PS4 Vs Xbox One: Controllers Review
For many it was the controller that put gamers off the PS3. It was small, its sticks and triggers were poor and it generally felt a little cheap.
So this generation – with both Sony and Microsoft making great efforts to change their controllers in some way – the battle is not necessarily on the games, the operating system or even the build quality of the machines, but the controllers themselves.
We look at the two controllers and pit them side-by-side to find out which is best for you, and whether that could affect your buying decision.
PS4 Controller Changes
The DualShock 4 had a lot of work to do if it wanted to knock the Xbox 360 controller off the top spot, and comparatively Sony has managed to do a sterling job of updating the classic design.
The general layout remains the same, but it is a little bigger with (much) improved triggers and analogue sticks making the controller much more comfortable and easy to use.
The face buttons and the D-Pad remain largely unchanged, while Start and Select have been changed with Options and Share.
The addition of a touch pad is an interesting decision, and helps separate the sticks a little more – meaning you likely won’t get your thumbs touching any more.
A speaker in the centre can output game audio too, a twee addition that will no doubt be put to good use in games later down the line – though the sound of the quality isn’t exactly brilliant.
The inclusion of a headphone jack means you can output audio directly through the controller if you wish, which is perfect for late-night gaming sessions.
It’s fantastically well built too. It feels solid in the hands, and every design decision Sony has made has been an improvement. There are no criticisms here, so if you were worried about switching to PS4 from Xbox 360 because of the DualShock 3, know that you will be very happy.
Xbox One Controller Changes
Conversely the Xbox One controller has a number of changes too, and not all of them are necessarily for the better.
For one thing it is much smaller than the Xbox 360 controller – an element that many gamers appreciated. While it’s not any smaller than the DualShock 4, it might be a disappointment to some.
The sticks have been refined too, with a larger indentation for better thumb control and a gripped surface to keep your thumbs there. This is the best new feature of the controller.
Though the D-Pad has been improved over the Xbox 360’s equivalent, it does still feel a little flat. It’s not quite as abhorrent and is capable of more precision, but doesn’t feel quite as nice to use as the PS4 pad.
The face buttons haven’t been changed too much and are a little flatter, but on the whole manage to be as identifiable as their last gen equivalent.
The two triggers now feature vibration function, but these don’t often seem to work as well as intended – sometimes failing to activate in games like Forza 5.
Speaking of which, when it does work this is perhaps the best example of the new vibration function, signalling through your fingers when you’re pushing your car a bit too much.
Lastly the two bumpers, which – bizarrely – are now worse. They don’t feel like separate buttons and are a little too clicky, making for a disappointing downgrade on what was otherwise superb.
Build wise the Xbox One controller is just as high quality as the PS4 controller, with the latter edging it simply because of the cheap feeling D-Pad and bumpers on the Xbox One controller.
PS4 Vs Xbox One: Which Controller Is Best?
There’s honestly not that much in it. It’s clear that Sony has made a vast number of improvements, where comparatively Microsoft’s controller isn’t quite as good as the Xbox 360 controller.
Size wise they’re both almost exactly the same size, with the PS4 controller being just slightly wider. However the straighter edge of the handles when compared to the Xbox One’s more curved sides does make the feel a little bigger, and will probably edge it over the Xbox One for those who preferred the size of the 360 pad.
With regards to the sticks, we’d have to the say the Xbox One controller wins out here. While both are phenomenal sticks – the PS4 sticks feel a little more grippy than the competition’s – the indentation of the Xbox One’s sticks makes them feel a little more controllable.
The triggers on the PS4, however, feel much more satisfying to use. The Xbox One triggers do a great job of holding your fingers in place, but it doesn’t feel like there’s much tension to the triggers – on the PS4 if feels like there are varying degrees of pressure, whereas the Xbox One controller doesn’t.
It’s worth noting that the Xbox One controller is quite a bit heavier than the PS4 pad too, which could be a deciding factor when deciding which controller is for you.
As already mentioned, there isn’t really much between the two controllers and – whichever you use – you’ll likely have a great time with either.
As it stands we’d have to suggest the PS4 controller as the winner, if not for the sheer number of improvements made over the PS3 controller then for the better triggers and more tense sticks.