I've noticed that most apps on PS4 each seem to use a different method of fast-forwarding and rewinding. I assume this is the same on Xbox:

  1. YouTube
    • Uses triggers.
      • Very bad from a UX perspective.
      • The controller rests on the triggers when you place it down, often causing the video to fast-forward or rewind accidentally.
    • Also allows you to select transport bar using arrows/analog stick and navigate it uses left/right.
      • Much better than triggers, but a bit convoluted.
      • But requires you to pause video, press up to go to the Play/Pause button, then press up again to go to the transport bar.
  2. Amazon Video
    • No way of rewinding/fast forwarding straight from controller.
    • Must instead press any button on controller, and then press the Fast Forward or Rewind buttons to select Fast Forward/Rewind speed, then quickly select the Play button to stop fast forwarding.
    • Very convoluted, and very hard to actually get to a specific point without going past it.
  3. Netflix
    • Press Left or Right on the D-pad or left analog stick.
      • Actually works very well in my opinion, and the lack of transport controls eliminates a lot of excise.
  4. BBC iPlayer
    • Same as YouTube, except pressing any button goes straight to the transport bar which makes life a bit easier.
  5. Twitch
    • The same as Amazon.
      • Unsurprising as Amazon owns Twitch.
      • But whereas Amazon videos last hours, Twitch highlight videos on average last under a minute.
      • Even on the slowest fast-forward setting, you're at the end of the highlight before you can stop rewinding.

So to my questions:

  1. Why do so many big players seem to make things so difficult on consoles?
  2. Why does nobody use the bumpers for fast-forwarding/rewinding?
  3. Can you suggest a method not used above?

1 Answer 1

  1. Most (maybe all) of these companies/sites haven't yet optimized their players for gaming consoles. Most of the controllers have default buttons to represent mouse-clicks and particular key-presses. Hence the issues.

  2. Not sure what that is. Could you elaborate?

  3. Again, I am not a big controller user but my guess would be to use the analog joystick. Modern controllers have sensitive analog joysticks and if each flick is tied to 5 secs on forward or rewind. Long press to one side can increase the FF speed.

PS: I can't be sure of this as there's no official word by any of these companies. This is an educated guess and drawn from the experience of such websites on touch devices when they weren't all the rage.

  • Most of these apps were released shortly after the PS4 arrived in Nov '13, so I find it hard to believe they're not yet optimized after almost 4 years. To clarify, the bumpers on a controller are the rear buttons above the triggers.
    – user101673
    Jun 20, 2017 at 8:08

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