PlayStation's DualSense Reveal Has Reignited the Joystick Wars

PlayStation's DualSense Reveal Has Reignited the Joystick Wars

Where should the left analog stick go?

Everyone has their preference when it comes to controllers. Some fighting game players like a fight stick, others stick to pad. PC players swear by the mouse and keyboard. And for the console players, one sticking point has resurfaced: where the left joystick sits.

Sony revealed the DualSense this week as the controller for the PlayStation 5. Packing haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, and a built-in mic array, the PS5 controller has some interesting hardware packed inside, even if some would rather alter its aesthetic.

Some people, however, focused on another fact: the left joystick on Sony's controller is, once again, parallel to the right stick. This is fairly standard for the DualShock design, but Xbox and others, like the Switch Pro controller, take a different approach, offsetting the left joystick to be parallel with the face buttons instead.

Everyone has their preference, and this week, many have made them known on social media.

While we can look at what the DualSense tells us about the PS5, we can also examine what our preference of joystick placement says about us. For fighting games especially, I prefer the D-pad to be higher up than the joystick. But when I'm playing something like Call of Duty, I can't lie: the Xbox-style joystick placement seems ideal.

It seems Sony intends to continue waging war on the elevated joysticks of the gaming world alongside hardware like the Stadia controller, while Xbox and Nintendo fight to keep that thumb parallel to the face buttons. Still, anything is better than the N64's single, centralized analog stick.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Eric Van Allen

News Editor

Eric is a writer and Texan. He's a former contributor to sites including Compete, Polygon, Waypoint, and the Washington Post. He loves competitive games, live music, and travel.

Related articles

Weather Factory Awarded Grant Despite Abuse Allegations Against Co-Founder Alexis Kennedy

Kennedy, formerly of Failbetter Games, was accused of abusive and predatory behavior last year.

Street Fighter 5 Reveals Four New Fighters, Including a Guest From Rival Schools

Capcom lays out the roadmap for another year of Street Fighter.

Microsoft Says Xbox Live Gold Isn't Changing or Going Anywhere for Now

Rumblings of Live's imminent demise seem to have been premature.

You may also like

Branching Narratives is Joined by Brenda Romero For Its Final Episode

We wrap our series of interviews with gaming's greatest with pioneering developer Brenda Romero.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Players Are Having Fun With Its Tiny Battlefield Update

Smash Bros. can have a little Battlefield, as a treat.

Shin Megami Tensei 5 Might Launch By End of March 2021, According to Sega

This is merely a projection for the company, though.

Pikmin 3 Comes to the Switch in October With New Levels

Alph, Brittany, and Charlie are getting the Deluxe re-release treatment.