Sony experimented with every possible combination of stick placement, even going so far as prototyping a controller with both analog sticks on top--much like the Wii U Pro Controller (above). However, Sony discovered that it didn't work. "People are used to having the buttons up there, and this moves the most-used button--the X--so far away [from your right thumb]," Aoki told VentureBeat. "If we moved the X up there, it just breaks all the muscle memory. The right hand mostly goes for both buttons and sticks, but the left hand stays on one or the other and usually doesn't switch around [between the left analog stick and the D-pad]. That's why it’s OK to switch around the left side. But switching the right side really breaks the gamer's experience." Ultimately, "tradition" was what won out at Sony, with Aoki saying symmetrical sticks are part of the company's DNA. "The prototype team, myself, and also the management team really felt that having this look is the PlayStation look, and we had to keep that."
Wii U Pro Controller