Tokashi Sogabe, a 27 year design veteran of Sony, isn't totally happy with the placement of the PS Vita analogue sticks.
In his time at Sony, Sogabe has designed the Walkman, Vaio notebooks, the slim PlayStation 3 and now the Vita, but in the end had to compromise on aesthetic perfection in order to provide more comfortable gameplay for the handheld's users.
"The engineers have been working on the PS Vita analogue sticks for quite some time and it is a much greater technical challenge to build sticks this small than you might imagine," Sogabe told the US PlayStation Blog. "We also built a prototype with flat slide pads, a bit like what you have on your laptop, but it just didn't feel responsive enough for gaming and we learned that you need that physical response of tilting the stick to feel like you have total control.
"For me as a designer they have presented a huge challenge, partly because it much easier to design products with entirely flat surfaces. We also discussed the position of the analogue sticks at great length: I didn't feel that they were in the perfect position from a design perspective but Worldwide Studios were adamant that they were in the best position for comfortable gameplay, and in the end they won out on that point."
We think the PS Vita looks fantastic and we're certainly happy Sony decided to go for comfort over style with the sticks. Check out our PS Vita hardware review for more impressions.