Both Microsoft and Sony have previously said they spent millions of dollars and several years combing through the revisions of their next-gen controllers until they found the one that worked best for their consumers, and neither one are even remotely similar to the other, but at one point in time they were.
Sony Worldwide Studios Product Planning boss Toshimasa Aoki said in a recent interview they originally tried making the DualShock 4 controller like the Xbox 360, but didn’t because the DualShock layout is in their DNA.
“For the analog sticks, we did test having the analog sticks on top, since the Xbox has the left side on top [above the D-pad]. Especially from the shooter teams — we got feedback that that’s what they wanted. They knew that consumers liked the 360 for shooters.”
Aoki then added that “the feedback from the user test team said that we needed to test this version, the Xbox version, and this version. [But having the two sticks symmetrical on the left and right sides] is kind of in our DNA. The prototype team, myself, and also the management team really felt that having this look is the PlayStation look, and we had to keep that.”