Article by prashanth nair
Upon the launch of the PlayStation 3, the most disappointing aspect for everyone involved was the new SixAxis controller. Sony had stuck with the design of the DualShock 2 controller from the PlayStation 2, and had made a couple of interesting additions as well as a dew perplexing changes.
First of all, the SixAxis came with built-in motion sensing technology. This feature was often criticised as a last minute add-on by Sony to compete with Nintendo’s Wii, and it could be clearly seen by how little the games that came out for the PlayStation 3 used the motion sensors. The name of the controllers is derived from the fact that it can sense both rotational orientation and translational acceleration along all three dimensional axes, providing six degrees of freedom.
Another noticeable feature of the SixAxis was that the weight of the controller had gone down substantially. This could be chalked up to the fact that vibration feedback was completely missing in the SixAxis. Sony claimed tilt vibration messed with the motion sensors, and thus it was a conscious decision to discontinue that aspect. The trust, of course, was a little bit different as this reasoning came while Sony was involved in a legal battle with Immersion Corporation, who had successfully sued the company for patent infringement. The lack of vibration feedback is seen as a major cause of disgruntlement among PlayStation 3 loyalists, and cited by Xbox executives as a reason that some people opted for their console over Sony’s.
Still, not all about the new SixAxis was bad. For one, it introduced a new rechargeable battery that claimed to operate for up to 30 hours on a full charge. Actual tests have shown this to be more around 20-25 hours, but that is still a respectable number by any yardstick. The battery can be charged by connecting the controller to the PlayStation 3 through the simple microUSB cable provided with the gamepad. The best part about the battery is that it can be easily replaced once it’s battery life is up, thus enabling you to save costs on buying a new controller.