Evolution of the Console Controller – Sony Dualshock 3 (2007)

Sony designed two PlayStation 3 controllers: the Sixaxis controller, released at the PS3’s launch, and the DualShock 3 which replaced it in 2007. Sixaxis lacked any haptic feedback (‘rumble’) capabilities, likely due to a patent lawsuit. When the lawsuit was resolved about a year later, the DualShock 3 was released with full rumble support. The PS3 controller offers both analog and digital buttons, sticks, and triggers similar to the Xbox 360 controller.

The major technological differences between both PS3 controllers and the previous DualShock 2 are the addition of wireless and motion sensing. Sixaxis and DualShock 3 can sense rotation and acceleration in any direction. The two controllers are a meld of old and new control styles – old buttons and sticks with new motion controls.

The motion capabilities of the PS3 controller have been used with moderate success but have not been a big success. Some PS3 games, notably Lair (2007), suffered from poor implementation of motion control. Lag and imprecision are frequently cited. Gamers have yet to see a truly great implementation of motion controls in an otherwise traditional style controller. Controllers designed wholly for motion, like the PlayStation Move and Wii Remote, may be better suited to motion controls.

Up to Modern Era – Back to Nintendo DS – Forward to Flower

On loan from Ben Wilhelm