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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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