Sony announced the new officially licensed Scuf Vantage game controller for the PlayStation 4 on Tuesday from custom controller maker Scuf Gaming. The new high-end controller has all the bells and whistles one would expect, but it surprisingly borrows from the Xbox One controller layout.
The Scuf Vantage for the PS4 will come in wired and wireless configurations starting at $169.95 for the former and $199.95 for the latter. The more expensive version will also include a travel case for protection while on the go.
Scuf Gaming is not new to the high-end controller scene, and the Atlanta-based company has been around since 2011 making competitive controllers for both PlayStation and Xbox consoles. The Xbox Elite controller borrows much of Scuf's designs, such as hair triggers and the use of paddles on the rear to supplement the face buttons, plus exchangeable thumbsticks and D-pad.
These enhancements to the standard game controller are present with the Scuf Vantage, along with two new "Sax" buttons on the side for additional configuration options. Meanwhile, the faceplate of the controller can be completely removed to allow owners easy access to the thumbsticks and D-pad, as well as giving them the option to completely remove the vibration motors to reduce weight.
One new innovation is a touch bar across the bottom of the controller that allows players to adjust the audio. This will allow users to keep their hands on the controller during otherwise intense moments.
"Over the last 18 months, we've worked tirelessly to evolve the features that have made SCUF the preferred controller of the majority of top professional gamers. With Vantage we created a controller that caters to every gamer and suits different hand sizes and gameplay styles," continued Ironmonger. "We also wanted to address the needs of gamers with disabilities, which led to the inspiration for the configurable Sax buttons, conveniently located close to the bumpers, triggers, and face buttons."
The layout of the Scuf Advantage cannot help but be remarked on. Scuf's previous controller designs for the PS4 and PS3 used the standard PlayStation controller layout of the two thumbsticks side by side at the bottom and the D-Pad located on the top left of the controller. The Advantage opts for the offset thumbstick layout of the Xbox One with the left thumbstick and D-Pad swapped.
Unsurprisingly, this layout change is receiving mixed reactions among the PlayStation community on the PlayStation Blog announcement page, and the PlayStation 4 Reddit group. Some are happy to see the asymmetrical layout of the thumbsticks, while many prefer the side-by-side thumbstick layout. There is always the Scuf Impact and Scuf Infinity for those who prefer the traditional layout.
Other members of the PlayStation community have also voiced concerned over the $170 to $200 price range for the Scuf Vantage. Similar concerns were voiced when the Xbox Elite controller was announced for the Xbox One at a $150 price point, but demand ended up being so high that Microsoft had trouble keeping up.