Pros:Bluetooth® Technology. Long Battery Life. Restyled L2/R2 Buttons. New "PS" Button. Five Available Colors.
Cons:No USB Charging Cable included when purchased separately from console.
The Bottom Line: The Sony DualShock 3 Wireless Controller with Bluetooth® and Sixaxis® Technology is the most reliable wireless game controller on the market.
In 2008 Sony replaced the Sixaxis Wireless Controller with the Dualshock 3 Controller as the standard controller for the Sony PlayStation 3 console. The Sixaxis controller was an innovative controller but PS3 owners had some complaints about it. The new controller addresses several of the complaints now. The Sixaxis Controller lacked the rumble/vibration feature most PlayStation owners were familiar with on the previous two consoles (PlayStation and PlayStation 2). Also the controller was ultra lightweight because of the missing components that generated the vibration.
Recommend this product?
The Dualshock 3 Controller is for the most part the same looking and feeling controller as the original Dualshock and Dualshock 2 controllers used with the PlayStation (and PlayStation 2). The "boomerang" shape and placement of the buttons have all been retained. The D-Pad is still on the left side of the controller and the function buttons (X, O, Square, and Triangle) are still on the right side.
The shoulder buttons (namely the L2 and R2) have been redesigned as well. The L2 and R2 buttons now resemble "triggers" and have analog functionality like the L and R triggers on the Sega Dreamcast Standard Controller. The Dualshock 3 controller still has the two Analog Sticks which are "clickable" giving the controller an extra set of buttons (L3 and R3). Analog style buttons and sticks allow the player to control fine tuned movements of their on-screen counterparts. Move the sticks gently and your character on the screen walks slowly or tiptoes; move the sticks all the way and your character runs, etc. Analog "triggers" also work great when assigning them as the brake or accelerator on a racing game giving the vehicle on screen a more realistic reaction to your commands.
Probably the biggest difference between the current controller (Dualshock 3) and previous ones (Dualshock and Dualshock 2) is the absence of the "Analog" Button. Originally the player had to turn on/off the Analog functionality of the controller because some games were/were not compatible with the Analog Sticks, etc. The function had to be turned off (mostly on the original PlayStation) because many games did not use the "sticks" and since they weren't used, there were glitches, etc. But now Sony has pretty much fixed that problem since almost every game uses the Analog Sticks and Buttons on the controller. There are also updates and patches for different games that can now be downloaded since the PlayStation 3 has a hard drive to fix controller compatibility issues.
The current controller also has an additional button placed in the center of the controller (just below he Select and Start Buttons) called the "PS" button aka "Home Button". Pressing this button during the game brings up the Sony PlayStation 3 menu allowing you to leave the game, exit a movie, etc. Holding down the button for a few seconds during game play pause's the action and brings up the Battery Level of the controller as well as the Charging Status, etc.
The PlayStation 3 uses Bluetooth® technology to connect to most accessories like the Dualshock 3 Controller as well as the Sony PlayStation 3 Blu-ray Remote Control. The console can connect up to 7 controllers/accessories using Bluetooth®. The Dualshock 3 Controller has four LED's at the top numbered one through four telling the user which controller they have associated as the main controller. Since the console can connect up to 7 controllers the numbers light accordingly. Player One (LED 1), Player Two (LED 2), Player Five (LED 1 + 4), etc.
Just like the Sixaxis Wireless Controller, the Dualshock 3 Wireless Controller uses Sixaxis® technology. The controller uses motion sensing technology which is uses in some of the games released on the PlayStation 3. Most games that utilize this technology are mostly racing and/or flight simulator games. Also adventure games like Lair allowed you to take control of a dragon. Title the controller in one direction and the dragon flies in the same angle, etc. The controls were a little buggy but there have been some patches and updates to the game that fix some of the issues. Other games like Little Big Planet use this function to control the body language of your character (turn head, dance, etc) and Batman: Arkham Asylum uses the function to steer Batman while he is jumping and gliding off roofs with his cape. It was a relief that Sony was able to keep the motion sensing technology. I am satisfied with technology and I find that it's not overused like the Nintendo Wiimote and Wii console. It's used sparingly and doesn't require you to have to jump up and down at 3am when you are trying to unwind after a long night at work.
There was some question originally about how the motion sensing technology would hold up to a controller with rumble/vibration functionality. This is why the original Sixaxis Controller didn't include the rumble feature. The issues were worked out and that's why we now have the Dualshock 3 controller.
The controller also has a USB-Mini B female connector/jack at the top of the controller which allows the item to be tethered to the PlayStation 3 console for charging. Unfortunately the controller does not include this USB cable, luckily PS3 console does. And if you need a second USB cable, they run about $9.99 for an "officially licensed" one. You should purchase a licensed one from Sony because the cable has a small transformer which helps to regulate power to the controller in the event of a power outage/surge/power spike, etc. Sony also says a separate charging set that allows the controller to be charged through a standard wall outlet since the controller can normally only be charged while the PlayStation 3 console is on. The battery pack can be replaced when it no longer holds a charge without voiding the warranty of the controller. At full charge the battery lasts 4+ hours without any noticeable loss in the wireless signal. I have not used the controller for any longer of a period than that so I can't vouch for the battery life after that (and that was playing Street Fighters IV).
When the controller was released mid-2008 it was only available in the standard color, which is Black. With the release of the "Slim" PlayStation 3 consoles in the summer of 2009, four other colors have been released. Red, Blue, Silver, and the rare White version are all available. Even a bundled version of the Black controller was released for the 2009 Christmas season at Best Buy and GameStop. The Dualshock 3 Controller was/is packaged with "greatest hits" version of the action/adventure game Uncharted for the same $54.99 price tag. Some are still available but for the most part once these bundles are sold out, they are gone until Sony produces another bundle for a special event.
The Dualshock 3 retains the original shape of the previous incarnations and adds some additional features. For the most part the Dualshock 3 Controller is easy to hold and for the last 10+ years the consistent design has allowed for a generation of users the ability to adapt to it.
Sony PlayStation 3 DualShock 3 Wireless Controller
Made in China
(Built-in Rechargeable 3.7v Lithium Ion Battery Pack)
Sixaxis® Motion Technology
Dual Shock® Rumble/Vibration Technology
LED Indicators (x 4)
‘USB-A' to ‘USB-Mini B' Charging Cable (packaged with PS3 Console)
Compatible with all Sony PlayStation 3 Consoles (with 1.94 or later Firmware)
Ceramic White (98055)
Deep Red (98053)
Metallic Blue (98052)
Satin Silver (98051)
90 Day Warranty*
© COPYRIGHT 2010 Chris Billings
*Visit "www.us.playstation.com" for more information on the Sony PlayStation 3 Dual Shock 3 Wireless Controller® warranty.
**This review was posted yesterday (2, January 2010) but is inaccessible to read/update/delete from the database.
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