Xbox One vs PS4 – Controller Showdown

We pit the next-generation controllers from Sony and Microsoft in opposition to one another in a terrifying battle of buttons

We had the pleasure of putting and promoting controllers for each the Xbox One and PS4 at E3 this week. We have made them out of all of the video games we have performed on the present ground right here, as a result of we are able to get our mitts.

Try our PS4 preview web page for every little thing it’s essential learn about Sony’s next-gen gaming powerhouse.

design and manufacture

The Xbox One controller feels a little bit smaller within the palms than its predecessor however is simply as comfy to carry. We instantly felt at residence with it because of its balanced design and acquainted form. We additionally like the brand new understated look of the ABXY buttons, whereas the Xbox Information button sports activities a shiny chrome paintjob.

The PS4’s DualShock 4 controller is an enormous enchancment over its large brother. In comparison with the DualShock 3, it is heavier, smoother, heavier, and extra steady, and its handgrips have been raised barely. The result’s higher ergonomics, so we might count on to have the ability to play longer with out fatigue, We lastly have a PlayStation controller that feels extra like a tool than a toy.

Buttons and D-pad

The Xbox One and PS4 controllers retain their iconic ABXY and triangle, circle, sq. and X buttons, with each units offering sufficient resistance to outlive unintended presses. The Xbox One controller’s ABXY buttons are barely curved in comparison with the PS4 controller’s flatter buttons, however we actually cannot see that making any distinction in precise use.

The Xbox 360’s Begin and Choose buttons have been booted for brand spanking new view and menu choices. The fitting menu button brings up the sport menu whereas the View button switches between scenes or gives extra data in video games and apps.

Equally, the PS4 DualShock 4 controller now has a ‘Share’ button for simply sharing screenshots and movies, together with an possibility button for the menu.

The Xbox 360 controller’s Achilles heel has all the time been the D-pad, and Microsoft addressed it is much less chunky 4-way design as a marked enchancment over its bulging and misaligned predecessor. We did not really use both controller’s D-pad throughout our time with them, however we won’t think about apparent issues with each.

set off and bumper

Xbox One vs PS4 - Controller Showdown

The Xbox One controller’s curved set off met our fingers with a comfy familiarity and we preferred the suggestions from its new magnetic sensor, which Microsoft reps advised us delivers better accuracy.

Though the LB and RB bumpers took a while to get used to. They’re now big and nearly hidden as they soften into the shiny black plastic on high of the controller. At first we discovered them a bit tough to press, however obtained used to them after a brief session with Battlefield 4. We had been firing terrifying grenades very quickly.

The PS4’s controller has lastly gotten, in the end, … rocker set off. We’re joyful to say goodbye to these rubber set off conversion kits and it ought to have been like this from the start. Sony lastly noticed the sunshine.


The Xbox One controller’s thumbstick suggestions are 25 p.c smaller than these of the 360, and you will positively really feel the distinction. It is off-putting at first, however their tough texture gives a significantly better grip than the sleek ones on the Xbox 360. They’re additionally extra responsive, have a wider vary of movement, and we discovered that their tighter motion supplied extra management.

Clicking on the left thumb was problematically tough for us to play on Battlefield 4, though we had been enjoying the PC model which at this early stage could not translate with the brand new controller.

The PS4’s thumbsticks have additionally improved, with grippy concave suggestions to make sure your thumbs keep in place throughout frantic firefights. The Xbox One controller will get our vote on this division, although because of its odd thumbstick placement, which we discovered extra comfy.


The PS4 sticks with Bluetooth for its controller connectivity, whereas Microsoft is choosing Wi-Fi Direct.

The Xbox One controller has a proprietary port on the button for headset and accent connectivity, whereas the PS4’s DualShock 4 controller sports activities a 3.5mm headphone jack to be used with normal headphones, incomes a couple of further brownie factors. It additionally has built-in audio system for builders to reap the benefits of.


Xbox One vs PS4 - Controller Showdown

The Xbox One controller has executed away with the cumbersome battery compartment which is slickly built-in. Players will be capable to buy a Play and Cost equipment with rechargeable batteries or they’ll decide to shove in a pair of regular batteries to maintain the fracking marathon going immediately.

The PS4 controller additionally homes a chargeable battery, although it is constructed into the controller and there is no technique to exchange it, which generally is a drawback for impatient players who wish to bounce in cable-free.

Precise battery life assessments must wait till assessment models are shipped, however we’re anticipating no less than six hours for a protracted block of uninterrupted gaming goodness.

cool methods

Xbox One vs PS4 - Controller Showdown

Each controllers are nice in their very own proper, however every one comes with a couple of technical extras that set them aside.

The PS4 controller has a lightweight bar that’s used with the PlayStation digital camera for exact monitoring (see our E3 demo video). The sunshine bar will also be utilized by video games. Killzone: Shadow Fall, for instance, makes use of inexperienced to indicate that you simply’re in tip-top form, with the colour steadily altering to purple representing your invulnerability in battle and your well being bar decreasing. does.

Not solely that, however the PS4 can shift the split-screen window in line with the place gamers sit, because of its gentle bar detection that helps as much as 4 controllers without delay.

The Xbox One can do the identical, because of the very exact Kinect, which might inform which particular person is holding which controller, courtesy of some intelligent facial and controller recognition.

The PS4’s controller additionally encompasses a clickable touchpad that can come in useful for net looking and gives one other management possibility for builders to reap the benefits of. Flicking on the touchpad throughout our Thief demo at E3 introduced up the weapon choice menu, for instance.

optimistic vibration

What the Xbox One’s controller lacks in flashing lights and contact sensitivity, it makes up for in precise triggers with new vibrating motors that add one other degree of suggestions.

We tried out a controller demo at E3 that confirmed some good examples of how this impact can be utilized. One demo featured a beating coronary heart and we felt an extremely practical ‘pulse’ in every of our set off fingers, which was fairly spectacular, if not a little bit scary.

A automotive was dropped at an additional degree of immersion, with the engine shivering in each palms and our fingers, with refined gear change suggestions in addition. A Microsoft rep additionally advised us that the vibrations can change in line with the quantity of ammo you may have left, letting you already know you are working low with out checking onscreen. For sure, touchdown a digital minigun really felt very satisfying.

Each controllers have nice potential for additions, although it is as much as builders to reap the benefits of all of them. On the finish of the day, controllers will not be a make-or-break determination for many players relating to selecting which console will sit beneath the coveted spot on the backside of their tails.


The Sony DualShock 4 will price £55, whereas the worth of the Xbox One controller has not but been revealed. It’s listed on Amazon US at US$60 (the identical worth because the DualShock 4), so we count on it to land across the identical worth.

Sony has drastically improved the DualShock, addressing a lot of its niggles to supply a cushty controller full of thrilling expertise in addition, although its non-removable battery presents back-to-back wi-fi play. Maintaining with the classes generally is a bit jarring for hardcore players.

Microsoft, however, had much less work to do, because the Xbox 360 controller itself was already a high notch one. A smooth look and tight controls mixed with intelligent vibration expertise imply the Xbox One controller ought to actually please each Xbox One and PC players.

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