Hands-on with the new PlayStation 3 controller

[PS3] Sony unveils suspiciously familiar PS3 pad - and we touched it

Tuesday 9 May 2006
It was the moment all of videogaming-dom has been waiting for since last E3: Sonypresident Ken Kutaragi on the stage of Sony's pre-E3 press conference officially announced that the boomerang-shaped PS3 controller revealed last year was officially dead.

Not only that, but the new controller design wasn't actually very new at all. When he trotted it out and said, "This is the finalPlayStation 3 controller," the audience actually laughed.It turns out thePS3 controller looks incredibly like the same DualShock controller we've known and loved for years, only with a big PlayStation-logo button in the middle.

However, itpacks insome new tricks and to demonstrate Sony Computer Entertainment chiefPhil Harrison took the stage and started up a demo. On screen, a box labelled "Do not open until E3" shook and fell apart, revealing a3D version of the controller.

Above: The new PS3 controller will be motion-sensitive, but it won't vibrate

Harrison lifted up thereal one and the on-screen one rose as well. Harrison tilted his controller, and the one on-screen tilted. That's right: thanks to a six-axisinternal gyroscope, the PS3 pad is motion-sensitive, not entirely unlike the two-piece wand that makes Nintendo's Wii such an unusual duck.

The controller also boasts a USB port on top, which we're guessing is used to recharge the internal batteries that power the Bluetooth-powered wireless connectivity.

As for the mysterious PlayStation button that sits between the analogue sticks, although its purpose is still to be officially confirmed by Sony, insiders told us that it would indeed be used to access Sony's online service in the same way as the guide button on the Xbox 360 controller.

The lower shoulder buttons, R2 and L2, look almost as if they've been turned into triggers- they clearly have a bit more give. Sony didn't address this during the conference, and we actually didn't notice much of a difference when we held it ourselves. We're hoping for at least some analogue sensitivity, though we would definitely have preferred a full-blown trigger.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I was the founding Executive Editor/Editor in Chief here at GR, charged with making sure we published great stories every day without burning down the building or getting sued. Which isn't nearly as easy as you might imagine. I don't work for GR any longer, but I still come here - why wouldn't I? It's awesome. I'm a fairly average person who has nursed an above average love of video games since I first played Pong just over 30 years ago. I entered the games journalism world as a freelancer and have since been on staff at the magazines Next Generation and PSM before coming over to GamesRadar. Outside of gaming, I also love music (especially classic metal and hard rock), my lovely wife, my pet pig Bacon, Japanese monster movies, and my dented, now dearly departed '89 Ranger pickup truck. I pray sincerely. I cheer for the Bears, Bulls, and White Sox. And behind Tyler Nagata, I am probably the GR staffer least likely to get arrested... again.
We recommend