Here's a Glimpse at Some Prototype PS4 Controller Designs

By Laura Kate Dale on at

A few weeks back, in mid March, the Game Developers Conference took place. While many of the headlines were about big name press conferences like the Google Stadia reveal, most of the event comprised of smaller talks by developers about topics near and dear to their heart. Like every year, these talks are eventually uploaded to the internet for others to watch, and one really interesting bit of information came out of a talk about a PSVR game.

Astro Bot: Rescue Mission is one of the most adorable VR games available on PS4, and has some great design work throughout its levels. It's a platformer where you control a cute little robot, travelling through intricately designed environments, with secrets hidden in ways that really push you to explore your surroundings.

If you click here, you can watch a talk by by Nicolas Doucet, the creative director behind Astro Bot, and around 3:30 into the video, he shows off the above image of a series of DualShock 4 controller prototypes. His studio was responsible for creating games around the system's launch which would take advantage of the controller in unique fun ways, and as such they got to play around with several iterations of the design.

Most of the controller prototypes are recognisable as PS4 pads with some small differences, but there are two particularly interesting designs that stand out. In the very top left you'll see one controller which appears to have Vive controller style track pads, where rather than physical buttons you can click on parts of a pad to mimic buttons, or drag to act like a mouse movement. Just to the right of that, you'll see a design where the controller's track pad takes up a far larger section of the controller, looking almost reminiscent of the Wii U Gamepad.

Beyond this interesting look at history, the whole talk is worth a watch. Astro Bot is one of my favourite games of 2018, and well worth a look if you already have a PSVR headset.