Dualshock 3 Sixaxis (5 out of 5)
The Dualshock 3 Sixaxis controller is one of the better accessories for the Sony PlayStation 3 video game console. Not only is this controller totally wireless, but it also has the same vibration function as the original wired controller. I used to always need cable extensions for my video game controllers, but not anymore now that I have a Sixaxis for my PS3.
When the PS3 originally came out, it included a wireless Sixaxis controller, but it didn’t have the rumble ability. I know the slight vibration you get while playing games isn’t much, but it really does add something special to the gameplay. Taking it away was a big mistake by Sony, or maybe it was just a marketing ploy to make people want to buy this Dualshock 3. I got mine in a bundle package with the 80 GB model PS3 and Metal Gear Solid IV. I also bought an extra one for two player gaming.
This controller connects to the PS3 via Bluetooth, meaning you can move all about the room and it’ll stay connected. Unlike a typical TV remote, Bluetooth doesn’t need line of sight to connect with the receiver, so you can get all into your games and swing the controller around and never worry about it missing a single frantic push of a button. If this thing didn’t work so well, no gamer would have ever given it the time of day, because we all know a single button mash could make the difference in a game.
If you ever wondered how the vibration function worked, don’t bother opening up your controller because I’m about to tell you. Inside each handle of the Dualshock 3, there is a small metallic cylinder that is deliberately off balance. When it comes time to rumble, it will spin around, and being off center causes the gentle vibration. The design is simple and works quite well. On top of that, it gives the controller a little more weight than the original Sixaxis.
The Dualshock 3 Sixaxis controller retails for about $50, give or take depending on what kind of deal you can find. However, it doesn’t include a USB cable, so you’ll need to use the one that came with your PS3. I think Sony is being very skimpy by not including the USB cable. Those are sold separately at a rather exorbitant price. Chances are the average computer user with a digital camera or MP3 player probably already has one that will do the same job.
Be sure to check out the Dualshock 3 Compatibility Chart at PlayStaton.com to see if any of your games support the vibration function. For some of them, you may need your PS3 to be online so it can download an update before the game will work with the controller.