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The truth behind the PS3 boomerang controller

Desire for change was there, but the PlayStation legacy was stronger, says the man who designs PlayStation

The man responsible for the visual design of all Sony's PlayStation consoles, Teiyu Goto, has revealed the story behind that boomerang-shaped controller which was mocked by the world and his dog at E3 in 2005. You couldn't escape the comedy jpegs of batman holding the pad either.

"President Kutaragi wanted something different for the controller," Goto told Official PlayStation Magazine. "Quite frankly, we had set aside the ergonomic aspect in favour of the image it conjured up. We wanted to present an avant-garde model for the show, running a risk of being criticised."

It's safe to say that the criticism quickly followed. When asked about his personal thoughts on the controller and if he liked it, Goto replied, "It was very futuristic visually, but practically speaking you only had to hold it to realise how it compared to the Dual Shock 2. You know there are so many players who are used to the PlayStation controller; it's like a car steering wheel and it's not easy to change people's habits."

But the design was dropped and the Sony reverted back to the Dual Shock 2 model, which eventually became SixAxis. "The desire for change for there, but the legacy of the PlayStation was stronger - the slightest change to the controller could annoy players and the risk wasn't worth taking. Also PS2 and PS3 provide backwards compatibility; the ergonomics should be the same when you play games from the previous generation but without having to bring out the 'wired' controllers. It is for these reasons that we reverted to the shape of the classic controller."

You can read the full interview in Issue 005 of Official PlayStation Magazine, on sale now. Check out why Kutaragi insisted on using the Spider-Man font for PS3 here.

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