What’s the best controller of the current (almost dead) generation?

Ok, so with all the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S news about, and the launch merely weeks away now, it’s probably the right time to answer a few of the lingering questions this generation has left us with. For example: What is the best current-gen controller? Now, we’ve done posts in the past about what the best controller ever is… However, this time we’re looking for a single, three-way showdown. Plain and simple. How do Nintendo, PlayStation and Xbox measure up when it comes to controllers?

Now before jumping right in, it seems pertinent to immediately remove the Xbox Elite Controller 2 from the running; One, because if we include it – I suspect this will be a very short competition. And, two – it’s so much more expensive that it just stands alone as a… well… Elite-level beast. So let’s focus on what controller comes in the box. So that would make it: the DualShock 4 vs the Xbox One Controller vs… err… Joy-Cons? Well, no that won’t really work either, will it? Joy-Cons are so strange and unique that it’s probably worth throwing in the Pro Controller as Nintendo’s offering. And (with those completely arbitrary rules in place) here it comes:

The Showdown: PS DualShock 4 vs Xbox One Controller vs Switch Pro Controller

Now, I know we probably have more PS fans reading this than Xbox fans. However, I’m hoping we can keep this fake, highfalutin, completely made-up debate above base-fanboyism and try to pick a winner independent of what your console preference is. So with that disclaimer out the way… The answer is easy… Clearly, it’s the DualShock 4, right? Well, of course, this is purely subjective. Both controllers have their pros and cons. The DualShock has the amazing D-Pad, but also terrible battery life. The Xbox’s version feels like it’s made of higher quality materials but then again the bumper buttons and D-Pad don’t really compare. So ultimately, it’s a question about how it feels in your hand and specifically, it’s probably about whether you’re a symmetrical or an asymmetrical analogue stick gamer. If you have bigger hands and prefer the offset stick then Xbox is probably taking the crown. But if not, the DualShock probably wins out no matter what it comes up against – particularly because it seems everyone else has gone the offset analogue route.

So ultimately, it’s probably about whether you’re a symmetrical or an asymmetrical analogue stick gamer…

So, how do both stack up against the Switch’s Pro Controller? Now, much like the Xbox controller, the Switch Pro Controller opinions seem to depend a lot on what part of the world you come from. In countries where Nintendo is popular (like the US and Japan), the Pro Controller is often lauded as one of the best controllers ever. In other places, like even here in SA, most people seem less than impressed. I’ve got to say – I love it. It fits perfectly in my hands and the battery seems to last forever and ever. However, others may point out a few flaws too. The D-Pad isn’t amazing for example and probably the biggest nail in its coffin – there’s no headphone jack – in 2020!

So, what does it all mean? Who is the winner? Well, as you can tell I can’t quite decide. The Dualshock 4 would likely edge out the Xbox One controller but then I prefer the Pro Controller but that has no audio jack and that’s damn near unforgivable! So it’s up to you readers. Plead your case – tell us which controller you think should take the “greatest current gen controller” title. And let’s make a decision… before it’s too late!

Nintendo Nerd, sharing my love of Mario with the world one pixel at a time.

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