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DualShock 3
Score: 87%
Developer: SCEA
Device Type: Controller


You remember how you used to play PlayStation 2 games with a vibration feature that let you feel when your car slipped on gravel or when you got shot? Those were great times... long, long ago, in the "before" time. Then, the PS3 came out with its ultra-sensitive motion sensing technology which was incompatible with vibration and vibration patents. Well, your wait is over! The DualShock 3 is to the PS3 what the DualShock 2 was to the... well, you get the idea. The DualShock 3 is a wireless PS3 controller with vibration and the added weight that we've been missing in the PS3 controllers.


Those who were hoping that the DualShock 3 would be just like the DualShock 2, but for the PS3 will have some things to get used to. First off, the DualShock 3's vibration device is a bit different from the DualShock 2's. This seems to make some of the vibration effects feel a bit off, either under-powered or just not quite right. This doesn't have to be the case, however, as Gran Turismo 5: Prologue does a great job of demonstrating. Gran Turismo 5: Prologue uses the DualShock 3 to faithfully invoke the feeling of running over the grated texture on the side of the road used for warning drivers.

Many PS3 gamers complained about the SIXAXIS controllers being too light without the internal vibration devices. The DualShock 3 corrects this issue, with a weighty controller that actually weighs more than the DualShock 2 does, by a small bit. This is to be attributed to inclusion of the vibration device.

  • SIXAXIS Compatible
  • Rechargeable Using USB Cable (Not Included - Shipped with PS3 System)
  • Vibration Feature
  • Motion-Sensing Functionality
  • Bluetooth Wireless
  • 610 mAh Battery Capacity (Built-in Li-ion)
  • 300 mA
  • Weighs: Approx. 6.8 oz.

Drawbacks & Problems::

Well, I guess the old adage is true, "Be careful what you ask for... you just might get it." The two loudest complaints about the SIXAXIS controller were that it didn't have a vibration feature and that it was too light. The DualShock 3 is now replacing the SIXAXIS controller (as in they are discontinuing production of the SIXAXIS) and while it is reintroducing a vibration feature, the feel is noticeably different. Not better or worse, just different. Additionally, like a yo-yo dieter, the DualShock 3 has done more than just regained the lost weight; it weighs (slightly) more, which, while only a little heavier than the DualShock 2, feels ever-so-much more than the fly-weight SIXAXIS we have all, reluctantly, gotten accustomed to using.

ControllerSystemMeasured WeightVibrationWireless
DualShock 2PS2
6.5 oz.
4.9 oz.
DualShock 3PS3
6.8 oz.

I had hoped that this added weight may include a stronger battery, but it seems that the battery used in the DualShock 3 is, in fact, the same battery that is used in the SIXAXIS, despite the fact that the DualShock 3 is rated to draw 10 times the amount of power (presumably this figure is only achieved when the vibration function is under full load conditions). Resultantly, the battery life in the DualShock 3 is not up to that of the SIXAXIS. This can be improved by turning off the vibration feature in the PS3's menu system, but that sort of subverts the point of having the vibration device in the first place. Likewise, you can plug in the USB cord (from the SIXAXIS) to charge your controller while you play and still use the vibration feature, but that sort of subverts the point of having a wireless controller in the first place. This gives the player a choice: use the DualShock 3 as a wireless non-vibration controller, a wired vibration controller, play games for short periods of time, or play games that implement minimal use of the vibration feature).

The SIXAXIS draws 30 mA and had a between-charge battery life (from factory) of about 20 hours and it also has a 610 mAh battery (presumably the same model battery). With the DualShock 3's increased listed power consumption of 300 mA (with vibration feature going full-tilt), it should have a between-charge battery life of about two hours. Actual mileage will vary, of course, depending on the degree to which the vibration feature is used in your game. Worst case scenario, however, you're looking at two hours. Ouch.

I have read online that the DualShock 3 is replacing the SIXAXIS; Sony is discontinuing production of the SIXAXIS. So, consider this review a call to action: if you're excited about the idea of vibration in your PS3 games, then run out and pick up a DualShock 3... if you're not so excited about the DualShock 3, you may want to run out and pick up an extra SIXAXIS - while you still can.

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

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