As the new console generation prepares to launch, executives and developers for both Microsoft and Sony are getting a bit more lax in what they’re allowed to talk about. In a recent interview with GamesBeat, it has come to light that Sony actually tested a new controller for the PlayStation 4 that would feature a touchscreen very similar to the Wii U’s GamePad, but that many developers felt that looking down at the controller was a distraction. According to product planning manager Toshimasa Aoki, cost was also a contributing factor in why the touchscreen controller wasn’t produced.
“A touchscreen was another idea that we had. We actually tested it, but [besides cost factors], our game teams felt like having to look down at the controller is not what they want to do. They want to have the consumers concentrated on the big picture that they show [on the TV].”
Apparently the configuration of the DualShock 4 almost had a Wii U Pro Controller configuration too, as Aoki mentions that a DualShock 4 controller with both sticks at the top of the controller was prototyped even before the design of the Pro Controller was revealed.
“When Nintendo came out with that, we were like, ‘Wow, that’s just like our prototype!’ That surprised us.”
It’s interesting to see Sony admit that the company tried several different iterations of a controller, even drawing on Nintendo products for inspiration. What do you think about what developers said about the touchscreen? Do you think this is why many developers haven’t supported the Wii U? Let us know in the comments.