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The Next Gen consoles


Major Britten
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Digital triggers are much better for shooters surely? I'll give you that analogue is better for racers though...

...and some of those first party games that featured design elements around analogue triggers. F-Zero, SMS, Mansion, etc.

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You don't see Fender redesigning the Stratocaster every fucking 5 years.

I'm not convinced they don't try. For such an established item they don't half knock out a million variations of the same thing, about the only thing that stayed the same is the shape.

They also spent years designing a million other guitars and then iterating on all of them that sold. If something else had been more popular they would've switched the de facto standard to that.

I'd like to see the console manufacturers selling variations of their controller. One with the sticks in the Xbox position and one with the ps3 version. One with Xbox triggers and one with GameCube triggers. One with a working d-pad and one with a broken one. People could buy whatever suited them, retailers could cut the price on the less popular ones so there was a cheap option for official controllers, people who didn't give a fuck could buy the cheapest one and best of all, we'd never have to read another fucking thread about which controller is right.

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I'm petfectly happy with the Dual Shock's stick positions just as I am with those of the Wii U's Pro Controller but I will never get on with the 360's. Symmetry is key. The 360 sticks are not twin sticks, they're argumentative cousins sticks. Never will I understand how you and I are in the minority on this matter.

God help me if the other two ever give into these loud voices and go Microsoft's asymmetrical way.

The left analogue stick is the prime control function of almost every single game released today, the D-Pad is merely an in game shortcut selection tool now.

Why would you have the prime control stick in a silly position AKA Dual Shock controllers, awkwardly pointing your thumb across rather than its natural position when you hold the controller.

You talk about how "Symmetry is key" well the two prime functions are arguably the left analogue stick and the A,B,X,Y action buttons hence why they are in the prime positions.

The 360 controller makes sense and has the correct "Symmetry" if you account for the most commonly used functions of a modern day console controller instead of assuming the analogue sticks are meant to be "twins" as you call them and have to be parallel when there functions clearly are not.

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I really don't get the big deal about stick placement between DS3 and the 360 controller. My thumb naturally sits in either position equally comfortably. The DualShock stick needs to be better (stupid convex slidey sticks have no place in a controller) but I couldn't care less whether they're swapped or not.

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You talk about how "Symmetry is key" well the two prime functions are arguably the left analogue stick and the A,B,X,Y action buttons hence why they are in the prime positions.

I would have thought the most popular games (first/third-person shooters) use the right analogue stick more than the face buttons, which would mean the analogue stick should be where the face buttons are.

Personally, it doesn't bother me whether they're symmetrical or where they are on the pad. I can quite comfortably use them whether they're high or low.

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The left analogue stick is the prime control function of almost every single game released today, the D-Pad is merely an in game shortcut selection tool now.

... not for 2d platformers it's not...

I tried playing Donkey Kong Jr with the analogue slider on the 3DS yesterday. It's just too hard... some games are designed around direct digital input. NSMBU is much better with the d-pad on the gamepad. (It's a shame the d-pad on the 3DS is in such a gomy place and too wee)

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... not for 2d platformers it's not...

I tried playing Donkey Kong Jr with the analogue slider on the 3DS yesterday. It's just too hard... some games are designed around direct digital input. NSMBU is much better with the d-pad on the gamepad. (It's a shame the d-pad on the 3DS is in such a gomy place and too wee)

When I said every single game released today, I meant modern games, Donkey Kong Jr really doesn't qualify for that.

I have a NSMBU and prefer the analogue stick to the D-Pad I could play with either to be fair.

Give me an example of an Xbox 360 or PS3 game where the D-Pad is the prime control function then lets compare that to the games that use the left analogue stick as the prime control function.

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The key difference between the 360 and PS3 pads isn't that one has the analogue stick up and one down. It's that the angular distance between the resting thumb position on the PS3 pad and the sticks is further than on the 360 pad. That goes for both thumbs. The 360 pad is better ergonomically designed and I'd submit that even if the stick placement on the 360 pad were identical to the PS3 pad it would still be considered a more comfortable controller because of how it positions your thumbs relative to the Dual Shock pad.

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The key difference between the 360 and PS3 pads isn't that one has the analogue stick up and one down. It's that the angular distance between the resting thumb position on the PS3 pad and the sticks is further than on the 360 pad. That goes for both thumbs. The 360 pad is better ergonomically designed and I'd submit that even if the stick placement on the 360 pad were identical to the PS3 pad it would still be considered a more comfortable controller because of how it positions your thumbs relative to the Dual Shock pad.

like the pro-controller. ;)

Give me an example of an Xbox 360 or PS3 game where the D-Pad is the prime control function then lets compare that to the games that use the left analogue stick as the prime control function.

you'd have to be mental to design a game for either with D-pad as the prime control function - because the d-pad on both of them is sooooo bad.

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I guess Marvel vs Capcom 3 is a game designed with the dpad as the primary control method, since they'd have to consider that the majority of people buying the game wouldn't own a stick.

Street Fighter IV was playable on the 360pad/dual shock, but it was designed as an arcade game first. There was a fair bit of leniency in reading your inputs to make it workable on those controllers, though.

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The key difference between the 360 and PS3 pads isn't that one has the analogue stick up and one down. It's that the angular distance between the resting thumb position on the PS3 pad and the sticks is further than on the 360 pad. That goes for both thumbs. The 360 pad is better ergonomically designed and I'd submit that even if the stick placement on the 360 pad were identical to the PS3 pad it would still be considered a more comfortable controller because of how it positions your thumbs relative to the Dual Shock pad.

Yeah I definitely see your point - its a major gripe of mine with the Dual Shock pads is how far down and across the sticks are and I wont even mention the triggers (if I can even call them that).

you'd have to be mental to design a game for either with D-pad as the prime control function - because the d-pad on both of them is sooooo bad.

Now your just changing the 'issue' though.

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I've been told by a very clever modder that the DS3 and 360 analogues are virtually identical in mechanical terms. The DS3 came with Hall sensors for a short while, but its regular pots are comparable to the 360 controller's. Apart from a slight difference in the size of their shell holes, it's mostly all in their caps.

I think the DS2 had different pots, but they're all very similar.

The length and travel are massively different. I've spent around 5 years in a QA environment working with both consoles, I have witnessed first hand how the two pads degrade differently over extensive use periods. Generally the 360 sticks, the dead zone is less pronounced and still usable, however on the duel shock 3's, the sticks end up having such a dead zone that the sticks visibly lean to one side and stick there, in the end becoming unusable and we had to throw them away. Also the buttons wear far faster.

Really the only thing wrong with the 360 pad is the d-pad, and since the majority of major titles these days don't use it / only use it as a four way select button, it's not as bad as the ergonomics, comfort and build quality issues the DS3 has. If you've grown accustomed to the same basic controller, fine, but don't use that as an excuse to brush away its major flaws and for not wanting Sony to progress on from it.

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I guess Marvel vs Capcom 3 is a game designed with the dpad as the primary control method, since they'd have to consider that the majority of people buying the game wouldn't own a stick.

Street Fighter IV was playable on the 360pad/dual shock, but it was designed as an arcade game first. There was a fair bit of leniency in reading your inputs to make it workable on those controllers, though.

Well that's potentially two games out of a full library (thousands) that use the D-Pad as the prime function. This is my argument as to why the D-Pad on the Dual Shock controllers should be moved.

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Yeah I definitely see your point - its a major gripe of mine with the Dual Shock pads is how far down and across the sticks are and I wont even mention the triggers (if I can even call them that).

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November 2007 nevar4g3t.

Seriously though, I bought four sets and glued them permanently to my PS3 pads, and remain amazed Sony never thought to just completely rip them off. I consider them the main reason I was such a good Warhawk player, because while driving a tank you could hook your driving fingers onto the triggers and have your index fingers on the shooting controls.

Noobs looked on in amazement as I managed to drive circles around them and shoot Warhawks clean out of the air without stopping.

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You talk about how "Symmetry is key" well the two prime functions are arguably the left analogue stick and the A,B,X,Y action buttons hence why they are in the prime positions.

Fair counterpoint. I guess it just goes to show I only ever bothered to play FPS titles on 360 and its analogue sticks designed for Jeremy Beadle.

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On the subject of iPhone/iPad style yearly updates, there's already sort of a precedent for that with the original 360, the Elite, the 360 S, etc.

I know people who've owned each one and not because of hardware failure.

And with the 3DS XL, PS3 Slim/Super Slim and various different hard drive sizes it's not too far away, especially when there are those who trade in their old one to get the new like going from 3GS to 4S or 4 to 5.

Sort of the same idea but not really the same as what happens for PC/Mobile, where the underlying hardware spec changes every year, on the consoles, they still stick to the same performance specs and if any extra hardware is added, it rarely can be exploited for games as they have to run fine on the launch spec machine. Plus, it would be mean the price of the new model would stay perpetually quite high as you are getting more tech for your money with each new model, just look at Apple or PC components for proof of that pricing model.

How so? The disadvantages of not being able to code to the silicon on PC are due to the huge range of different parts and OEMs and configurations, not that PCs have an OS.

Apple has the minimal amount of different spec models, but it doesn't mean people code to the metal for those machines, it has the same problem as the Windows PC, you can't extract maximum performance due to the need to be abstracted to support multiple hardware configs and the overheads that causes. Which is why the PSV version of a game would likely not have the same performance on a similar spec Apple device (as nobody ports the PSV version of high performance titles to iOS, hard to prove, but I'd bet good money this would be the case).

He was only talking about the ability for first-party devs to come up with stuff that uniquely pushed the hardware, not general development. I think people are pushing for a narrative here and changing the facts to fit.

I mean, Gerbik you're a PC gamer die-hard, I shouldn't have to explain to you that the performance hit doesn't come from the OS.

It does in part come from the OS, PC APIs get in the way compared to the console ones.

'Having direct access to hardware would mean no drivers magically translating your byte code once again, and also having low-level memory management available, which you have to some degree with CUDA, and also your own thread scheduler would be really enjoyable. It definitely makes sense to have a standardised, vendor-independent API as an abstraction layer over the hardware, but we would also prefer this API to be really thin and allow more low-level access to the hardware. This will not only improve performance, but it will also allow better use of the available hardware features.'
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Don't overlook, however, that those APIs also make the job of writing the games much, much easier. The sort of GPU manual memory management and thread scheduling he's talking about in that link are scary black magic, and there's not enough people in the world who are superstars at that to satisfy the AAA studios, let alone the indie guys. They didn't make John Carmack in a cloning machine. So the ideal console has both -- some accessible higher level APIs that humans can grok, and untrammelled access to the actual metal that some dev teams can unleash their pet otaku on to tune up the very most important core bits of your game engine. And if you care more about the indie scene on XBLAH than you do about CoD XIV: This Time With Eighteen Assault Rifles, you might prefer your console to have better APIs rather than better low-level access.

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The Dual Shock was the result of Sony hastily whacking some analogue sticks onto their SNES pad rip-off when the N64 came out. That people believe it's the optimal configuration of a pad that should never be meddled with I can only attribute to some form of Stockholm Syndrome.

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So do people still think dual analogue sticks is the way forward, or would you like to see them try something new?

I, personally, would like to see them try something new. When I play a first/third person game on a console, I crave proper control of the camera and speed and precision aiming. I think the left analogue stick is good, that's fine, the right one, not so much.

I will not be so easily baited

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I think I'd like to see something new; I don't particularly enjoy playing games where I have to aim with a second stick. Mostly because I'm still not used to it and partly because the position of the second stick on both pads is awkward. I use the second stick mostly for reading a film's synopsis on Netflix. I don't have a clue what the alternative would be, though. Mouse and Keyboard is alright, but I don't like using a keyboard for movement or being able to spin around 180 in an instant.

Something more accessable would be better.

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Don't overlook, however, that those APIs also make the job of writing the games much, much easier. The sort of GPU manual memory management and thread scheduling he's talking about in that link are scary black magic, and there's not enough people in the world who are superstars at that to satisfy the AAA studios, let alone the indie guys. They didn't make John Carmack in a cloning machine. So the ideal console has both -- some accessible higher level APIs that humans can grok, and untrammelled access to the actual metal that some dev teams can unleash their pet otaku on to tune up the very most important core bits of your game engine. And if you care more about the indie scene on XBLAH than you do about CoD XIV: This Time With Eighteen Assault Rifles, you might prefer your console to have better APIs rather than better low-level access.

Well quite, but saying the OS on PC has nothing to do with why an equivalent spec PC can't perform aswell as a closed box is something which is incorrect, if Lottes' hypothetical theory is correct, Microsoft would have the console equivalent of an Apple mobile device, a family of related hardware where games would run faster and better on the newer spec, but you could never push it like a single target spec console box. The X360 and PS3 have dev friendly APIs, doesn't mean you can't get stuck in if you feel up to it.

Console APIs are like what that quote from somebody at Crytek wants from the PC, less crap getting in your way.

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