PlayStation controller design explained by the creator

By on August 26, 2010, 2:38 PM
In a chat with Famitsu magazine this week, PlayStation designer Teiyu Goto explained how Sony deviated from the competition's flat, alphabet-laden game pads. In creating the company's first console, Goto said he wanted to keep things simple. "We wanted something simple to remember, which is why we went with icons or symbols, and I came up with the triangle-circle-X-square combination immediately afterward."

Elaborating on the thought process behind Sony's controller, Goto said each symbol has a meaning. "The triangle refers to viewpoint; I had it represent one's head or direction and made it green. Square refers to a piece of paper; I had it represent menus or documents and made it pink. The circle and X represent 'yes' or 'no' decision-making and I made them red and blue respectively. People thought those colors were mixed up, and I had to reinforce to management that that's what I wanted."

Goto also reminisced about the trouble he faced convincing management to drop Nintendo's flat controller designs. "The Super NES was a huge hit at the time, and naturally we wanted SNES gamers to upgrade to our system," he said. Management feared gamers wouldn't accept a radical departure. A flat PlayStation controller nearly made it out the door before CEO Norio Ohga stepped in with disapproval. "Management was still pretty peeved, but they felt like they had no choice but to follow him."




User Comments: 14

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Richy2k9 said:

hello ...

i really like the design & the feeling of the PS2 & PS3 controllers ...just the right size & weight.

cheers!

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Well I have to say I'm happy with their "radical departure" from what was the current standard .

natefalk natefalk said:

interesting insight... I had no idea the button symbols actually meant something.

Guest said:

Seeing how Nintendo designed Sony's controller, this post is funny.

teklord teklord said:

I forget what order the shapes are in, so I try to remember them by line count. Circle being 1 up to square being 4. Great controller that is a tad small and I wish they would swap the left analog stick with the d-pad for PS4. Logitech Cordless PS2 controllers are better than Sony's. Here's to innovation!

grvalderrama said:

what a revolutionary idea... these japanese ppl, always bring the best out of human race

Guest said:

Well, the DualShock is the greatest controller ever made, after all. It's just right. It's design is simplistic, functional, and its so lightweight, sometimes you forget you have it in your hands.

Cheers!

LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

Well, the DualShock is the greatest controller ever made, after all. It's just right. It's design is simplistic, functional, and its so lightweight, sometimes you forget you have it in your hands.

Cheers!

Which can be a problem with street fighter starts cheating and you swing at your expensive lcd.

SilverCider said:

supersmashbrada said:

Well, the DualShock is the greatest controller ever made, after all. It's just right. It's design is simplistic, functional, and its so lightweight, sometimes you forget you have it in your hands.

Cheers!

Which can be a problem with street fighter starts cheating and you swing at your expensive lcd.

Haha! I love this!

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Guest said:

Well, the DualShock is the greatest controller ever made, after all. It's just right. It's design is simplistic, functional, and its so lightweight, sometimes you forget you have it in your hands.

Cheers!

I dunno, Prefer the Xbox 360 personally, after years of using the ps2 controller I would choose the xbox one over it any day.

Johny47 said:

The Playstation 2 controller is my favouriet of all time, it hasn't changed much since the first 'PSX' through to today's 'bad boy' console the PS3 =)

It's very comfortable and easy to use and in my opinion I prefer the Dualshock 2 to Dualshock 3 because of the triggers mostly, they're good for racing games but not very good for shooting etc.

I'm also glad they took a chance and changed from 'nintendo's flat controller design'.

tengeta tengeta said:

I guess there was a lot more thought put into it than I ever thought, interesting read.

Guest said:

I find the Xbox controller to be confusing while the PS controllers are set out nice and simple

Guest said:

I've always hated the symbols on the PlayStation controller. I've never gotten used to pressing a round button that is named "square". The best controller of all time is the Game Cube controller. Fits the hand perfectly, provides enough buttons for complex games, but still simple to use.

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