Game Controllers

Being a gamer myself, I know the anxious feeling of waiting for the new system’s price to drop all too well. With each new generation of gaming consoles, the price of controllers has gotten more and more expensive. As we all know, gaming controllers have changed dramatically in the last 20 years. With each change, it becomes more expensive, but why?

Modern gaming controllers are very expensive due to the intuitive components found in them. The PlayStation 4 controller is equipped with LED lights, speakers, and a touchpad. This new generation of controllers strives to improve upon its predecessor with new and more expensive components.

Every generation of gaming consoles comes with a new controller, but that does not mean there is only one version of this controller. There are very expensive limited edition controllers and your base production controllers. Is it worth spending more for mostly the same controller?

Comparing the Xbox and PS4 controllers

Xbox controllers

Xbox controllers vary in price depending on whether you want to buy a stock controller or a Limited edition controller. For the sake of being fair, we will compare the baseline controllers of each gaming system. The Xbox controller has your standard D-pad, joysticks, bumpers, action buttons, and home buttons. This is a slightly more finished product that Xbox users have come to love. You can expect to pay anywhere between $49,99 – $72,99 on sites like amazon. The Xbox controller still comes with its well-known battery pack at the back of the controller that can be changed or replaced when needed.

PS4 controllers

PS4 controllers have seen a massive improvement upon their predecessor. The PS4 controller has your standard joysticks, d-pad, option buttons, and action buttons. It also now boasts a brand new interactive touchpad found in the middle of the controller and speakers to emit game sounds from the controller itself. The PS4 controller can cost anywhere from $29,99 – $64,99.

Pros and cons of the PS4 controller


  • New interactive touchpad
  • Longer battery live than predecessor
  • Built-in Bluetooth


  • It lasts 3-4 years
  • Better models are very expensive

Pros and Cons of an Xbox one controller


  • Long battery life
  • Improved joystick response
  • Smoother bumper triggers
  • More comfortable for smaller hands


  • No big improvements over the predecessor
  • Not comfortable for bigger hands

What are the costs of making a brand new gaming controller

The cost of building and creating a new gaming controller can be very high. Firstly, you need to invest a lot of money in simply designing and coming up with a new and improved controller. Figuring out what is aesthetically pleasing while also being practical might be one of the biggest challenges companies face while making new gaming controllers.

Secondly, companies will have to use test groups to gain opinions and feedback on their new controllers. This may result in making drastic changes to please and accommodate their users. These changes mean more money spent in redesigning and making changes to the controller until the users are happy with the final product and perform as expected.

What components are in most controllers:

  • Two joysticks
  • A d-pad
  • 4 trigger bumpers at the front of the controller
  • 4 action buttons
  • Menu buttons
  • Battery
  • Charging port
  • Circuit board
  • Power button
  • (optional) speakers

First-party controllers and third-party controllers

First-party controllers are controllers made by the same company as the console you are playing on. Third-party controllers are made by a separate company. When we talk about third-party Controllers, the names Scuff or Logitec might sound familiar. Many Third-party controllers have bad reviews and almost no recommendations, but that does not mean you should dismiss all third-party controllers.

Third-party controllers

Scuff controllers are one of the most highly sought-after gaming controllers on the market today. Scuff controllers can go anywhere from $139,00 – $179 99. The high prices are because these controllers are specifically made to improve your gaming abilities. Owners of scuff controllers are mostly competitive players.

Scuff controllers have your standard layout with the exception of having extra action bumpers at the bottom of the controller. These extra bumpers eliminate the need to take your thumbs off the joysticks. This allows competitive players to be at the top of their game and be ready for anything as their thumbs never have to move anywhere.

First-party controllers

First-party controllers are our standard Xbox and Sony controllers. These controllers might not have any special add ons or features, but they work well on their given console. Sony, as we know, has a speaker in their PS4 controller. This allows for much more immersive gameplay, whereas some third-party controllers don’t include a speaker in their controllers. First-party controllers work perfectly with their given console and are cheaper than your expensive Third-party controllers.

If you are interested in competitive play and strive to be at the top of your game and better than anyone else, third-party controllers like the Scuff controller will give you that needed advantage. If you are just interested in casual play, then the standard third-party controller is the best choice for you.

Comparing first-party and third-party controllers

First party controllers

TypePlaystation 4Xbox One
Battery lifeFour to eight hours of play per charge.Up to forty hours of play.
Cost$30,00 – $49,99$49,99 – $80,32
Compatible devicesSony Xperia devicesDevices using Android 10 or laterPlaystation 4Xbox oneXbox series XiOSLinuxWindowsmacOSAndroid

The Playstation 4 has an advantage in the price range, but that is its only advantage. The Xbox controller is compatible with much more devices, and the battery power is far superior to that of the Playstations. The price of the Playstation 4 controller does not make up for the superior battery life and compatibility of the Xbox one controller.

Third-party controllers

Battery lifeUp to Thirty hours of play.Up to forty-five to fifty hours of play.
Cost$139,99 – $179,99$17,89 – $36,99
Compatible devicesXbox onePlaystation 4PCMobilePC

Scuff controllers are compatible with more devices than the Logitech controller, but as we can see, the Logitech controller is cheaper and has longer battery life. The Logitech is suited for PC only, whereas the Scuf controller is suited for any device.

The best

Taking battery life, compatibility, and cost into consideration, the two best controllers are the First party controllers. The Xbox One controller is better in price than the Scuf controller and is compatible with more devices than the PS4 and Scuf controllers. For that reason, it is a winner. The PlayStation 4 controller is another winner, for what it lacks in battery power it makes up for with its price and the number of devices it is compatible with.

The evolution of the gaming controller

Back in the late 1900s, a gaming controller was simply a joystick with maybe one or two action buttons. These controllers were typically found on an arcade game. Then came the first PlayStation. The first PlayStation controller had no joysticks; it was limited to four action buttons, a d-pad, and two front bumpers. It was revolutionary in its time.

Fast forward a few years later, and the PlayStation 2 came out alongside the Xbox 360, both with two joysticks, 4 front bumpers, and a new and intuitive way to enjoy gaming. Since the PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360 came out, the gaming controller hasn’t seen a massive change in appearance. The Software has improved the aesthetics and the smoothness of the controller. The biggest change since then has been the addition of a touchpad and the controllers being wireless.

Who knows what future gaming controllers might look like. Controllers as we know them might fade away and be replaced with artificial reality and headsets. Until then, we will enjoy and love the controllers we know.


Gaming controllers have improved drastically over the last few years, and with all these improvements and changes comes a hefty price for a modern controller. It will just continue to become more expensive from here, but just like anyone else with a love and passion for gaming, I will always be willing to pay the price for something I love doing.