The Dual Analog Controller | Release Date: April 25, 1997
With PlayStation games making significant strides in the still-new 3D space, Sony would eventually release an enhanced controller that allowed for more sophisticated control. As the direct successor to the Digital controller, the Dual Analog was released in the West on April 25, 1997. With two analog sticks and a slightly larger shape compared to its predecessor, players had a greater range of movement and precision than before. The Dual Analog device also featured longer shoulder buttons, allowing players to get an easier feel of the inputs on the tops of the controller. At launch, the games that supported analog control were Mechwarrior 2, Ace Combat 2, and Colony Wars. In one feature that was dropped from future devices, users could activate a “Flightstick Mode,” which would replicate the experience of the more expensive Analog Joystick controller.
A few months after its release, Japan would get a similar controller–with the difference being that it would feature vibration. This device would eventually be known as the DualShock. During the development of the new twin analog stick controller, Sony Computer Entertainment had planned on releasing a device with analog sticks and vibration for all territories at the same time. This didn’t come to pass, however, resulting in the creation of the Dual Analog, which lacked vibration. Though reasons for this decision–including competing patents from Atari–vary, the lack of haptic feedback made the controller more affordable than other PlayStation peripherals on the market. Eventually, Sony would bring the DualShock to the West, resulting in the subsequent discontinuing of the Dual Analog. Though in a case of history repeating itself, this wouldn’t be the last time that the company would release a controller without the vibration functionality.