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Sony takes a page from Microsoft by licensing customizable PS4 gamepad

While Sony previously tried licensed 'pro' PS4 controllers in Europe, the upcoming Scuf controller is the first licensed PS4 gamepad to do away with the DualShock 4's trademark parallel analog sticks.

Sony's struck a deal with controller maker Scuf to release an official 'performance' gamepad for the PlayStation 4 in North America, and the controller's design bears more than a passing resemblance to Microsoft's own Xbox Elite gamepad.

This is potentially a big deal for devs who build competitive PlayStation 4 games. It' s also a bit unsurprising given the popularity of the $150+ Xbox Elite controller, which sold over a million units in less than a year after Microsoft debuted it in 2015.  

While Sony previously tried releasing licensed 'pro' PS4 controllers in Europe, the upcoming Scuf controller is the first licensed PS4 gamepad to do away with the DualShock 4's trademark parallel analog sticks.

Notably, the new controller (called the Scuf Vantage and expected to bear a price tag starting at $170) has a left analog stick that's offset slightly higher than the right stick, in much the same way as the sticks are laid out on the Xbox One gamepad and the Xbox Elite controller.

The Vantage also has a modular design that gives owners room to swap out components like the D-Pad, the triggers, optional back paddles, and more -- again, much like the Xbox Elite controller. Incidentally, Scuf also signed a deal with Microsoft back in 2015 to serve up custom Xbox Elite gamepads and accessories, so the company has some experience working on customizable controllers for both companies.

The Vantage is expected to launch in the U.S. this summer, and devs curious to learn more about how it works can do so over on the PlayStation blog.  

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