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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Who's better at implementing controller gimmicks, Nintendo or Sony?

Nintendo and PlayStation have introduced a wide array of innovations and gimmicks to game controllers over the years. Fast forward to today, Nintendo Switch has its Joy-Con controllers which are detachable controllers that could be used simultaniously, or independently of eachother by passing one to another person for multiplayer. Complete with HD Rumble, motion controls, and an IR motion camera.

The PlayStation 5's DualSense features the motion sensor, touchpad and share/create button found on the DualShock 4, but also introduces a microphone, HD haptics and adaptive triggers. Between the first party games for each, who would you say is better at implimenting the unique controller features.

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Nintendo were the first to introduce shoulder buttons if I remember? they brought back analog in 5th generation which it was already in 2nd generation consoles like SG - 1000, Nintendo introduced rumble , Nintendo Introduced haptic feedback on Nintendo Switch before Dualsense , Sega introduced Motion gaming with activator before the WIi and PS2 eyetoy and Microsoft Kinect.

Last edited by SegaHeart - on 25 February 2022

Cute and honest Sega Saturn fan, also noone should buy Sega grrrr, Sega for life.

I've aways preferred Sony controllers. They are practical, comfortable and ergonomic. When I touch a Dualshock I feel like the controller was made exactly for gaming, because all games works flawless. I never, ever, felt like a Sony games have any problem with controllers input, everything was there exactly where it should be 

As for Nintendo things can be much messier. I never had a single Bluetooth problem with PS4 controllers, but Switch controllers suffers from perpetual desync issues 

Based on how you're defining gimmicks, I guess it'd have to be Nintendo. I don't have a PS5 so I dunno how things are going with that, but the trackpad, motion controlls, and such on PS3 and PS4 were hardly used at all.

The winner is the one that made Wii Sports

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The only real "gimmick" from this century that has stuck around was motion controls, and even then in much more limited fashion than in Gen 7. A few Switch games use motion controls, and some games do support gyro controls on PS4 & PS5, but that's about it. Other gimmicks like dual screens have essentially died off.

All the big innovations that have stood the test of time and become industry standards were from the 20th century, and Nintendo either created or popularized most of them. The D-pad, the diamond-shaped arrangement of face buttons, shoulder buttons, and rumble all made their first appearances on Nintendo controllers. They were also the first to include an analog stick on their controller, as they had the foresight to realize how important that was for 3D games. Too many Gen 5 games suffered from bad controls because they were designing 3D games to work with Gen 4 controller layouts (that's why tank controls were a thing, and why they should have stopped being a thing on the PS2,).

Sega had their 3D Pad released a month after the N64 debuted, launching it alongside Nights into Dreams, whereas Sony's Dual Analog wasn't released until 1997. Sega was the one to introduce analog triggers with the 3D pad, and that became the norm the following generation. Sony's implementation of two analog sticks became the norm as it was better to have a right stick for looking/moving the camera to complement the left stick being how you move around, so that was the one of two things Sony did that became standard, the other being the two pairs of shoulder inputs as opposed to the single pair found on the PS1 gamepad's progenitor, the SNES gamepad.

Actually, now that I think of it, motion controls were around in the 20th century as well. Mattel had the Power Glove for the NES. Sega had the Activator. Broderbund had the U-Force. None of them were very good, though. Motion controls that were actually good didn't exist until Gen 7, and while Nintendo and Sony introduced their motion controllers (Wiimote and Sixaxis) at essentially the same time, Nintendo made far more prominent use of it.

Overall, I'd say game controllers owe the most to Nintendo. There's a clear family/evolutionary tree going all the way back to the NES controller.


In accordance to the VGC forum rules, §8.5, I hereby exercise my right to demand to be left alone regarding the subject of the effects of the pandemic on video game sales (i.e., "COVID bump").

Nintendo has really pushed gyro-aiming so gonna say Nintendo.

It's Nintendo by a long shot. The way they've handled gimmicky peripherals throughout their gaming history has actually hurt the longevity of their games because of how they've designed games around their gimmicky controllers. Take Super Mario Galaxy and Zelda: Skyward Sword on Wii for example that were ported to the Switch. You give someone a DualSense controller and then hand them an original DualShock controller, it'll feel similar enough in the hand and they'll know how to operate it. It's under the hood where Sony has made huge strides in tech such as adaptive triggers and haptic feedback.

You give someone a pair of joy-cons, it might feel weird holding one in each hand initially, but it's similar enough to a regular controller in button and trigger placement that they'll get it, BUT, if you go from joy-cons and hand them a Wii Remote with a Nunchuk attached to it, then hand them a N64 controller, they'll lose their minds xD

My vote is with Nintendo. Nintendo is fantastic at controller innovation and they often nail the delivery of it. Nintendo's only problem is that they don't always STICK with it. That is, when the next generation Nintendo system comes all bets are off. But here are a few Nintendo innovations. BTW, to clarify many of these items Nintendo didn't invent, but their integration lead to widespread adoption by competitors (i.e. Sony, Sega, or Microsoft).

D-Pad, Shoulder buttons, four face buttons, analog stick, vibration, wireless controllers with RF communication, microphone integration, headphone jack, touchscreen capabilities, all of these have been widely adopted or adopted by direct competitors after Nintendo. There are also some things that haven't been widely adopted by their competitors at this time, such as split controller setup, NFC, and infrared motion.

Sony has innovated as well. Though it seems "simple", adding extra shoulder buttons and another analog stick was a great thing to do and created the template for most controllers going forward. I also think their resistive trigger idea is very cool. The convenience of having a dedicated share button was also a good idea and one that both MS and Nintendo have copied. However, I wish they wouldn't have removed the select/start buttons.

Honestly Nintendo generally experiments a lot more, and that has created the ones that stick around as well as...the ones that don't. Sony added a few things I believe, but not nearly as frequently.

The Democratic Nintendo that a paradox? I'm fond of one of the more conservative companies in the industry, but I vote Liberally and view myself that way 90% of the time?