How a French Firm Created PS4’s Answer to the Xbox Elite Controller

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Microsoft had Sony sweating in 2015. The American organisation had just announced the Xbox One Elite controller at E3 2015, a souped-up handset designed for serious gamers. With customisable button mapping, a premium-grade steel chassis, interchangeable rear paddles, and hair trigger locks enabling users to personalise tension, the device quickly established itself as the go-to pad for hardcore players. The problem? PlayStation didnt have an answer.

Around the same time, the Japanese giant was at Nacons headquarters in Lille in order to sign-off on some unrelated licenses. The relatively new firm established in 2014 as a subsidiary to publisher BigBen Interactive was busy beavering away on a pro controller for the PC, and it had a prototype in its office which PlayStation paid particular attention to. The manufacturer had a task for the French company: could it pivot, and build a premium peripheral for the PlayStation 4 instead?

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