Evolution over the years: PlayStation controllers

PlayStation controls have evolved and changed with each new generation of Sony consoles, so you can now create a chronology and highlight the major changes and innovations that go into each of them.

In this article, we will take a tour of this timeline and get acquainted with the models of controls released on each PlayStation and the most important features of each.

Also read:

The Evolution of Xbox: 360, One and Series X / S
Playstation Evolution: From PSone to PS5

PlayStation controllers have changed over time

The PlayStation appeared as a Sony project for Nintendo, whose main goal was to show a version of Super Nintendo that would work as a CD, but it didn’t give good results. At least not the partnership with Nintendo.

After the release of the PlayStation, the game became popular and has been a great success since its first version. This success increases with each new generation and today the console has become one of the leading and best sellers in the industry.

An important part of any console is, of course, the controller. With the PlayStation, this was also the case, as the accessory has always been subject to change and evolution over time and the console itself. Now understand how it happened.

The first PlayStation controller

The first PlayStation controller appeared in 1994 with the launch of Sony’s first console. Since the design was originally for Nintendo, the controller is very similar to the Super Nintendo, but with a slightly different aesthetic and two more R and L keys added.

It also had a larger view, made it easier to hold, and served as the basis for Sony’s controls format to this day after evolution.

The interesting interest that arose with the first control was its buttons, which were symbols, not letters. According to a Sony engineer, these symptoms were not accidental. A triangular point of view, that is, something that points in one direction. The square represented the paper as a menu or document. The X and group buttons mean No and Yes, respectively.

Although these representations are no longer important in the game’s controls, they remain symbols and have become the icon of the console.

Dual Analog and DualShock, the advent of analog rods

Dual analog control

One of the great updates that came with console games like PlayStation was the most up-to-date games in three dimensions and quality. That’s why the directional arrows are a bit limited and don’t make the character’s movements fluid, especially in fights or racing games.

That’s why Sony first launched Dual Analog, the first controller with analog rods. It entered the market in 1997. In Japan, the new version of the controller came with a vibration feature, but in the United States and Europe they did not have such an additional feature.

To give the player a choice, it even came with an ANALOG button that turned on and off the analog sticks for players who prefer standard sticks or games that are better with them.

Then came the first DualShock, which came as a Dual Analog update and this time brought a visit to all markets. The main feature of the DualShock in appearance is that they make analog rods more convenient with rubbers and without small holes.

double shock management

Another change was that they became “pressable” buttons, and when you pressed them, the R3 and L3 keys appeared. The controller was very successful, so it became a basic model and went through several generations with future consoles.

DualShock 2 comes with pressure sensitivity

Since DualShock was so successful, the PlayStation 2 came with a new controller, which is almost identical, but with some improvements. DualShock 2 now comes in black as standard and gives users more options.

double shock management

In addition, its main innovation was that all but the Start, Select, R3, L3 and Analog buttons were pressure sensitive. This means that in some games it is possible to better control the action depending on the pressure on the button. An example was GTA San Andreas, where the protagonist pedaled faster or slower depending on how hard the button was pressed.

As a reminder, when it comes to the PS2, the first DualShock will be compatible with it if they are not exclusive games.

Sixaxis and finally DualShock 3

With the advent of the PlayStation 3 in 2006, a new controller came with new features, and the most famous of these was originally named. Due to legal issues and the patent transfer process, Sony released the controller under a new name and without the vibration function.

six bullets

In practice, the novelty of Sixaxis came with the technology that gave it its name. This means “six axes” and was actually to determine the physical deflection of the control. In other words, motion sensors.

In addition, it also came with wireless technology, where it is possible to connect the control via Bluetooth and has an internal rechargeable battery via a USB connector. The new Sixaxis also came with 4 small LEDs on the top that show the order of the players. The L2 and R2 buttons became more sensitive to “jump” and pressure.

double shock 3 controller

The following year, in 2007, Sony finally reached an agreement in court and was then able to launch a controller with the line name, the DualShock 3, which is almost identical to the Sixaxis, only with a vibration function and other color options. .

DualShock 4 and the arrival of the screen on the controller

The PlayStation 4 was released in 2013 and came with the latest version of the DualShock controller. The DualShock 4 has already come up with a few other innovations, featuring a front-facing display. It has a more modern look, but retains most of the classic look of the accessory.

double shock 4 controller

Among the news was a light bar at the top that performed several functions within the game (such as showing the life span of a character in God Of War). The controller also comes with the ability to connect a headset to improve dynamics and immersion in games.

As for the screen, it was touch sensitive and can even be used as an additional button. So they put it there, removed the “Start” and “Select” buttons, and added a new Option button (actually this also serves as a “Start” button) and Share to share screenshots.

Analog buttons, like the first Dual Analog, have changed their appearance, gained edges, and returned to grip with a small cavity.

DualSense voted the best controller

With the arrival of the new PlayStation 5, Sony has also decided to bring a new line of controls, this time DualSense. It was so successful that it brought several changes and improvements over DualShock and was considered the best controller of all time at the time of its release.


One of the great new features of DualSense is the haptic triggers that guarantee players physical feedback when using them. If the protagonist is pulling a bow, for example, it will vibrate and become harder to adjust to.

It also has the ability to breathe through a built-in microphone. It also allows players to communicate during the match without requiring a headset, as well as mute the microphone if desired.

So what else do you want to see from the next generation of PlayStation controllers? Which do you like the most so far?

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