This Is Why PS4 Controllers Have Symmetrical Analogs

Recent PlayStation 4 developments from the 2013 Tokyo Game Show seem to be reinforcing Sony’s belief that regardless of the competition, they still have the strongest controller on, or coming to the market.

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MultiConsoleGamer1661d ago (Edited 1661d ago )

"The Xbox style of controller – with offset analog sticks – is the more favorable style among gamers and eSports enthusiasts, Sony believes the contrary..."

It doesn't matter what Sony believes. Controllers with the left stick in the forward position are superior and are favored by pro gamers for a reason.

The original playstation controller had no analog sticks. When Nintendo revealed the N64 controller and rumble pack, Sony quickly followed suit and added two analog sticks to their existing controller, placing them wherever they would fit on the current design. No thought was given to ergonomics or precision. Everything Sony is saying here is pure spin. It even boarders on damage control. Even the use of the word "symmetrical" is nothing more than a ploy. Its a buzz word for stupid people.

EDIT: There are several "360 style" 3rd party controllers for PS3 and no "dual shock style" controllers for 360.

Also: Saturn 3D, Dreamcast, GCN, WaveBird, Xbox Duke, Xbox Controller S, Xbox 360, Wii U pro controller, Ouya, and literally dozens 3rd party and PC controllers all have their left sticks in the proper, ergonomic forward position. And with good reason.

minimur121661d ago (Edited 1661d ago )

Thing is with the controllers, if you put your hands out infront of you, your thumbs are in line.

When you type, your left thumb isn't on Q while your right thumb stays on M

No, they're in line, like a playstation controller :)

When I type anyway, I haen't seen how an xbox person types...

Kleptic1661d ago

^exactly... act as if MS put some extra amount of thought into theirs?...the xbox controller is what it is because every innovative input patent has been wrapped up before MS even showed up to the game...

and if you're really talking about 'competitive gamers' or whatever...guaranteed they don't prefer either controller anyway...the mouse and keyboard has had that lock and key for 20+ years...

darthv721661d ago

The controller layout is generally done to put the dominant directional control on top with a sub interface below.

Sony started out with just the dpad and it wasnt until the analog craze that they came out with the twin stick design. The majority of the games at the time were dpad based which is why they kept the dpad where it was.

As more games started coming with twinstick support, sony considered swapping the dpad with the left analog stick but because they were so vested in the design they stuck to what worked for them and ultimately the dual shock became the standard controller.

all of this took place in the PS1 days and because of familiarity and existing design templates made it easy to just continue the mfg on to the next revision (DS2).

Some would say its comfort, others would say its cost (as in they didnt have to retool the PCB layout and molds) but the DS1, DS2 and DS3 are still tried and true sony designs that im glad they are keeping the same trend going for the DS4.

when your hands get used to a specific control layout, it just feels more natural when you pick up the successor and everything just fits.

Reverent1661d ago

When I hold my hands out, my thumbs rest coincidentally in the same area that the analogs would be positioned on the dualshock. If the analogs were placed higher, there is a notable strain on my thumbs when reaching for them.

shoddy1661d ago

I'm not too picky and I'm sure the xbox and ps4 controllers is just the matter of preference.
But AA batteries is so uncool.

PoSTedUP1661d ago

i prefer symetrical like my body, thumbs, and brain. (thankful for that everyday).

the 360 controller is comfortable. but the DS3is just better quality in terms of technology and buttons (all pressure sensitive buttons), better Dpad, sixaxis, rechargeable etc. ps gamers shoot with R1, and need a pressure sensitive X button for the gas in Gran Turismo (other options are avaible but im sure the majority doesnt use a wheel). its just wha makes sense for what the console offers. just like the 360 controller being better for fps bc people like the triggers. i personally cant shoot with R2 it doesnt feel right.

SilentNegotiator1661d ago

Symmetrical hands, symmetrical controls.
Whatta concept.

You fanboys are kidding yourselves with that "well the dominant control should go in front" garbage. Like the camera stick plays second banana these days.

Gamingcapacity1661d ago

People prefer the 360 controller because of the triggers not because where the sticks are. It makes no difference to me where the sticks are and can switch between the controllers with no fuss. But the triggers on the 360 pad is what made is a good controller.

BTW the word "symmetrical" isn't used as a buzz word.

quenomamen1661d ago

Xbone controller has same layout as 360, so pros preffered 360 ?
Why would pros then now choose the weaker console for next gen ?

Bluepowerzz1661d ago

lol heres another stupid 100 inch tv stupid nob who takes the piss out of people who can actually play well as a esports player and sony fan for 15 years im discus ted at this comment from god of bobees and multiconsolexboxfanboy

AlexanderNevermind1661d ago (Edited 1661d ago )

@ Gaming Capacity,

By all accounts the PS4/DS4 triggers have been 'fixed'. So if the triggers are the root of the Xbox players bane with the DS3 then those who are coming over to the PS4 should have no worries. I personally can play both although I am better at shooters with the PS3 controller (For the record, it took me maybe a week to get comfortable with the 360 controller scheme).

Even PS3 players will a slight learning curve with the DS4 having to get used to L2/R2 for shooters. It shouldn't take long I'm sure.

Boody-Bandit1661d ago (Edited 1661d ago )

"Pro gamers LOL!!!!"

Yeah I bust out laughing every time someone uses that term as well. Grasping at straws to validate their opinion at it's finest. A gamer doesn't need terms like real or pro, but a gamer will adapt to what ever they must to enjoy their gaming to the fullest.

I adapted from a paddle controller (pong) and over the years to more traditional controllers like the NES, SNES, Genesis, etc to a mouse and keyboard, flight stick, fight stick, FFB wheel w/ stand alone 6+1 shifter and E-brake, back to newer stand alone traditional controllers. Yes people will have their preferences but if you want to game on one console over another you to will adapt.

With all that said I am looking forward to getting my grubby mitts on the DS4.

Anarki1661d ago

Pro gamers do not prefer a controller. The only controller they'd prefer is the Arcade stick for fighting games. FPS, where the Xbox controller shines best is surpassed by the Mouse and Keyboard. The Dualshock is much better than the 360 for hack N slash games, like Devil May Cry.

Dee_911661d ago

"Even the use of the word "symmetrical" is nothing more than a ploy. Its a buzz word for stupid people. "
The analogs on the Playstation controller aren't symmetrical ?Then you go on to say "its a buzz word for stupid people."
oh man my stomach hurts.
What ever the hell a pro gamer is i'm like 99.99% sure they could adapt to any controller.I've been playing with different controllers for more than a decade and I can barely tell the difference now.I can pick up either one and control them like i've been playing with it all my life.

ShinMaster1661d ago (Edited 1661d ago )

Why do you care so much about the left stick?
Character movement is easy enough. PC gamers use the WASD keys for god's sake.
They boast about using a mouse because it's more precise for aiming. And aiming is done with the RIGHT STICK.

Both Xbox and PS controllers have the right stick on the same exact spot. Which means (surprise!) the Xbox controller no better than the PS controller.

Gamingcapacity1661d ago

@Alex, you're right, the triggers are exactly the same as the trigger used on the Move navigation controller and it's perfect. No more finger slip on games where you have to hold the triggger down for and extended amount of time (usually driving).

The analogs have also been updated too, so my two biggest gripes have been fixed. Hopefully the d pad is like the Vita's and then we will have one heck of a controller.

SixZeroFour1661d ago

heres what you guys dont get about the 360 controller, sure the analog/joysticks are off set, but it puts thumbs on where its comfortable for main inputs...the left on the thumbstick and the right for the buttons...the right thumbstick is secondary feature just for aim/look, but action for the right thumb is more focused

AndrewLB1661d ago

Either you guys are completely blinded by your love for Sony or you're just plain clueless.

The asymmetrical design of the analog sticks is based on ergonomics and the typical use case. The left stick is at the neutral position for your left thumb, while the buttons on the right are at the neutral position for your right thumb. The vast majority of the time, you will be using the left stick and right buttons, so it makes sense that they are positioned for the most comfortable thumb position.

If you were to make the sticks symmetrical, you would have one of your thumbs out of a neutral position for the majority of the time, which is likely to increase fatigue and possibly cause cramping, or in worst case scenarios, carpel tunnel syndrome.

I'm not arguing that the xbox controller is necessarily better than the others, just that there is solid reasoning behind the design. Personally I prefer it, but many others disagree.

Ezz20131661d ago


by saying *Pro gamers* you meant *bro gamers*

right ?....RIGHT ?

kickerz1661d ago

Both controllers are comfortable. Do we really need to argue about this (0_o)

badz1491661d ago

I am used to Dualshock-inspired controllers since the PS1 era and it's kinda hard to just switch to the 360 type controller. it's about preferences and I prefer symmetrical sticks!

so, what are these symmetrical is better or asymmetrical is better, ergonomic stuff, pro gamers (LOL!) stuff? it's really just preferences.

I bought the 360 controller for Windows and no matter how I try, I can't grow into liking it as I game on my PS3 a lot too. so I sold it to a friend and now game using Logitech F710/F510 and xinput emulator and it suits me best!

you guys should do the same too. stick with what you prefer and stop trying to state your opinions as fact! it's ANNOYING!

mistertwoturbo1661d ago

Honestly I can use either one comfortably.

lastdual1661d ago

Sony should just make both. Give us a model with a swapped left-analog and d-pad. I'd buy it.

I realize some people love symmetrical sticks, and that's fine as well. Some people drive with their hands perfectly parallel on the wheel. I don't. The offset stick design is more comfortable for me, and having a choice would be nice.

Many forget that the current position of the analog sticks dates back to the Dual Shock 1, which was designed at a time when d-pad was still the main means of character movement. The sticks were placed lower because they were secondary to the d-pad.

Today it's the opposite. The analog sticks are now the main method of movement input. Having the option to buy a controller that reflects this would be nice.

JimmyLmao1661d ago

I think the main complaints about the PS3 controller is not the symmetrical stick placement, but the size of the controller and it's triggers.

(which are both fixed on the DualShock 4)

of course symmetrical stick placement is perfectly fine, our hands are symmetrical, so we naturally liked the symmetrical stick placement.

it just makes sense. think of it like this.

why design a controller with symmetrical grips to hold, and then go and offset the sticks, it is designed to be held in a symmetrical way but you are forced to hold it in an awkward way... this is one of my main dislikes of the XB360 controller.

memots1661d ago (Edited 1661d ago )

I used the F-word and lost a bubble.
I guess i wont say how i feel about that first post lol.

Help a brother out and give me back my bubble ;)

Off topic again did you guys noticed that Catherine is 14.99 on PSN o_O
That's crazy , I might have to bite the bullet and pick it up.

Kayant1661d ago


"Everything Sony is saying here is pure spin. It even boarders on damage control. Even the use of the word "symmetrical" is nothing more than a ploy. Its a buzz word for stupid people."

Yet in the IGN article there is no mention of Sony saying anything remotely the same. All your quotes are the writer's interpretation not Sony's words. Am not going to go back in history because I don't know that much but couldn't the reason they continue to use the same design be because they feel it works well?

As far as we know PS4 is now on the comfort levels of the X360 and maybe a bit better in most cases. That's the main problem with the PS3's for the majority of people. Now that's fixed it's all preference in what placement you prefer better.

pixelsword1660d ago (Edited 1660d ago )

I have to admit, at first I loved the xbox controller, but I would always overstretch my thumbs when I played; but now I realized that I liked the SIZE of the 360 controller but the ergonomic design of the PS controller.

If the PS4 has a larger controller, I'd pick that.

insomnium21660d ago

Like brutal mentioned any controller is fine. hell even Atari jaguar's controller is fine just give it 2 minutes.

Arguing about something this irrelevant is first world problems at it's finest.

Kryptix1660d ago

lol Pro gamers...

If you're talking about tournament players:

Shooters: Keyboard + Mouse
Real Time Strategy: K+M
Battle Arena: K+M
Fighters: Dualshock or Arcade stick

The only time I seen the 360 controller used in tournaments is in 2 franchises only: Halo and Call of Duty.

Anyway though, a professional gamer is labeled by skill not what controller they use or prefer. Is the Starcraft champ not a professional player because he doesn't play with the 360 controller?

And the Dualshock is perfectly symmetrical posing no problem with where your thumbs lay. Answer me this; on the 360 controller, do you have a problem placing your right thumb on the right thumbstick? it shouldn't bother you to mirror the same position with the left thumb on the left thumbstick. The real problem is the Dualshock controller size for some which has been fixed with the DS4. Funny thing is that no one was complaining till the 360 remote came into the picture. The Dualshock 1 layed the bluprint for how a controller should really be with having two analog sticks and Microsoft followed suit.

Rhythmattic1660d ago

@ Darth

"sony considered swapping the dpad with the left analog stick"

Really ?

Link please.

Gekko361660d ago


I was never a fan of the DS1 - 3, The Xbox 360 controller just seemed to fit, plus I'm left handed so prefer the layout. I suppose with this there is no right or wrong answer, either you like apples or you like beef.

Sony are known for their unwavering self belief. Nice to see the old Sony arrogance is still there :D

k2d1660d ago

Haha, there you go. 300!

SilentNegotiator1660d ago

darthv72 voted to well said by the community.
Agree(32) Disagree(62)

He's spewing fanboy BS about the movement control somehow superseding the camera stick and the community disagrees.

Can the community please have the community back?

The_Con-Sept1660d ago

If you replace "pro" with "noob" his comment would make so much more sense.

I'm a pro gamer who chooses the PlayStation controller design for every game type. Pro gamers play ALL games. Pro gamers do not play only shooters. Only noobs with less pubes would ever make such a statement.

PlayStation made the right choice.

Gaming1011660d ago (Edited 1660d ago )

People seem to be deluded enough to think that what's best for your left hand isn't best for your right hand. Either your thumb is meant to be pointed in one direction or the other. You can't have it both ways. If your thumb was really meant to be pointed directly upwards (which is terrible for racing games), then it should be done with your right thumb as well, but Msoft hasn't done that with their controllers. Put your money where your mouth is and move the right buttons to where the right stick is if you really believe that's what your thumb is somehow supposed to do.

+ Show (32) more repliesLast reply 1660d ago
Xsilver1661d ago (Edited 1661d ago )

says you. DS4 death the kid approves.

Aceman181661d ago

haha nice love that anime

GrizzliS19871660d ago

all im saying is, hold a brick with your two hands. if your thumbs are sticking forward, youre doing it wrong

antbolton891661d ago

Are you OK? because everything you have just said borders on insanity

MysticStrummer1661d ago

Some of it does more than border. Some of it is being chased by insanity's border patrol as we speak.

Rockefellow1661d ago (Edited 1661d ago )

Regardless of your historical analysis or (essentially correct) statement that "professional" gamers prefer game pads with a differential analog position, "symmetrical" is not a buzzword by any means. It's a fact, plain and simple-- the sticks are, clearly, sitting directly next to one another, as you can see in the picture. What word would you use to describe that?

It's certainly not a "ploy," and you saying it's for stupid people to hear really makes you sound like a moron yourself. Sony may be hyping up their ergonomic design, as any company would, but for you to criticize that aspect of it and actually end your "argument" at that point is laughable.

Metfanant1661d ago

for the record...idk about yours...but, my hands are thumbs are in the same place on BOTH of my hands...

that being said i find that there is ZERO influence on my ability to play games based on the position of the analog sticks...but the symmetrical layout makes more sense from a purely physical standpoint...

any negatives to the SIXAXIS/DS3 are more with the overall design of the controller, NOT its stick placement...frankly i think most people who say non-symmetrical is best are simply xbox fanboys...

most reports from people have said the DS4 is the better of the bext gen controllers...we will see how many non-symetrical fans show their true colors as simply xbox fans this time around...

dumahim1661d ago

Owning both, I really don't care either way in regards to the position of the sticks. The symmetrical thing though, I don't get. Yes, your hands are symmetrical, but most games tend to use the left analog stick and face buttons the most. In order to keep your thumbs in the symmetrical position you prefer, that would follow the Xbox design instead of the PS design.

But again, it doesn't bother me either way.

buynit1661d ago

Frankly you must be a playstation fanboy, see how that works...

Metfanant1661d ago


why? because i said the placement of the sticks makes no difference? lol

Fez1660d ago

I would say most of the popular games right now (FPS, TPS) have you're thumbs on the left and right analog sticks over 90% of the time. In most 3D games you'll be controlling your player and camera positions.

I can't really comment on how good the staggered controllers are to use but it seems to me that people who say the left analog stick is better up there should also say the right analog stick is in the wrong position and should be up there too.

I like the sticks in the downward position cos it feels like you have more control over accuracy with your thumb there.

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FITgamer1661d ago

"Even the use of the word "symmetrical" is nothing more than a ploy. Its a buzz word for stupid people."

Do you not know what symmetrical means?

Imalwaysright1661d ago (Edited 1661d ago )

Forget about "symmetrical". I don't think he knows what the word "stupid" means. If he did he wouldn't write that comment.

SmokeyMcBear1661d ago

errm, well, you can think symmetrical is for stupid people all you want, but it won't make it true. Although I do like the 360 controller, it does have its negatives. The foward position your hands are in on the controller, mean that the using the triggers is primary, and using the shoulder buttons is an unnatural motion upwards. The DS controllers have the R1/L1 as primarys with the secondary buttons as "triggers" putting emphasis on the trigger buttons makes using the DS controller a little unnatural as your hands are always "reaching" and then set back to natural position when using R1/L1 buttons. As far as the thumbsticks go, I feel that although the DS sticks are a little close together, that I they still should be symmetrical. The DPAD and buttons are in the relatively same, but symmetrical position on the controller, your hands are symmetrical, mirrors of eachother when being held. Thats why using every part of the DS controller is a lot easier than the 360, with the DPAD and shoulder buttons using unnatural movements.

SilentGuard1661d ago

If the triggers on the DS weren't so poorly designed and hard to use they would be used as the primary buttons over R1/L1. The fact that the triggers aren't suitable in shooting games should point out one of the major faults of the DS.

Hicken1661d ago

@SilentGuard: Then why were the not used in previous generation, when the triggers were better?

No, they're not used because it makes more sense to use L1/R1, as these are the buttons closest to your trigger fingers. It's inefficient and not at all ergonomic to use the triggers and then have to shift your finger back up to the L1/R1 position for other commands.

It's great that L2/R2 have been improved, but I think it's one of the stupidest things in gaming that games would use the triggers for shooting when they're not in the prime position FOR USING YOUR TRIGGER FINGERS. Simply put: you will NEVER be as fast swapping from R2 to R1 with one finger as you would be switching between the use of R1 and R2 with two fingers.

That argument is as played out as the ergonomic "superiority" of asymmetrical analog sticks.

Rhythmattic1660d ago

I bought the trigger kit for the DS3 , made L2/R2 like my 360 controller...

Took them off straight away ... I have always preferred shooting and aiming with my index fingers, while flicking my middle fingers on the L2/R2 buttons for secondary functions......

And to he people that use their index finger to shoot using L2/R2 on any shooter (FPS or third person) its not an efficient way to play.

I personally hate L2/R2 for prime input. Just isnt natural.

Its Each to their own, so, don't tell me Im wrong.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 1660d ago
thehitman1661d ago

I think the xbox analogs are retarded and prefer the dualshock controllers hands down. In the end its all preference though no 1 controller is ever better than another just like how on PCs PRO GAMERS use many different types of keyboards and mouses. This is a silly argument and wouldnt want Sony to ever change the core dualshock design.

IRetrouk1661d ago

Your thumbs are symmetrical though arent they? Honestly i can jump between the two types, both are comfortable to me and i wouldnt have minded either way, just cant wait to get the new controllers in my own hands.

MrDead1661d ago

They added two analogue sticks because as it’s a good way to navigate a 3d environment and they have left the sticks symmetrical as it’s the best place to have them if you have and eclectic games collection.

MysticStrummer1661d ago

I'll just copy my comment from that site...

Having used both, I think asymmetrical analog sticks are nothing but a marketing gimmick. The Xbox and 360 controllers always felt awkward to me, so I’m glad Sony is sticking with symmetrical analogs for my symmetrical human thumbs. The tips of the dual shock analogs and the triggers were the weaknesses, not the stick placement. It sounds like those things have been corrected, but I won’t know until I hold it in my own hands and play a game.

"Even the use of the word "symmetrical" is nothing more than a ploy. Its a buzz word for stupid people."

Time for you to dig out a dictionary and look up "symmetrical".

LoveOfTheGame1660d ago (Edited 1660d ago )

You people have to be stupid if you don't realize what he meant by saying Symmetrical is a buzzword.

Symmetrical is being used just as the Cloud is, they both represent real things but they are used constantly, in their respective arguments, by people who don't even understand why they are what they are. (More so on the cloud side).

Sony threw on their sticks, back around 98-99, as a secondary to the primary dpad which was used symmetrically with the 4 main input buttons, Square X Triangle Circle. Argue all you want about Symmetrical vs Asymmetrical, but the Xbox left stick is in the dominant spot symmetrical with the primary input buttons, just as Sony designed there main input movement for the left forward spot. This is a main reason 360 is terrible for fighting games; the D-pad is in a terrible place compared to the buttons for input.(Yes I know the D-pad itself also sucks)

If you want symmetry for the sticks, that's great, but don't just argue that they are better symmetrically when they are still in the wrong place. Both sticks in the dominant position would be the correct setting, Wii U style.

Edit: Clarification.

-Foxtrot1661d ago (Edited 1661d ago )

""The Xbox style of controller – with offset analog sticks – is the more favorable style among gamers and eSports enthusiasts, Sony believes the contrary..."

First of all this is's all about opinion at the end of the day but in MY opinion I think the DS is better, the Xbox 360 controller is only better with FPS and sports games.

With the DS controller it has a nice all rounder feel to it.

thekhurg1661d ago

The current results (65% in favor of symmetrical sticks) of the poll on that website say otherwise.

Please tell us more oh champion of controller analog stick placement.

darren_poolies1661d ago (Edited 1661d ago )

Actually there are a lot of dualshock style controllers for the 360 and the preference on analogue stick placement is completely down to exactly that, preference. Are you really that ignorant?

RedDeadLB1661d ago

You do realize that even most third party controllers follow Sony's blueprint? There's rarely a controller with X360 stick layouts. Even controllers mimicking X360 controller's shape have symmetrical sticks.

Also, if anyone actually believes one stick layout is better than the other, you're out of your freaking mind. The only thing that's different is the relative position of the dpad to the stick. That's it.

What's more important is the stick precision and shape. I like the X360 controller's concave analog stick shape, but the PS3's analog feels more precise.
It's a matter of personal preference, with what you've spent more time. It's nothing definite, it's extremely subjective. Hence, I call bullshit on your entire comment.

I'm still using 2 PS1 controllers on my PC. I could get the X360 controller, but for what? A stick in a different place? That's going to make everything better? Yeah, right.

SilentGuard1661d ago

"You do realize that even most third party controllers follow Sony's blueprint? There's rarely a controller with X360 stick layouts. Even controllers mimicking X360 controller's shape have symmetrical sticks. "

Really? Come on now, no need to make stuff up.

KwietStorm1661d ago

And yet, despite everything you just yammered on about, it works just fine, with the Dualshock 4 getting nothing but shining reviews. So now what? Is it really that big a deal?

iamnsuperman1661d ago

The use of the third party example as a reason for why asymmetrical is better is flawed. The 360 had other benefits and, on a internet social level, it was conceived to be the better and more comfortable out of the two (nothing to do with where the sticks are placed). So third parties copied that to go with what was the general consensus. Again I must repeat this, it has nothing to do with stick position. It is just how the 3rd party accessories business works

Volkama1661d ago

Wow, that's a lot of disagrees but what he said is not inaccurate. Even Sony tried to drop the dual shock shape (see ps3 boomerang)

For me the problem isn't so much symmetry, it's more that the position of the analogue sticks just isn't comfortable. The d-pad and buttons hold the prime positions, because that's the legacy of the controller.

I think ds4 puts proper consideration on the analogue sticks and may well be a huge improvement.