Why I’ve never owned a Playstation

It’s true. I reviewed a lot of PS2 and PS1 games back in the day, I may have briefly looked at the remodelled PSOne in a meaningful way when it was launched, and I did indeed once become Deputy Editor of the Official Playstation Magazine at the very end of its lifespan, entirely by accident. But I’ve never had the slightest inclination to actually own any form of Playstation, while nearly every other console from the past 20 years has been welcomed into my home at some point.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re cross-referencing with my Blu-Ray piece and coming to the entirely reasonable conclusion that I hate Sony. Fair enough, except I don’t. Well, maybe a little, but not enough to stop me buying a Sony Reader ebook thing last year, which is a lovely little piece of kit only slightly hampered by the fact that it’s bloody impossible to actually buy books for it. I’ve tried on many occasions, and I’ve succeeded exactly once. To be fair, though, that’s Waterstones’ fault.

No, I have time for Sony when it makes nice stuff. What I don’t have time for is the Playstation itself. Nothing against the games; I’m well aware that the Playstation brand is home to more than its fair share of classics and I’m still not interested.

Here’s the reason:

And here’s another:

And another:

And yet another:

There you have it, the worst controllers ever. Just look at that original PS1 controller with its non-dpad made out of buttons. How the PS1 kick-started a glorious new age of videogaming with that monstrosity is beyond me. Then Sony added analogue sticks, and rather than put them anywhere sensible, they went in a place that’s guaranteed to give you (well, me) cramp within half an hour. And it’s not just the placement of the sticks, it’s the movement of them; they simply feel wrong and nasty, like little dried mushrooms jammed into a loose ball-and-socket joint.

Staggeringly, Sony decided that it had perfected joypad design at that point and the controllers have stayed essentially the same since then, give or take a bit of rumble and wireless and that Sixaxis thing that no-one really cared about. Ergonomics? Never heard of it, mate. Also, those stupid triangle/square/circle/X buttons are made of idiot. What’s wrong with letters? Everyone else manages fine with them!

I don’t get it. Am I in some tiny minority here, or does everyone else hate them too but can’t be bothered to make a fuss about them?

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Why I’ve never owned a Playstation

  1. Billy Goodgun

    Hate, hate, hate the Sony joypads. There is, in fact, nothing joyous whatsoever about their pads. I own a PS3 and a 360, and have taken it upon myself to buy an adaptor so that I can use my 360 controller with my PS3.

    CONCAVE, not convex! Those stupid bubble-topped analogue sticks are so fumblingly awkward that my arthtritis-threatening claws can’t rest on them comfortably at all. And what’s with the trigger buttons?

  2. RiK

    I’ve never had a problem with them and I’ve got quite small hands. Saying that I used to hate the original xbox controller with a vengeance so I guess it’s horses for courses innit?

  3. SpacemanSpiff

    At the time, I actually really liked the original Dual-Shock – seem to remember paying a silly amount of money for an import along with Tobal No. 1.

    Hated the original Xbox 1.0 controller with a vengeance. Playing Halo was really painful after just 20 minutes or so. Maybe because I was so used to the dinky Dual-Shock. When they launched the smaller Japanese controller in the west I was somewhat placated, but it still wasn’t amazingly comfortable.

    On to the 360 controller. Perfection. Everything about it is spot on. The positions of the sticks, the triggers and weight of the thing.

    I sold my PS2 a long while back and hadn’t touched a PS3 until recently when I tried one at a friends house. What a piece of shit that Dual-Shock feels now. Horrid thing. Too small, too light, uncomfortable and being wireless just feels strangely wrong. Can’t really explain the feeling, but it felt almost like it shouldn’t really work. This was one without the rumble and I realise they’ve now re-incorporated that into it, but oh my god, what a useless piece of junk.

    So in a roundabout way, I completely agree with you.

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