Some might say that a system can be judged by the games it proposes; others say it’s by the way we play it. But what defines more a video game system than its controller? The ergonomics are indeed so important that a bad controller can ruin a game console. Just ask the Atari Jaguar designers.
In terms of design and grip, the PlayStation controller is one of the best ever made according not only to fans and long time users but also by the firm itself. Only minor changes were made to their system controller between the PlayStation, PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3. Only the PlayStation 4 made some radical changes, and even then the core design was still the same. When the controller of your system is only slightly changed, you must be doing something right. So how did we come from the original PlayStation controller to the more modern PS3 one? It actually took designer Teiyu Gotō more than two years to finalize the original PlayStation control- lers. Among the many prototypes he made, some had six action buttons on the front, some others only four but with different designs. There was even a controller with round edges just like the Super NES one.
After presenting those many itera- tions to Sony President Norio Ohga, the boss decided to go with one with handles. He moreover mentioned that his decision was final and if the designer and the engineer were not happy with it, they could start looking for work elsewhere. As for the symbols used instead of the commonly and widely used letters, Teiyu Gotō stated that they chose the way of simplicity. He wanted people to easily remember the icons. As an aside, in Japan, players use Round to validate and Cross to cancel while it’s the other way around in the rest of the world.
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