Last weekend I started playing the first game that will be featured in my Replaying the Classics series of writing pieces. Turning on my PlayStation 3 and booting up the game, I immediately arrived at my very first hurdle—getting reacquainted with the PlayStation 3 controller. Though the PlayStation 3’s Dualshock 3 controller is very similar to the Dualshock 4 controller of the PlayStation 4, there are enough differences between them, and there had been a long enough gap since the last time I had played a PlayStation 3 game, that the Dualshock 3 felt somewhat awkward in my hands and my gaming muscle memory needed to be recalibrated as I was playing the game. For those that don’t have experience with both controllers, below are a pair of photos I took of a Dualshock 4 (left) and a Dualshock 3, (right). Just FYI, Dualshocks come in several colors, and I also have a black Dualshock 3, but I went with the silver one for these photos to make the differences a bit easier to see.
The Dualshock 4 has longer and slightly larger handles than the Dualshock 3, and the parts of the controller that house the analog sticks do not protrude out quite as far, and these two small adjustments actually make for the Dualshock 4 having a noticeably more comfortable grip in the player’s hand. The analogue sticks and triggers were also changed on the Dualshock 4 to be slightly concave, as opposed to the rounded analogue sticks and triggers on the Dualshock 3 that could on occasion result in a finger sliding out of its intended position. There are a number of other differences between the two controllers, but these were the ones that were most immediately apparent when I was feeling the controllers in my hands. Generational jumps between controllers are always big, but oftentimes its those small tweaks that stand out.