Red SixAxis light does NOT mean rumble

Monday 9 July 2007
With the packshot of thenew 80GB model of the PS3 sporting a picture of a SixAxis pad with the central PS button lit up in an attractive red hue, a lot of speculation has arisen over its meaning - including hopes that the light means it is a rumble-enabled controller. But sadly, this isn't necessarily the case.

You see, when Sony sent us our special 'debug PS3' (special in that it allows us to play preview code and has 'TEST' written on it - see pic), the controller that came with it featured a red light in the PS button. It lights up when you put the controller on charge. But it doesn't have rumble - it's as light as a normal SixAxis and only different in that it doesn't feature the word 'SixAxis' on it at all. That's possibly due to it being an earlier version of the pad.

Above: The packshot and our debug pad and machine (inset). The light is lit up red. Note the lack of 'SixAxis' branding on it, unlike the retail version

However, plugging in another pad (finished version, with SixAxis logo) that also came from Sony doesn't light up the button. No, we don't know why, either. Maybe the controller pictured on the packshot is a pre-production model too, or new firmware will light all our PS buttons.

Sony's press release about the new 80GB model doesn't mention rumble at all, so although the arrival of the new model would be the perfect time to introduce the vibration feature, we'll just have to see what Sony announces. After all, E3's nearly upon us...