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The reason why controllers have increasingly become extremely expensive is due to their intuitive components. The PS4 controller includes speakers, a touchpad, and LED lights. The current model of controllers fights to surpass its predecessors with the latest and most costly components.
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A new gaming controller accompanies each gaming console model. However, this doesn’t imply that there exists only a controller version. There are various more expensive base production and edition game controllers. So, the question is, does it make sense to pay more for a similar controller?
As it were, the PS4 and Xbox controllers come with different price tags. So, let’s take a look at each of them and see why they are too costly.
Xbox controllers – The Xbox controllers differ in terms of price based on whether you are looking for a limited or a stock edition gaming controller. We are going to evaluate each gaming method’s baseline controllers. The Xbox incorporates the standard D-pad, bumpers, joysticks, home, and action buttons.
Most Xbox players have embraced this rather more complete model. To acquire this type of controller, you may be required to part with between $49.99 and $72.99 on Amazon and other related sites. Most importantly, the Xbox consists of a familiar battery pack located behind the controller, which you can replace or change if necessary.
PS4 controllers – PS4 gaming controllers have, in recent times, undergone a considerable improvement compared to their predecessors. They incorporate option buttons, standard joysticks, action buttons, and a d-pad. Besides, they have now included the latest interactive touchpads located at the centre of the gaming controllers and speakers for game sound emission from the gaming controller itself. The price of a PS4 controller may range between $29.99 and $64.99.
- Enhanced joystick response
- Long-life battery
- Convenient for small-sized hands
- Smoother bumper activators (triggers)
- Not convenient for big-sized hands
- No considerable improvements compared to its predecessor
- Latest interactive touchpad
- Built-in Bluetooth
- Long-life battery compared to its predecessor
- Lifespan between 3 and 4 years
- Improved versions are too expensive
While there is nothing so special in most game controllers to guarantee their costly prices, there exist many factors to consider for their higher prices.
For instance, the plastics used to create these gadgets may cost between $1 and 3. The microcontroller is around the nRF52 – thus similarly, in size, below $5. Include other small elements and parts and assemble them. In any case, its factory price should be approximately $10.
In essence, you will expect the controller, after distribution, selling, the returns, and some profit; one should be able to buy it at around $20. Yet, this is often not the case, and that brings us back to our question, why the higher cost?
What makes the game controllers extremely expensive is because of various factors:
- Litigation and IP – Many patents surround these devices, and the etiquettes are usually proprietary – which prevents other competitors, who would, in turn, bring the prices down.
- Manufacturing costs – You can easily develop a dreadful gaming controller. The design incorporates a broad design-prototype production-test-process series that makes them what they are. The barriers render them the controllers less alluring for competitors to join in and contest.
The lack of affordable competition in the industry allows the gaming controllers manufacturers to charge higher prices for their goods, thus recovering the development costs.
Let’s now dig deep into the development costs and see how this affects the controller prices.
The expense of developing a new console is extremely high. Foremost, you must invest more money in the design and come up with a brand new and enhanced controller. Taking into account whatever is aesthetically attractive while remaining practical is among the biggest issues companies encounter when manufacturing new game controllers.
The other thing is that companies are bound to engage groups for their views and advice regarding the new controller. This may compel making drastic adjustments to satisfy and create room for the end-users. These adjustments require more money for redesigning and making adjustments to the console until the end-users are satisfied with the result and it works as anticipated.
Most game controllers include the following components:
- Two joysticks
- Four action buttons
- A D-pad
- Four trigger bumpers positioned at the forefront of the game controller
- Circuit board
- Menu buttons
- Charging port
- Speakers (optional)
- Power button.
First-party game controllers are created by a similar company that manufactured your console. On the other hand, third-party game controllers are those made by different companies. When talking about 3rd-party gaming controllers, names such as Logitec or Scuff may sound familiar. Most 3rd–party controllers bear negative reviews and have nearly no recommendations; however, it doesn’t imply that you let go of 3rd-party controllers entirely.
- 3rd-party game controllers – Scuff game controllers stand out as the most popular controllers in the gaming industry today. This type of game controller may cost you between $139.00 and $179.99. The high cost is that these game controllers are meant specifically for enhancing your gaming capability. The Scuff controller owners are, in most cases, highly competitive players.
These controllers come with a standard layout but without additional action bumpers beneath the controller. The lack of these other bumpers abolishes the need for you to remove your thumbs from the joystick. Thus, it enables competitive players to take control of the game and be prepared for anything since they do not need to move their thumbs anywhere.
- 1st –party controllers – On their part, the first-party game controllers are the standard Sony and Xbox controllers. They may not include any specific features or add-ons, yet, they function better on their assigned console.
As we all know, Sony controllers consist of speakers within their PS4 game controllers. This is important in that it permits a much more concentrated game-play. On their part, 3rd-party gaming controllers have no speakers within the controllers. The 1st-party controllers function better with their assigned console, and they are far much less costly than the 3rd-party controllers.
If you are looking for a more competitive game-play and struggling to remain in control of the game better than your competitors, going for the 3rd-party controllers, such as the Scuff, can be the best idea. However, if you only want casual game-play, the ordinary 3rd-party controller will do the trick.
The Xbox One controllers are the priciest compared to the PS4 controllers. The PS4 controller has one advantage in pricing; however, that is the only advantage. On the other hand, the Xbox game controller works better with various consoles, and its battery life is longer than that of the PS4 controller.
The costs of the PS4 game controllers do not match the compatibility and prolonged battery life of the Xbox One game controllers. While the Scuff game controller works with various consoles, unlike the Logitec controllers, the latter is cheaper and comes with a longer battery lifespan. The Logitec is designed for PCs only, whereas Scuff controllers can work on any console.
Taking into account compatibility, battery life, and price, the two 1st-party controllers stand out as the best. The Xbox One game controllers are much better in terms of cost than Scuff controllers. They are also compatible with various devices compared to the Scuff and PS4 controllers hence, the winner.
The PS4 game controller comes in second. Whatever it doesn’t have battery life, longevity is compensated in cost and the various devices it works with.
In recent years, game controllers have gone through a drastic change. Following all the changes and improvements in most controllers, their prices have also escalated. The prices will continue to rise from here; however, like anybody with a passion and love for gaming, you will still want to pay for what you enjoy most.