We crack open the PS3's new DualShock 3 to see how this new rumble-enhanced controller compares to the Sixaxis and DualShock 2.
We screamed, cried and begged for rumble, and Sony has finally come through. The PS3's new DualShock 3 controller has been out in Japan since late last year, but doesn't hit the rest of the planet until next month. So we imported one and gave it a test drive, then cracked open the DualShock 3 to see what kind of changes Sony made to make rumble happen. We also opened up an original Sixaxis and a PS2 DualShock 2 for comparison. Take a look at the pics to see what we found.
The original Sixaxis. In bright light, the casing is slightly see-through, producing a little bit of a cheap-o look.
The new DualShock 3. Notice the solid black casing, unlike the slightly see-through Sixaxis. It's 40% heavier than the Sixaxis, giving it a more sturdy feel.
In regard to how it plays, the DualShock 3 (top) feels slightly weaker than the PS2's DualShock 2 vibration – likely a concession to prolong battery life – but it's strong enough to give you a solid jolt. The DualShock 3 also feels weightier and more satisfying than the original Sixaxis (bottom). Overall, it's clearly the definitive version of a classic controller that's seen over 10 years of action.
They look the same, but once you hold the DualShock 3, there's no going back.
Here's a look at what's inside new DualShock 3 compared to the Sixaxis:
Inside the original Sixaxis. Notice the lack of rumble packs in the palm grips on the right and left. This is why it's so light.
Inside the new DualShock 3. The rumble devices in the left and right palms give the controller a solid feel. The battery pack is also a bit smaller and has a sturdier housing.
A close-up look at the lack of rumble in the Sixaxis palm.
A closeup look at the new rumble pack in the DualShock 3's palm.
A look at the left side rumble pack in the DualShock 3. It has less weight than the right. The weight difference gives the controller the capability to produce a wider variety of rumble effects, from weak to strong and in between.