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PS3 pad loses DualShock name and vibration but picks up Wii-esque motion detection and wireless connectivity

Revised PS3 pad rear-view shot
In a shocking turn of events, the PS3 controller has gone from banamerang to wireless DualShock 3, except without the DualShock name and vibration.

If you take a good look at the back of the new control pad (see the close-up above), you'll notice that the DualShock 2 brand name imprinted on the old controller has now been supplanted by a row of LED lights to show which input has been set, either wirelessly or via the wired USB recharge port. Sony's now the only name in-line for PS3 controllers either on the pad or in the press releases (see "the new PS3 controller").

According to the Sony press release linked, dumping rumble support allowed the hardware manufacturer to incorporate a "six-axis sensing system" for "X-Y-Z, pitch, roll, yaw, and lateral motion detection" into its new controllers, as the vibration purportedly interfered with the new motion sensor. Adding Bluetooth wireless connectivity and rechargeable batteries charged by USB made up some, but not all, of the lost electronic innards, as the new control pad now weighs less than its PS2 predecessor.

We can't help but wonder whether even a smidgen of this loss of controller functionality was prompted by the ongoing force-feedback patent lawsuit from Immersion or not. Whatever the case may be (and however the court case turns out), we are fascinated with the old-school update to the standard bundled PS3 controller -- and how well the new interface adopts the best features of the Wii-mote and the 360 pad (including that branded Guide-like button smack in the middle of the thing). The L2 and R2 shoulder buttons resemble analog triggers even more now that they appear to jut out further from the hard controller casing. Could we have the beginnings of 360-style shoulder buttons here? Hopefully we'll have more to report on these possibilities and more before the end of the week.

[Via Joystiq]

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Reader Comments

(Page 1)

1. I can't wait for the 360 fanboys to come and start a flame war about this.

It's a good controller, but they should try to do something about vibration. They have 6 months, they could implement *something*.

Anyway, they just 1uped everything, even if it seems like a total rip off. It was smart to include gyroscopic features. Now the 360 feels even more like a Dreamcast since it's the only console that doesn't include all the controller features introduced this time.

The only bad news (really bad news) is that HDMI and Wireless connectivity to the net won't come as standards on a console. Wireless enables people to connect easily (just look how fast Nintendo WiFi has grown). And while HDMI won't be required for some time, it is a standard that every PS3 should have so to be absolutely next-gen; prepared for the future.

Oh well. E3 has just gotten interesting. Perhaps tomorrow we'll see Halo 3, and whatever Nintendo has to offer.

Posted at 1:14AM on May 9th 2006 by boots (former bd)

2. Sony really blew it this time around. I'd much rather have the rumble feature then the motion sensor thing...to remove rumble seems like a huge step backwards to me. And $600?? Who are they kidding? How many parents are going to buy this for their kid? Definitely not the mainstream audience that has gotten Sony where they are today. I think Nintendo and Microsoft have to be feeling pretty good after today's announcements.

Posted at 1:50AM on May 9th 2006 by GuessI'llBeGettingA360AfterAll

3. Wow...what a let down. I was hoping they would move the left thumbstick to the upper position just like Xbox, 360 and Gamecube controllers have. The left thumbstick position is the main reason the sony controller has just sucked for 1st person shooters. They should have fixed this problem now. This controller design is old in the tooth.

1. No Rumble!!! WTF
2. No left thumbstick swap
3. Half Ass Triggers

No HDMI port in the $500 version
What happened to dual HDMI output???
No Rumble!!!
No real revelation of any Online features that are comparable to what Xbox Live offers! This worries me...if they don't have something to show related to Online at E3...than they must really be caught with their pants down in the Online department. Who cares if it's free if it's going to suck ass compared to Xbox Live features. Online play is huge and Sony's giving it a low priority yet again it seems.

No announcement of Launch titles!!! WTF!!! Looks like the 360 is going to clean Sony's clock with current and upcoming Titles this Christmas. Fortza motorsport sequel to be shown tommorrow night will probably make GT3.5 seem very outdated.
Did I mention no Rumble in the controllers!!!

One cool thing is that HDMI being left out of the PS3 and apparently 360 HD-DVD add on...means that I can keep my 1080i Sony with component inputs only for many years to come. It seems like the industry is not going to enforce resolution downconversion for sets that use Component inputs instead of HDMI. If so that would be awesome.

I think this years press conference was much more toned down as Sony was forced to show some more realistic game footage as opposed to entirely CGI tech demos that do not represent actual game play at all.

Expectations very high...delivery not so good.

Posted at 2:04AM on May 9th 2006 by jon

4. Hey, with that USB port in the top of the thing, you think they might be thinking of letting us use it to play PSP games?

I'd cary the controller around to be able to play SOCOM with true 3D controls anywhere I happen to be...

Posted at 2:35AM on May 9th 2006 by Brian Whitney

5. Ah, found the press release for the new controller off Sony's corporate site in Japan. Some measure of analog shoulder triggers was confirmed, as well as a few other precision tweaks. [Thanks, wcleme!] The full text of the release follows the original link for the PDF announcement below:

http://www.scei.co.jp/corporate/release/pdf/060509be.pdf

SCE ANNOUNCES NEW CONTROLLER FOR PLAYSTATION 3
Equipped with High-Precision, Highly Sensitive Six-Axis Sensing System

Los Angeles, May 8, 2006 -- Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) today announced the new controller for PLAYSTATION 3 (PS3), which will become available as standard with the system. The new controller can be experienced at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) held from May 10 through 12, 2006, in Los Angeles, California.

The controller for PS3 has been created by refining and improving the world's most popular PlayStation controller that has shipped more than several hundred million units worldwide, while inheriting its basic concept and design. The controller for PS3 employs breakthrough technology of high-precision, highly sensitive six-axis sensing system that does not require any devices other than the controller itself for seamless interactive operation, thus eliminating additional settings to TVs. With this technology, ways to enjoy PS3 will be further enhanced by accessing PS3 through the network, while retaining the six-axis sensing capability.

In addition to the "3-posture-axis" of roll, pitch and yaw, "3-dimension acceleration information (X, Y, and Z)" can be detected in high-precision and in real-time. In addition to standard key input available in existing controllers, more natural and more intuitive play will become possible as if the controller has become part of your body.

Pursuant to the introduction of this new six-axis sensing system, the vibration feature that is currently available on DUALSHOCK and DUALSHOCK 2 controllers for PlayStation and PlayStation 2, will be removed from the new PS3 controller as vibration itself interferes with information detected by the sensor.

The shape of L2/R2 buttons located on the top of the controller has also been enlarged with increased depth in stroke for more subtle control in games. At the same time, the tilting angle of the analog joy sticks has been slightly broadened to enable more delicate and more dynamic manipulation. Along with these improvements, precision of above information detection (L2/R2, analog joy stick) has been increased from 8 bit to 10 bit.

All input information will be immediately transferred to the PS3 system through the Bluetooth wireless technology. By using a USB cable, the PS3 controller can be swapped seamlessly from wireless to wired, and can be charged automatically. The cable can be attached and detached at anytime.

By integrating all these features into one standard PlayStation controller, SCEI, together with content creators, expects to further expand and accelerate the world of next generation computer entertainment.

About Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
Recognized as the global leader and company responsible for the progression of consumer-based computer entertainment, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) manufacturers, distributes and markets the PlayStation game console, the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system, the PSP (PlayStation Portable) handheld entertainment system and the upcoming, much-anticipated PLAYSTATION 3 system. PlayStation has revolutionized home entertainment by introducing advanced 3D graphic processing, and PlayStation 2 further enhances the PlayStation legacy as the core of home networked entertainment. PSP is a new handheld entertainment system that allows users to enjoy 3D games, with high-quality full-motion video, and high-fidelity stereo audio. PLAYSTATION 3 is an advanced computer system, incorporating the state-of-the-art Cell processor with super computer like power. SCEI, along with its subsidiary divisions Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc., Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd., and Sony Computer Entertainment Korea Inc. develops, publishes, markets and distributes software, and manages the third party licensing programs for these platforms in the respective markets worldwide. Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. is an independent business unit of the Sony Group.

# # #

PlayStation, PLAYSTATION and DUALSHOCK are registered trademarks and PSP is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

Posted at 2:36AM on May 9th 2006 by Dan Choi

6. Anyone else but me who only sees up o number 4 on the controller? Dont know how to explain it, but it looks like, and problary is the way to see what number your controller is. Was the PS3 not supposed to support up to 7 controllers?

By the way I think that 599 is a real rip-off. I am sure a lot of people will buy it. But with the 360 at a lower price and more titles and the Nintendo at even lower price, I think the Playstation has a tough period ahead. Of course I will buy it, but I actually think that the Wii is more aore attractive, specially in the Asian market, where the DS is HUGE. There's no reason speculating, I just hope alla consoles will turn up great.
For me this is not a war. It is love...

Posted at 8:08AM on May 9th 2006 by Jonathan Holmquist

7. Thank God, they did something about the L2/R2 buttons. At first I was pissed that the new controller didn't have triggers like the Xbox controllers.

Posted at 8:14AM on May 9th 2006 by Galley

8. Ok, could you guys please stop complaining about the price and then compare it to the 360 or Wii. Add the external HD-DVD drive and a wifi and a 60 gig harddrive(if the either system had one) and you are at the same price or over that of the PS3.

If you can't afford it, you can't afford it.... STOP CRYIN'

Posted at 8:43AM on May 9th 2006 by bignerd

9. Don't you get it...if I an other can't afford it matters very much to those who can.

Sony's 3rd party support relies on the simple fact that they have sold so many units in the past. They have allot of clout. If this unit is overpriced for the market...then it may very well be that 360 or Wii get a majority of the market...in which case they will have allot of clout with 3rd party developers.

Which means PS3 could loose allot games or loose Exclusivity. Which then would lead people to purchase the cheapest console which will deliver the same games.

Very bad for Sony to be overpriced. It's even worse in Europe...where according to Engadget blog will cost equivalent of almost $700 dollars. The 360 is doing very well in Europe. Sony is pricing itself out of the market place.

Posted at 11:34AM on May 9th 2006 by jon

10. Ha..Ha...this is hilarious. This truth finally comes out and what do you know? Sony fanboys are let down again. $499 for 20GB memory? Ha...

Posted at 12:12PM on May 9th 2006 by Cage

11. bignerd:

What about the people who DONT want or need wireless, card slots or extra HD space? Sony has been going around grandstanding about HD this and HD that and then doesnt even include the HDMI port in the base model WTF? let alone the dual screen support they talked about

Posted at 12:23PM on May 9th 2006 by Sonyguy

12. iSaw this coming a yr away. There was no way in hell Sony was going to deliver all those promises @ a good price. Diehard fans will snatch it up, but after the initial launch frenzy is over, iDon't think too many ppl r going to b forking over 6 bills for this; that is a lot of money for the majority.

Ppl continue to buy into Sony's blatant and obvious BS only to be disappointed time after time. iWonder if the $600 version comes w/ 4D capabilities.

Posted at 2:20PM on May 9th 2006 by Black Guy

13. Console looks sweet. 600$ is a high price but ive had cell phones that cost that much.

BUT the new controller is UGLY, the boomerang controller looks so much better! BRING BACK THE BOOMERANG, with motion sensors!

Posted at 4:57PM on May 9th 2006 by Fan

14. i was wondering about if that Logo thing in the middle was a Home button or just a decal but with these better pictures, it seems to be a Home button, like id hoped.

Posted at 5:01PM on May 9th 2006 by B1gC72

15. oh yeah and those are definately those gay ass analog triggers. damn i hate those. guess ill have to get used to it then *sigh*. and im sure that since it only has 4 LEDs (indicating 4 controllers), that the other 3 promised connection spots will be used for bluetooth headsets for online play. just assuming.....

Posted at 5:09PM on May 9th 2006 by B1gC72

16. Bah, I think this style of controller is AWESOME. I AM sad about the no dualshock thing though. I thought that design was brilliant =(. I also don't find the roll, pitch, and yaw thing that much more attractive, because frankly most games that make you do wierd stuff make you look like a wierdo ahah. So I AM disappointed about that. And the 4 LED lights as opposed to 7. Maybe they should make like an LCD screen on it or something. And maybe make it a tad more elegant. I have no idea.

However, the trigger style R/L buttons, and the tilt of the analog sticks make a big improvement to the already well-designed controller. Sure, it might not have the analog like the xbox controller, but for MANY ps games, its actually a lot better having it there. Unless you've played A LOT of ps titles, you might not understand why arrow buttons are still THAT useful =). It can be agreed that it might be harder to play FPS games, but you know what, its easy to get used to. Its well designed, and its been proved OVER and OVER again by the soaring sales of ps1 and ps2.

In any case, for those who were commenting about the gameless launch titles and crap. If you've been reading ps3fanboy, there have been A LOT of titles coming around. The most obvious, and the most anticipated being Metal Gear Solid 4 of course. If you haven't done so, watch the real-time video with the guys talking in japanese - read the subtitles, and you'll understand why PS3 is well worth its price in what it can do and handle compared to other consoles.

Posted at 7:00PM on May 9th 2006 by Dahk

17. Haha the controller looks crap and is crap. no rumble!??!? wtf are they DOOOING? almost $700 in europe!? WHAT ARE THEY DOOOING?
also 360 owned at e3!!
360 for the win!

Posted at 8:06PM on May 9th 2006 by dizzle

18. Dahk, are you kidding me? The MSG4 video looked nothing special, compared to Gears of War, and especially Crysis, the most realistic looking game ever.
Also, the controller looks like its gonna flop, no rumble!?

Posted at 8:09PM on May 9th 2006 by Fear

19. boots
Im not going to flame im just going to point out how i was right less than a week ago.
1.bluetooth
2.PShub "live" button
3.motion sensing "Wii" functionality
You said "If Sony copies the "LIVE" button and gyroscopic features, that will be hilarious." I thought so too... at the time. now it just seems sad.

Posted at 10:25PM on May 9th 2006 by ozymandias

20. shoulda fixed that immersion problem.
while i'm dissipointed that
1. they made basicly NO changes to make the look more modern
2. the launch systems will only be in black (i prefer silver)
and
3. the loss of dual shock, (i find appaling, we techies know the runble interferance explanation was an excuse)

i see potential. don't look at this motion sensing in the way you do on the Wii. (i don't like the idea of waving my arms around wildly like i know i will be on the Wii anyway.) i.e. using the analogs to move katimari style in fps while you use motion sensing to aim/look
or make juking in the next madden more intuitive by jerking left, or tilting forward to straight arm, etc...
a little last minute but there are real possiblities here.

Posted at 11:24PM on May 9th 2006 by alienclay

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