Sunday, February 24, 2013

PS4 controller touchpad is in the wrong place.

I think the inclusion of a touchpad on the new PS4 controller could have been an inspired move but the prototypes I have seen suggest it is in the wrong place to be really useful.The touchpad  should be positioned under the right thumb to effectively replace the right thumb stick for most games. Instead it is put at the top of the controller where using the right thumb to control the touch pad will be a strain. 

I spend about equal amounts of time gaming with an XBox360  pad as I spend gamign with a mouse and keyboard. While the dedicated game controller is better in many respects the combination of mouse and keyboard still has two undeniable undeniable advantages: More buttons and much much better aiming in shooting games. The inclusion of a touchpad could have removed one of those advantages if it was moved below the right stick.

The root of the aiming problem is that the joysticks on a game pad control a rate rather than a position directly. This is fine for movement which is usually on the left stick but it is terribly imprecise for aiming which is usually on the right stick. If the PS4 bit the bullet and replaced the right stick with a touchpad then you would effectively solve the aiming problem because a touch pad allows direct control of position just like a mouse. For compatibility you could still keep the right stick but move it up above the touchpad. The touchpad would not obstruct the stick (because it is flat) whereas in the current design the stick really does obstruct the touchpad.

2 comments:

DM Osbon said...

Never lked the PS controller. Always felt too light in my hands compared with the 360 controller. I'll never appreciate having to charge it via usb either. Touchpad is a gimick.

Stabs said...

Now then, mbp, tell the nice lady how the controller touched you in the wrong place.

(Sorry!)