PlayStation 4 vs Xbox One: Which one has the better gaming controller?

Posted on Jun 22 2013 - 1:53pm by Rado Slavov

xbox one playstation 4 controller gamepad dualshock PlayStation 4 vs Xbox One: Which one has the better gaming controller?

The brutal rivalry between the Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One is surely one of epic proportions. Specs sheets are being thrown left and right as arguments in favor of one console or the other, exclusive titles get analyzed and compared, while each company is using every possible occasion to strike at its opponent. Sometimes, though, we can get a bit carried away in our silly little arguments, focusing on small details that don’t always have a profound impact on our gaming experience. We do tend to forget the importance of some fundamental features of every game console, such as the controller.

In the case of the Xbox One and the P layStation 4, we really have two very different gamepads that will surely make hacking and slashing your enemies that much different depending on which console you decide to side with. Let’s take a closer look at the expected pros and cons of both the Xbox One controller, and the PlayStation 4 controller, or the so-called DualShock 4!

1. Build quality

If there’s something characteristic about the Xbox controllers, it’s that despite their bulkiness, users simply find them very comfortable and reliable. Of course, we can’t be sure yet if this will be valid for the Xbox One’s controller in the long run, but if history is to repeat itself, then it means that the next-gen Xbox will easily win this one, as PlayStation controllers have traditionally been prone to various malfunctions after being subjected to some heavier usage (word has it that console controllers take the harshest beating right after a lost game).

2. Key layout and features

So, the standard buttons are present on both devices, including directional D-pad, dual analog sticks and four action keys, with the Xbox One controller keeping its characteristic positioning of the analogs. A new feature of the PS4 controller is the touchpad, positioned right in the center. While we aren’t really into that type of stuff, though, we won’t rush to draw a conclusion about its usefulness. Another change to the PS4 gamepad is that Sony has replaced the Start button with a Menu buttons, which seems to be quite similar in nature, while the new Share button will naturally let you share your numerous successes on the battlefield with your online buddies. Players will surely appreciate the fact that Sony has tried to make the analog sticks a bit more comfortable to use by giving them a bit of a concave shape and coating them with a finish that is less slippery.

Meanwhile, the Xbox One has this really cool new “HD rumble” effect feature that can make certain keys or parts of the gamepad vibrate, so that your attention is drawn to the desired control. In addition, Microsoft boasts a 15% increase in the speed of communication between the controller and the Xbox One, which should make for an even more responsive experience.

When it comes to power management, the Xbox One controller is still using AA batteries, but you can always connect it to the console in order to save power, and there is also the option to purchase a rechargeable battery pack separately, if you don’t want to use those old-school AA batteries. On the other hand, the PlayStation 4 DualShock 4 controller comes with a soldered battery unit that can be recharged. Which solution would be more suitable for you depends on your gaming lifestyle, but it’s always a convenience when you don’t need to go to the nearby store when the batteries of your Xbox controller unexpectedly run out.

3. Your turn

So, now that we’ve gone through the most important aspects of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 controllers, it’s your turn to tell us what you think of them. Sony has quite the legacy, but it can’t be denied that Microsoft is doing pretty well with its own controllers. Which one do you think will present gamers with a more refined experience – the Xbox One controller, or the PS4 DualShock 4? Be sure to cast your vote in the poll below and let us know!


Which controller will be the better one?

  • PS4 DualShock 4 (64%, 936 Votes)
  • Xbox One controller (36%, 533 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,469

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  • joey

    you forgot the fact that the PS4 controller is also a motion sensing controller, this is new since the precision of it will be like that of the Move controller and a huge leap from that in the Dualshock 3. I can see games that use this feature to create more engaging experiences.

  • joijiojj90

    An xbox fanboy wrote this article. shame no one agrees with you xbot!

    • dirkradke

      I thought they were a PS4 fanboy instead. The information provided about the X-Box One controller doesn’t include all the information such as the battery options which include a ni-cad battery. Whereas the PS4 controller seems like actual research was done.

  • Lethal_Doze

    People are voting by just looking at pictures lol

  • yeah

    Repost this article when the systems are out then people can tell you……Idiots….

    • HyJax

      The question is about your expectations, moron

  • Daniel Lawson

    I hate the Duel shock and hope to see some modded controller based on Xbone layout for my PS4… what concerns me with the PS4 is they’ve shortened the sticks… on the One they made the sticks taller and they’ve removed the dead zone

  • Axe99

    Both controllers look exceptional. While I’ve always preferred the symmetrical stick layout of the Dualshocks (I hold the 360 pad at an angle because my arms and hands are symmetrical, but the pad is not, and it’s better to sitting asymmetrically which, in the long term, isn’t great for your back/shoulders/neck), both controllers look like excellent refinements to the current crop. The best news for me has been the reduction in deadzones – both controllers feature large deadzones, which can be problematic when making fine adjustments to aiming or driving (again, I find the 360 worse here because the greater degree of stick resistance makes fine adjustments at the edge of the deadzone trickier, but both deadzones are of similar size). All in all, I’d say that fans of both controllers have a lot to be happy about next gen, and really the only difference will be in the personal preference regarding stick position (there’s heaps of people prefer both the symmetric and asymmetric positions), the trigger rumble in the XB1 pad (which sounds cool) and the potential for different gameplay options through the touchpad on the DS4. Everyone’s a winner though – it’s all improvements for both pads rolling into next-gen :).

  • George

    Are you serious? Xbox 360 controller’s are pure garbage. Each of my 3 controller’s all have serious problems with them. And every one of them has multible issues with their analog sticks.

    • PantherCrane

      That’t because you have caveman hands!

  • Embers Fall

    ive always enjoyed sonys controllers to xbox

  • Mario Porfírio Souza

    Fanboy Article.

  • PantherCrane

    If the 360 had/has the better controller last gen, then it’s a giving by design that the XBO will be the better controller plain & simple!

  • joe

    It’s all preference… I like the 360 controller with the analog directly opposite of the buttons and the way the triggers feel. But i have friends that prefer playstations because the analogs are opposite of each other and because that’s what they used for the past 10 years… There can’t really be a “better controller”.


    I never once since the PSX had to replace a Sony Gamepad! But been through 3 XBOX 360 controllers! NUFFFFF SAID!

  • the_espresso_kid

    The new PS4 controller re-design puts it ahead of the X1. The only feature the X1 has that gives it a slight edge is the multi-rumble. But it’s still too early to tell if devs will utilize it correctly.

  • dirkradke

    The battery information is NOT accurate for the X-Box One. While I don’t what it will come with out of the box I do know it has a Ni-Cad battery pack that can replace the batteries just like the 360 controller. So telling everyone AA batteries are the only option is something that seems misleading or a simple mistake.

    • Raddo Slavov

      Hey, thanks for bringing this up. I’ve added the info to the article!

    • Raddo Slavov

      Hey, thanks for bringing this up. I’ve added the info to the article!

  • Mac

    I’ve listened to Xbox fans bitch about the dualshock design for so long. It’s just as awkward to switch from dualshock to the xbox controller, I promise you. I prefer the dualshock because the dpad is more functional. Otherwise, I think the touchpad and grip give the Dualshock the upper hand here. The dualshock also has the cool new light feature which recognizes what side of the room you’re on and changes color with your health gauge.

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