In an interview with Official PlayStation Magazine, the PlayStation 3â€™s visual designer -Teiyu Gotoâ€“ revealed the story behind the prototype boomerang controller design shown at E3 in May of 2005 that press and gamers complained to no end about, because it looked like Batmanâ€™s batarang. Until at the Sony pre-E3 conference in May of 2006, they revealed a redesign that looked exactly like the previous PS2 controller.
To quote Goto-san: “President Kutaragi wanted something different for the controller. Quite frankly, we had set aside the ergonomic aspect in favor of the image it conjured up. We wanted to present an avant-garde model for the show, running a risk of being criticized.”
When Goto was asked about his personal thoughts on the controller and if he liked it, he said: “It was very futuristic visually, but practically speaking you only had to hold it to realize 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 was 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.”