’s fun to pick this apart, so I’m going to have a go at it.
A list of observations and questions. From the front here it looks quite “normal” but the more you think about it the stranger it gets.
1. Those sticks look really comfortable and grippy. Hopefully they appeal to fans of both convex and concave sticks.
2. The DPad looks like a possible step backwards?
3. I’m guessing that’s a Microphone on the front.
4. The blue bar on top – a motion light, like the PS:Move has. Given the rumours that player profiles can be saved to controllers, I expect each one to take on a unique colour for each player so you can tell your identical controllers apart (a fancier version of the 4 LEDs on the Dualshock3)
5. Have Start and Select buttons moved to just above the Dpad and face buttons? Is this a good idea?
6. The bulbous shape of the back, due to the position of the motion light means the whole thing is sort of fat. The L2/R2 positions are a mystery. The USB charge cable is going in at a strange angle.
7. If the front panel truly is a touchpad, which is almost certain, it seems odd that it’s glossy. It looks like the front of an 80s digital alarm clock.
8. What is that little thing/connector under the PS button? A keyboard/mic attachment like the Xbox360? Another button? Some sort of screw attachment for a new Move wand that basically makes your controller into some sort of crazy TRON axe?
9. It looks big. Is it bigger than the Xbox360 controller?
10. This is the weirdest, most out there question…
HOW THE HELL IS IT STANDING UP LIKE THAT?!
(This has already been explained in the comments by Gamingaddict. Oops!)
Maybe the person taking the seemingly pretty candid photo set up some sort of stand to keep it upright.. Which seems a bit like too much effort considering they didn’t bother to clean the junk off the desk? Why didn’t they just prop it against the devkit? As far as I can see it’s a good few inches away from the front of the devkit!
What if this genuinely is a new shape of controller, with a third prong, like a cross between an N64 pad and.. Umm.. Some sort of sea creature?
The backside of this thing could look something like…
Not at all likely, but wouldn’t it be nice if one of the big hardware providers did anything even a bit interesting with controller chassis? They’ve not changed drastically since the SNES. Chucking in touch-pads and even screens themselves is nothing new, and just seems like packing in as much tech as possible. This (crazy?) design at least lets you do something with previously unused fingers.
What do you think? Is there anything about this controller we’re missing? Is this prototype nothing like you expect the final design to be?