RIP, Dual Shock

CVG reports that the controller for the soon-to-be-announced PlayStation 4 will not follow the 13-year-old Dual Shock design:

A senior games studio source working on an upcoming Sony game says the new system’s controller has undergone numerous iterations, few of which resemble the DualShock build that has become synonymous with PlayStation.

Experiments within Sony’s R&D department are thought to have been extensive. Versions of the new PS4 pad include biometric sensors on the grips and an LCD touch screen, the development source claimed.

This news makes sense. Between motion controls, touchscreens and mobile platforms, the model of the gamer-holding-a-controller has never seemed more conservative. It’s natural – and logical – that Sony would experiment with new forms of input and control.

Here’s hoping that any of the bells and/or whistles Sony introduces have even a fraction of the lasting power of this little symmetrical badass. I’ve owned a lot of Dual Shock controllers over the years – black, white, red, transluscent blue – and they have always felt just right in my growing hands. Not like a toy – which Nintendo controllers have often felt like – nor like an Xboxian toaster. The Dual Shock is a sleek appliance that doesn’t look wrong on a coffee table.

I still remember the first time I picked one up: it was to play the original Wipeout. The game, streaking neon on my basement television, looked like the future. So, too, did the device in my hands. Little did I – or anyone – know, just how futuristic the Dual Shock was. Do you think that the PlayStation 4 controller will still look modern in 2026? I wonder.