Dual analogues on a handheld may seem like a no-brainer to those who've been crying for them for years, but designing the Vita was quite the challenge.
That's according to Sony's Takashi Sogabe, boss man at the Sony Corporate Design Centre team that headed up Vita's aesthetic design."The engineers have been working on the PS Vita analog sticks for quite some time and it is a much greater technical challenge to build sticks this small than you might imagine," he told the PS Blog.
"We also built a prototype with flat slide pads, a bit like what you have on your laptop, but it just didn't feel responsive enough for gaming and we learned that you need that physical response of tilting the stick to feel like you have total control," he added, possibly taking a jab at the 3DS' Slider Pad.
"I didn't feel that they were in the perfect position from a design perspective but Worldwide Studios were adamant that they were in the best position for comfortable gameplay, and in the end they won out on that point," said Sogabe.
At one point, it sounds like Sony was considering going fully touch-screen iPhone-style with Vita. "It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking bigger is better when it comes to screen size but it isn't. There was a great deal of discussion and we even talked about using a 5.5 inch screen with all of the buttons included on it, but that had a negative impact on the operability of the device and the idea was abandoned," said Sogabe.
"When we first saw a prototype of the beautiful OLED screen we used on PS Vita, we felt it deserved to be bigger than the 4.3 inch screen on PSP. It's almost as if we settled on five inches in order to really maximise the same impact that we felt when we first saw it."