So I guess the more appropriate question is, did Sony see Wii’s controller, somehow feel threatened by it, and then hastily come out with the motion-sensing PS3 controller? My memory can be poor, but I vaguely remember the series of events to be rather…..suspicious. So! I went and did some research. Do you have dated articles that would paint a different picture? Let me know by leaving a comment!
Most of us remember images of the concept PS3 from the beginning, with its boomerang/banana shaped controller. Oh, ESPECIALLY that controller! So many people bashed it for its ugly shape and plenty of “throw it and it’ll come back” boomerang jokes appeared.
And so it starts:
Sept 15, 2005 - Nintendo Unveils Wii’s Controller
Remember - The Wii was called The Revolution back then. It was announced on this day, the simple-looking controller would feature a motion sensor that promised to revolutionize gameplay as we know it.
Nov 17, 2005 - PS3 Controller Design Here to Stay According to Sony Exec
Second article here. Sony’s executive denied rumors of redesigning the controller. The boomerang shape was here to stay, but it could undergo “minor changes”. Many continued to bash the controller’s odd shape.
Nov 22, 2005 - Microsoft releases the Xbox 360 in the US.
Mar 15, 2006 - PS3 Delay - A Good Thing?
A lot of fans (myself included) were quite disappointed to hear about this delay. It was supposed to be released in Spring 2006, but they then aimed for Nov 2006, which would be a year after the Xbox 360 debuted.
Mar 22, 2006 - Sony Confirms the PS3’s Controller Redesign
Huh? A redesign eh? Well, we’ll just have to wait and see what they come up with at E3…
May 9, 2006 - PS3 Boomerang Controller Tossed, Doesn’t Come Back
Many of those who were complaining about the weird shape now protest, saying “it wasn’t that bad, it was actually creative”.
May 9, 2006 - New PS3 Controller
So the controller looks the same as the original PlayStation controllers, whereas other consoles’ controllers continue to evolve. What’s the biggest change? The controller now features six-axis sensors for motion-sensor gameplay. However, it’s not as responsive as the Wii remote.
May 9, 2006 - New PS3 Controller Loses DualShock Vibration
This piece of news was another disappointment for fans. I’ll also quote from the article’s official explanation:
“Pursuant to the introduction of this new six-axis sensing system, the vibration feature that is currently available on DUALSHOCK and DUALSHOCK 2 controllers for PlayStation and PlayStation 2, will be removed from the new PS3 controller as vibration itself interferes with information detected by the sensor.”
May 11, 2006 - PS3’s New Controller a Surprise to Developers, as Well?
A game developer admits that his team received the PS3’s new motion-sensing controller less than two weeks before. Some wonder if the lack of the vibration feature comes as a surprise to developers also.
May 31, 2006 - Harrison Denies Wii Influenced PS3 Controller, Says PCs Unnecessary
The president of Sony Computer Entertainment’s Worldwide Studio denies copying Nintendo’s motion-sensing idea, saying that was “stupid”. Also quoted towards the bottom of the article
“We believe that the PS3 will be the place where our users play games, watch films, browse the Web, and use other [home] computer functions,” said Harrison. “The PlayStation 3 is a computer. We do not need the PC.”
Nov 17, 2006 - Sony releases the PlayStation 3 in the US.
Nov 19, 2006 - Nintendo releases the Wii in the US.
Mar 30, 2007 - The Truth Behind the PS3 Boomerang Controller
Apparently, Sony scrapped the banana controller because people were criticizing its shape. The company felt that people were already used to the old design, and any change to it would annoy players, and that wasn’t worth the risk.
On the other hand, Sony is now working to get the rumble back into the controller.
So there you have it, what do you think? Did Sony hastily add the motion-sensor feature? Would Sony have time to implement it in that time frame?