Ready to Rumble: PS3 DualShock 3 vs. Sixaxis

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.

170808-1 The original Sixaxis. In bright light, the casing is slightly see-through, producing a little bit of a cheap-o look.

170808-2 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.

170808-3

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.

170808-4

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:

170808-5 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.

170808-6 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.

170808-7 A close-up look at the lack of rumble in the Sixaxis palm.

170808-8 A closeup look at the new rumble pack in the DualShock 3's palm.

170808-9 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.

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