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Dear Sony. Your controller looks cool, and my PC wants one.
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Dear Sony. Your controller looks cool, and my PC wants one.
by Mike Kasprzak on 02/21/13 02:15:00 am   Expert Blogs   Featured Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

Hey Sony, it's Mike.

You won't remember me but we've gone to some of the same parties and chatted on several occasions. We go way back actually; I've played with things you've made, and your QA has played with thing I've made. I've been out of touch for a while, so I thought I'd say hi.

Congratz, I saw you on TV yesterday (well, the internet), and you were showing off some pretty cool stuff. That new controller of yours is sweet, and I look forward to trying it. Seriously, I want to play with it! I hope you're bringing some to GDC. I'll bring my thumbs.

Hey, so these days I hang out and do stuff with Indie game developers. Which reminds me, I've noticed something: When an Indie developer goes to show his console game somewhere, what does he bring with him?

Typical Development Setup: A Computer and a Controller

A laptop and an Xbox 360 controller.

It's not Dual Shock or a Wiimote, it's a 360 controller. It doesn't even matter what system their game is coming out for (PS3, PSV), their mobile development machine and demo rig is a computer with an Xbox 360 controller. That has to be at least a little embarassing or disappointing.

Why the 360 controller? Because you can plug it in to your PC and it just works.

Yes, of course the PlayStation 4 will be better than a laptop, but that doesn't matter. If you're bringing a computer somewhere, you can almost always bring a controller too. I can carry all the necessary tools needed to develop and create a console game (the game part at least), anywhere I want to go. This is great for demoing at conferences and trade shows too. Of course deploying right to a PS4 or Vita would be ideal, but plugging a controller in to a PC is a great alternative.

Anyway, I just want to encourage you to do something more this generation with your controllers. Yes, it's going to be a bit more work, but it's not just Indies that would benefit from it. It's a waste to have a dev kit on every artists desk, but you still want everyone on the team to have as authentic an experience as possible. The whole point of the switch to x86-64 is to save you money and to save us money. You're not in this business to profit from devkits.

I could go on about things to make PS4 and Vita better for Indies (expect an earfull from other devs), but you've got a controller that does things other controllers don't. If the new controller is a selling point, then developers NOT taking advantage of it of the controller is a problem. I suppose you can always pressure developers to use it, but that sucks. You don't want to do that.

I wonder, how many people have forgotten the PS3 controller had motion sensors in it?

Thanks for listening,

Mike


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Comments


Eric Schwarz
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B-but if it's USB, how will they sell proprietary connectors and adapters?!

Nicholas Heathfield
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It's already USB and Bluetooth, and has been for... let's see, seven years now?

Dave Long
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lol - you can even see pics of the new controller with the mini-B connector (and the PS3 is USB) - but hey, it's the internet, it's almost expected that people comment on stuff they know nothing about ;).

Wolf Wozniak
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My Mac supports my PS3 controllers.

Langdon Oliver
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I hope Sony is listening here. I don't own a 360 and have to go to some silly extents to get my DualShock3 working on my PC... and that's over USB, because Bluetooth is an even bigger headache.

Axel Cholewa
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Use the software MotionInJoy. It emulates a 360 controller and works without problems via USB or bluetooth.

Brian Tsukerman
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Although even the Dualshock on the PS3 had USB connectivity, getting it to run on PC's is another headache entirely. At first, I assumed that a PC would recognize the PS3 controller via PNP, but alas this was INCORRECT. Instead, if you want PS3 controllers to work, you have to install a program (made in China) that guides you through the process of loading the drivers and configuring the controller.

So hey, even if the controllers end up being USB compatible, it doesn't really matter unless the planets align to make it work that way. Which is unlikely for two reasons:
- Sony's got a fetish for proprietary tech, so having it work on non-proprietary hardware will (probably) never cross their minds
- Sony would probably need to make a deal with Microsoft to get it to work, since most gaming PC's run on Windows. Most likely, it will be prohibitively expensive since it would hurt sales of Xbox controllers going towards PC gaming.

Wolf Wozniak
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Or just make a little program that you can get.

Brad Borne
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On OS X it's native :)

The REAL problem is, do games even support gamepads anymore, or do they just support the 360 pad? It's not really Sony's problem, anyone can bluetooth in a Wiimote or PS3 controller into anything, but getting it to emulate a 360 pad is a pain (and MotionInJoy is super sketchy, from what I hear).

The 360 pad standardized PC gamepad controls (and, well, replaced all those awful quality gamepads), which was always the problem, not lack of gamepads.

I always use Wii Classic Controllers, though, they're by far the best controllers for 2d platformer out right now, as long as you don't need analog (still waiting for Wii U Pro Controller key mapping software to actually work right!).

Axel Cholewa
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@Brad: I find MotionInJoy to work perfectly with the PS3 controller.

And are there really people who don't like the 360 controller? Cause it sounds like you don't. For me, the only weakness of the 360 controller is the D-Pad - and I think those should be replaced by something else anyway. Otherwise the 360 controller is the best one on the market, I think.

I'm actually surprised that Sony didn't simply replace their D-Pad with a touch pad on the DS4. Would've made more sense to me, cause it'd be easier to reach.

Wyatt Epp
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@Brian Deal with Microsoft? Just (correctly) adhering to USB HID would probably be plenty.

@Brad Works natively in Linux, too. :)

@Axel There are, yes. I detest pretty much everything about how the 360 controller feels. The weight is wrong, the shape is wrong, the battery box is annoying, the buttons are painfully round and have poor travel, the analogue sticks are in the wrong place, and the Dpad is a joke. I respect that people like it, but this isn't a universal thing.

And replacing the Dpad with a touch pad would essentially ruin the controller for me.

Kyle Killian
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Motionjoy's DS3 Tool allows you to plug in your PS3 controller and emulate Xbox 360 controllers. Works with every game I've thrown at it.

Axel Cholewa
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Yep, it's perfect. Even works painlessly with bluetooth.

Ron Dippold
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I'm hoping for this too - I prefer the X360 controller, so use that on the PC instead of the PS3 controller, but have always hoped for the love child of both. And this looks to be it.

They took a couple key things from the X360 - the concave thumbsticks, the triggers that actually have some range, and a bit more bulk. You can't tell from just the pics, but it looks less flimsy than the SIXAXIS.

I guess we'll see what the X720 pad looks like, but I'd love to get my hands on that PS4 controller.

Baron Zemm
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Yes you can use motion joy.. but its slightly cumbersome and semi annoying. It would be nice if you could just easily sync a controller via bluetooth without the extra hassle.

Keith Thomson
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I agree. I used to use my PS2 controller with my PC through an adapter and really enjoyed it. That doesn't work anymore because PC games have shifted over to using XInput instead of the universally standard USB HID input that PS2 to USB adapters use.

Because of that, I don't play very many PC games anymore because I have to use the annoying Xbox360 controller to control them. I'd really enjoy it if the DS4 could be used on the PC instead.


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