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As the new consoles from Microsoft and Sony go head to head on the high street, gamers are getting their hands on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 controllers for the first time.
Both companies have spent tens of thousands of dollars in researching and designing the shape, features and feel of their pads.
After all, if the lifespan of the last generation is anything to go by, people will still be using them in a decade.
But which pad comes out on top?
PlayStation 4At first glance Sony’s new pad looks similar to the previous generation’s DualShock 3 controller. A closer look reveals it’s slightly wider, with a curvier shape.
The new L2 and R2 buttons feel more like triggers, and Select and Start have given way to by Share and Option buttons.
All new features include the light bar, which can change colour to tell you which player you are in a multiplayer game, or as a health indicator. It also has an internal speaker, a headset socket and a touch pad which doubles as a clickable button.
Xbox OneThe new controller from Microsoft is very much an evolution of the Xbox 360 pad, taking the best bits of the previous design and honing them. All the older controller’s buttons are present, and only the guide button has moved significantly.
The biggest change is that instead of having a bulky battery pack attached to the back of the controller, two AA batteries sit snugly within the body of the pad. As a result, the contour of the rear of the pad is a single, smooth curve.
ReactionSo how have the gaming public reacted to the new pads?
Jay Budd, commenting on YouTube said “I like the Xbox One controller. Wasn’t a fan of the thumb sticks at first, but got used to it after an hour or so.”
Microsoft have drawn criticism for using their own connector for headsets.
The console comes with one, but if you want another you’ll have to shell out about £25 for Microsoft’s official Xbox One chat headset – for now at least.
Sony, on the other hand, have included a standard 3.5mm headphones jack, so any standard headset – such as Apple’s iPhone Earpods – will work.
YouTube user Neo Jeeto took issue with some of the new features of both controllers, saying: “I hate the Share and Option buttons, and the rougher grip texture on the [DualShock 4], but I like the sticks and triggers.
“I don’t like the triggers or bumpers on the Xbox One controller, but I like the sticks better than the 360.”
It’ll take time for many hardened gamers to decide which of the two pads is their favourite, but Timothy J Seppala, a contributing editor at tech blog Engadget has made up his mind already.
@adanzis the ps4 controller is the best one I’ve ever used. No lie.
– Timothy J. Seppala (@timseppala) November 16, 2013
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