Sony recently released an attachment for the DualShock 4 that adds back paddles to the controller. While it is certainly a welcome addition for PS4 owners, it’s a little bit underwhelming compared to the efforts put forth by Microsoft with their Xbox Elite controller.
Reprogrammable buttons are really a must-have for competitive play, and they’re insanely useful for casual gamers too. Realistically, for Sony to remain competitive with Microsoft, they need to ensure that these sorts of options are available by default with the PlayStation 5 controller.
The Elite controller for the Xbox One is ridiculously popular. The insane level of customizability means they can be adjusted for any game or playstyle. Sony’s DualShock line just doesn’t offer that level of usability. Even this new add-on only gives the bare minimum expected of a professional controller accessory.
For FPS gaming, these back buttons can ensure that you don’t need to remove your thumb from the aiming stick to reload or jump. This is enormously helpful during high-level play.
It doesn’t stop there, either. Everything from MMOs to Dark Souls can benefit from these buttons coming standard with the PS5.
With MMOs and RPGs, the ability to map special actions to these buttons can be a godsend. And in “Souls-likes” titles, having healing possible without removing thumbs from the camera can make the difference in PvP. Now taking all of that into account, can you imagine if these buttons were available by default ?
Don’t get me wrong: The Elite controller is great for giving you options. But, giving the PlayStation 5 controller those buttons by default would be a huge advantage for Sony.
If the buttons come as default on the basic controller, then developers can plan with them in mind.
Imagine that these buttons are not only programmable but also allow for extra inputs. It would be incredibly helpful for developers trying to port PC games to consoles. Two or four extra buttons that are easily accessible could do wonders for a lot of games. It might even make certain ports possible on the PS5 that wouldn’t have been feasible otherwise.
But this is just the start. If Sony really wants to give the PlayStation 5 the best controller ever, they should think about adding a reprogrammable layer for all the buttons on the controller. No more hoping the developer allows for custom controller layouts if Sony has sorted it for you. Now that’s an upgrade I can get behind.