: Editorial: Why I Prefer Sony Controllers

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Editorial: Why I Prefer Sony Controllers

You know, when I first laid eyes on the original PlayStation controller almost 13 years ago, I wasn't too impressed. I thought Sony had decided to sacrifice practicality and comfort for this sleek, futuristic look. I thought the SNES still had the best controller of all time (and ironically enough, the N64 had the worst by far), and I wasn't too keen on trying out that new fandangled Sony machine. I just didn't have a whole lot of faith in that gamepad.

But now, well over a decade later, I find I vastly prefer the Sony controllers, whether they're Dual Shock 1, 2 or 3 or Sixaxis or whatever. It's just a level of comfort that no other controller has ever bothered to provide; I've placed my hands on just about every controller ever known to the video game realm, and I can say, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that I always prefer Sony's. Not only is it about the accessibility of the buttons and the design itself, it's how those buttons respond. I really didn't like the original Xbox controller - it was an ugly beast of a thing - but the S controller was great, which is essentially what we have with the Xbox 360. I have no problems using it, but I just don't like the triggers (never have liked triggers on controllers) and I despise the almost non-existent sensitivity of the face buttons.

I really didn't like the idea of changing the R2 and L2 buttons on the Sixaxis to half-triggers - the buttons on the Dual Shock 2 worked just fine - and it's really very simple: I've spent almost a quarter-century building up the touch and control of my thumbs, and it almost never involved my index fingers. I'm shakier and far more inaccurate when pressing down a trigger with my index finger than I would be if I was pressing it down with my thumb. Furthermore, I don't know if anybody has noticed, but the pressure sensitivity of the Sony controllers has always been the best. Just tapping the buttons will produce a result, and pressing them harder (in many titles) can produce a different, and easily achieved, result. Supposedly, this same technology is in the Xbox 360 controller, but I refuse to believe it. You really have to press the face buttons hard in comparison to the Sony controllers.

It's like I'm mashing on the A button just to perform a simple action, whereas with any Sony controller, I tap it and the responsiveness is immediate and perfect. On top of which, when you consider the fact that, for me, all the buttons are more accessible on the Sony controllers, it's no contest. I've heard the argument that the 360 controller is much better for first-person shooters, and that's presumably because of the triggers (which I will always hate), and the better analog. On this latter issue, I do agree: the firmer analog of the 360 gamepad does feel more durable, and the player doesn't have to be quite so erratic. The analogs on the Sony controllers have always been a little light and too easily moved about, leading to control difficulty in certain situations. But I think I've gotten so used to it, I'd almost rather play FPSs with a Sony controller, too. It's just a matter of personal preference, I know, but I'm wondering how many people feel this way...

Let's face it: when it comes to consoles, the gamepad is of the utmost importance. If you find it uncomfortable or difficult to handle in some way, every last one of your game experiences will suffer. And I've experienced the least number of "scream at your controller in frustration" situations with Sony controllers. That's all I'm saying. :)

7/4/2008 Ben Dutka

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Comments (58 posts)

Yogi
Friday, July 04, 2008 @ 11:11:01 PM
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completely agreed

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infekt
Friday, July 04, 2008 @ 11:30:15 PM
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The analogs sticks on the Dual Shock 3 and Sixaxis are a bit liquid. I was recently playing my PS2 and found the sticks to be much more firm and therefore better for my gameplay. The liquid like touch to the new controllers gets annoying sometimes when playing shooters like SSDHD besides FPS games. But alas, I'm getting used to it. Wish you could just tighten the screws and voila! Who am I kidding.

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Reccaman18
Friday, July 04, 2008 @ 11:39:55 PM

all you have to do is change the sensitivity in the aim or whatnot.

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Reccaman18
Friday, July 04, 2008 @ 11:35:51 PM
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I actually like the newly designed triggers on the DS3/Sixaxis. And I agree with ya to, Ben. Just one more reason why Sony is my favorite company.

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SHADOW [Moderator]
Saturday, July 05, 2008 @ 12:25:50 AM
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At first I wasn't a big fan of the SixAxiS "triggers" but I now I love them (when mapped to the right functions) driving with L2 and R2 feels like "finger pedals" and throwing a 'nade in CoD with the new R2 button for whatever reason just feels right. I also love how Sony said "screw A,B,C, etc. buttons; we're using shapes". No reason why, i just like it.

Am I the only person on the planet that liked the N64 controller? The gamecube controller is by far the worst modern controller ever.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, July 05, 2008 @ 1:00:21 AM

I'll go with that; I'll say the GC was the absolute worst.

My only problem with the half-triggers on the Sixaxis is that I find my fingers keep slipping off them. Might just be a personal thing, though.

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SHADOW [Moderator]
Saturday, July 05, 2008 @ 2:07:19 AM

I have those issues if I eat greasy food before playing but not too often otherwise.

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Jed
Saturday, July 05, 2008 @ 6:16:41 AM

I liked to n64 controller too, especially after playing goldeneye for hours on end

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jmjd00
Tuesday, July 08, 2008 @ 9:29:09 PM

I prefer the N64 control above all, hate the ones of GC an Wii (A and B different positions WTF!!)
But now on todays consoles my favorite is the ps control, I have everything at my fingertips, it feels great and also love the triggers they're much better than Xbox's and is way more sensitive too, its just perfect for driving games and as said before it just feels good on CoD.

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aaronisbla
Saturday, July 05, 2008 @ 1:43:53 AM
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i actually love the half triggers for r2 and l2. Felt Extremely right when playing resistance, GTA4, amongst others

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Fabi
Saturday, July 05, 2008 @ 2:48:58 AM
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The most pointless button on any controller is the Z on the GC. Or where they Y X? Can't remember, but it was so small and useless.

I love the Dualshock controllers.

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Noodles187
Monday, July 07, 2008 @ 10:00:29 PM

I totally agree with you.

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Jed
Saturday, July 05, 2008 @ 6:30:40 AM
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I agree with you, I have always liked sony controllers. I thought the triggers on sixaxis were cool. You know you have a good controller when the basic shape has not been changed over the life of 3 systems, and so many 3rd party controllers try to emulate it. I have to admit that the 360 controller is a little more comfortable for people with larger hands, like myself. Absolutely hated the gamecube controller, but not the 64. I got the dualshock 3 the day it came out.

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LegioN
Saturday, July 05, 2008 @ 6:34:48 AM
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Hey ben, there are trigger attachments that could really help you out with that problem, they become extremely addictive though and you won't feel like playing without them.

And i definately agree that the ps3 controller is an improvement on the last.

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Luan
Saturday, July 05, 2008 @ 8:24:13 AM
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totally agreed...but i must say...the 360 controller is pretty comfortable...but the buttons are just...i dont know i dont like them...specially the triggers...the DualShock 1 for the PSone was the best sony controller in my opinion.

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nath08
Saturday, July 05, 2008 @ 8:52:26 AM
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ben you can get clip on buttons for the half triggers. ive got them, they make it so much easier;)

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Spaceman
Saturday, July 05, 2008 @ 9:22:05 AM
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First post but I have to say this. The PS controller is the worst controller I've ever had the misfortune to use. The pad may have been acceptable in the PSX era but not now.
The D-pad is awful, the analog sticks are useless, inaccurate and in the wrong place. This is 2008 Sony. All games use analog now. The triggers are poor. Everything is coated in this slippy plastic stuff. The buttons need to be hard pressed to register.
I'd put this a firm last behind The Jaguar and 3DO pads.
It's the area MS got right with their console.
How I wish someone would mod one over to use on my PS3.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, July 05, 2008 @ 10:20:32 AM

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I doubt many will even understand half of what you're saying. The buttons on the 360 controller are the ones that need to be pushed hard to register - it was part of my article - and NOBODY is going to say the buttons on the Sony controllers are LESS sensitive. It's because it isn't true; that's not opinion.

And considering the analog sticks are basically in the exact same place on both controllers...sounds more like you just have a bias, not a personal preference.

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NYfanatic
Saturday, July 05, 2008 @ 9:58:03 AM
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True. I preform better with a sony controller because I am used to it!

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, July 05, 2008 @ 10:59:43 AM

Your second sentence implies adults can't use the "tiny" PS3 pad...I'll be 30 this year, my hands are larger than most, and I don't really have any problems.

Then after saying it's tiny, you say your hands and thumbs ache for having been "stretched" over the analog sticks, which are CLOSER to your thumbs on the Sony gamepad than they are on the 360 gamepad...you said so yourself when you called it "tiny." And I really don't think anybody is understanding this "coated" comment, either. Is your controller permanently greasy, or something?

Essentially, nothing about the controller "screams 1998." There's a very good reason why the vast majority of gamers have loved Sony controllers over the years, and why many will prefer it over any other controller of the past 10 years. That's all I'm saying.

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Bugzbunny109
Saturday, July 05, 2008 @ 11:10:58 AM
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Okay, who the hell screams at their controller???? I mean come on, I can understand screaming at your consel but the controller? Thats just too much.

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aaronisbla
Saturday, July 05, 2008 @ 11:52:37 AM

I don't think he was jumping on you, more like he was explaining his point of view and trying to figure out yours.

He didn't pull the fanboy card either, but whatever floats your boat

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, July 05, 2008 @ 12:30:47 PM

I don't mind differing opinions. I have a 360 myself.

But your complaints are invalid. When I said I don't understand the "coating" comment, I meant it. When I say you call the pad "tiny" (and blatantly insult the Sony gamepad by saying it's not for "adults") and then say you can't reach the analogs, I don't understand. Your complaints aren't making any SENSE.

If you like the 360 controller, fine. If you don't like the Sony controller, fine. But at least offer something that doesn't SOUND like fanboy stuff.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 7/5/2008 12:31:02 PM

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Bugzbunny109
Saturday, July 05, 2008 @ 12:57:57 PM

wow you are going to leave over THAT come on he wasn't even jumping on you he was giving you the facts, so chill.

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aaronisbla
Saturday, July 05, 2008 @ 11:49:47 AM
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I'm just not getting this "slippery plastic coating" spaceman is referring to.

My hands are pretty big, I'm a big guy. The controller feels fine for me.

Quite a few people make it seem like the 360 controller is MS's gift to man, but really, its quite similar to the ps3 pad, minus the almost non sensitive face buttons.

The D- pad on the ps3 isnt what i would call the best, but hell, the pad on the 360 is quite bad itself in my opinion

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, July 05, 2008 @ 12:31:54 PM

My point exactly. NOBODY here gets what he's saying. I'm civilly trying to understand; that's all.

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Mista
Saturday, July 05, 2008 @ 12:11:29 PM
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I actually like playing FPS on the X360 controller just because of the analog setup, beside that I prefer my Sony controller in every other genre. Trying to play any fighting game on the 360 is a damn chore, the D-pad is just plain horrible and is the controllers biggest downfall. The controller seems to be designed strictly for FPS, which I wouldn't doubt because they are the 360's bread and butter.

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Aftab
Saturday, July 05, 2008 @ 12:21:28 PM
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Spaceman, you said your not going to argue, yet, you're asking to get the final word. If you want to argue, than do it. But if you just want to voice you opinion, this is not your personal blogging site.

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Bugzbunny109
Saturday, July 05, 2008 @ 1:01:16 PM
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I think that we should start a psxextreme clan for COD4, that would be awesome!

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Reccaman18
Saturday, July 05, 2008 @ 4:05:22 PM

I have a PS3 controller in my hand now. Nope, I dont get any part of what you said. And you calling us losers, that seems more of an insult than anything we said.

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Reccaman18
Saturday, July 05, 2008 @ 4:00:48 PM
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anyone notice how the xbox stole the design away from the game cube? Same buttons, same lay out. Hmm..

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Aftab
Saturday, July 05, 2008 @ 4:09:15 PM
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I'm sure we will, spaceman, as much as I wouldn't want to. And I do get one point of yours. Though, I don't have large hands, even I felt the ps3 controller felt too small, only after playing the 360 controller. However, one can get use to it. But the same thing cannot be said about the comparatively less sensitive buttons that get stuck on the 360 controller.

Last edited by Aftab on 7/5/2008 4:12:45 PM

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Aftab
Saturday, July 05, 2008 @ 4:23:58 PM
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True dat, Mista and Reccaman18.
I came back just to see if Spaceman would break his word, by saying something. That's the surest sign of a glib-tongue and hypocrisy. Sure enough, he did.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, July 05, 2008 @ 5:39:52 PM
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Spaceman won't be back. It's WAY too easy to spot the trollers around here. LOL

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 7/5/2008 5:45:17 PM

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SHADOW [Moderator]
Saturday, July 05, 2008 @ 6:04:20 PM
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WTF I completely missed a flame war? That sucks.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, July 05, 2008 @ 7:21:01 PM

No, not really. Just something silly.

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The_Chimeran
Saturday, July 05, 2008 @ 7:17:59 PM
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I don't know what kind of a start it is when your first comment is during a *cough* dumb *cough* arguement but still it's nice to finally be able to post (I've been trying to register for like 1 month now, hasn't worked till today). But Ben I totally agree with you about the controllers. I've had the tried all the ps controllers since 1 and even the psp and I can't find a better controller. It sits nicely and everything is easy to reach except for start and select. And your right about the sensitivity of xbox controllers the buttons feel like hard candy and you need to apply so much pressure to use it sometimes. And also the D-pads are still in use, for games like RPGs, online modes, and menu selection. Like they aren't used as much but I would argue that their still important especially in RPGs

Last edited by The_Chimeran on 7/5/2008 7:22:03 PM

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aaronisbla
Sunday, July 06, 2008 @ 12:26:51 AM
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i go to work, and i miss out on whatever was said.

I'm sure i didnt miss much though. I actually like both controllers btw, but none of em are anywhere near the shitturd controllers as the jaguar and the gamecube

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orangpelupa
Sunday, July 06, 2008 @ 2:12:00 AM
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i like ps2 controller :D

the x360 controller have that bulky battery, that really annoying for my fingers.

and x360 controller dont have pressure sensitive buttons like in PS2. on x360 the only button with pressure is the left/right trigger.

i dont know about DUALSHOCK3, but in SIXAXIS i like the new trigger-like L/R button and the light weight, but i dislike the no-rumble.

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aaronisbla
Sunday, July 06, 2008 @ 6:22:05 AM

if you liked the six axis, you'll love the DS3 controller, just my opinion though. Best of both worlds. Rumble along with those trigger like l2 and r2 buttons. of course, six axis is included, but im not a huge fan of six axis

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kj313
Sunday, July 06, 2008 @ 9:56:22 AM
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Without a shadow of a doubt, I think sony has the best. Xbox controllers remind me of dreamcast controllers. I really have nothing negative to say about the xbox controllers its a sturdy controller. I also like how u can attach devices to the controller, like the headset or the keyboard. That is a very smart idea, one I wish sony would think of mimicing. But I feel the sony controller is a lil more comfortable.

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Reccaman18
Sunday, July 06, 2008 @ 10:32:58 AM

I have seen a key board that connects to the back of the PS3 controllers, which is where M$ got it from. You dont need it though. Just get a blue tooth key board and mouse, an you're all set.

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kj313
Sunday, July 06, 2008 @ 12:22:41 PM
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I don't want a huge keyboard. I just want a small one similar to the 360, something like my sidekick keyboard that attaches to my controller.

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Reccaman18
Sunday, July 06, 2008 @ 3:45:48 PM

Well, they make them like you want. they may be a little hard to find, but I have seen a few at Game Stop. try there, or search for them online.

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Gabriel013
Monday, July 07, 2008 @ 1:47:21 AM
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I like both the Sixaxis and the 360 controller but the PS3 wins over ease of use. The 260 controller would have been better if the analog sticks were in line.

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Deleted User
Monday, July 07, 2008 @ 2:23:10 PM
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According to recent surveys everyone enjoys the 360 controllers alot more (due to comfortness) over the ps'. When it comes down to it, its how comfortable it is and thats where microsoft wins with the 360 controller. As for sensitivity the 360 does have that in regards to the triggers albeit it may not be more responsive than sony's. And Ben you said yourself that your fingers slip off the triggers so maybe thats what spaceman was referring to when he said slippery. It seems like if someone has an opinion in favor of microsoft you hate them. i dont get it. 360 controllers win in a landslide anyway.

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Cail
Monday, July 07, 2008 @ 4:31:26 PM

I don't want to sound like I'm trying to flame you but I just need to point out a fallacy in your logic. Just because a survey declares the 360 controllers more comfortable doesn't mean much. How was this survey's sample space selected? REgardless of these no survey says something about "everyone" as you said, the author of the article doesn't enjoy the 360 controller a lot more so not everyone does.
On a lighter note 360 controllers obviously win in a landslide, they weigh so much they would just decimate the playstation controller (har har, sorry had to say it).

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LordMetzen
Monday, July 07, 2008 @ 7:52:23 PM

Does that survey takes into account the MASSIVE BLOCK UNDER THE 360 controller? You can say whatever you want about the analogs and buttons and triggers...

Yes you get used to it, but until they remove that thing that holds 2 AA batt or rechargeable batt under it,(wonder why it ain't AAA or like the sixaxis or ds3 since they are quite expensive), it cannot be said that the "360 controller is more confortable".

Try putting a white box between your legs when you are driving, thats how confortable the 360 controller is compared to the ds3...

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Noodles187
Monday, July 07, 2008 @ 10:12:49 PM

Metzen I'm glad you brought that up. In terms of gaming, I think it's safe to say that most "up-to-date" people use wireless technology and I must admit it's a cool one. A lot of people have trouble realizing that 10 years ago, there was no wireless standard in gaming, and most don't see that. The only problem with a lot of wireless equipment is the power supply. Sony made the right choice and went with a controller that you can charge right through the PS3 with a simple USB cable. Microsoft, in my opinion, made the wrong choice and went with huge battery packs attached to the underside of a controller which was big to begin with. Many of my friends have switched to wired Xbox 360 controllers to save money. The simplicity of the PS3 controller alone won my approval. Well, that's my 2 cents for the day.

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Cail
Monday, July 07, 2008 @ 4:37:08 PM
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I agree about the playstation controller. I do like the 360 controller but the weight, battery compartment and skewed analogs really ruin it for me .

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Doomsquirrel
Monday, July 07, 2008 @ 10:21:07 PM
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Here's a little trick that works for me when it comes to using the half-triggers in unison with the analog sticks: use your middle finger to press the triggers, you'll find it more comfortable. If you need some training on that subject, just play Iron Man, I've learned to use the L2 and R2 triggers and left and right analogue sticks all simultaneously that way, but that's probably because I'm ampidextrous, but, hey just go for it man.
Oh and btw some 3rd party controllers have the triggers concaved so its easier to grip with your fingers, but you might experience some hiccups when holding in a button tho, mostly in the trigger department, but its something you'll get used to.

Last edited by Doomsquirrel on 7/7/2008 10:25:19 PM

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Reccaman18
Monday, July 07, 2008 @ 10:56:54 PM

Thats what I do with the L2 an R2 triggers. Except, I learned it from playing motor storm, since the gas is R2. It feels a lot better like that. and if your hands slip off the controller, dont eat and play! lol

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Lordnicon
Tuesday, July 08, 2008 @ 11:15:35 AM
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I love the DS1/2. The Sixaxis is solid like any other controller and it took a while to get used to the new weight actually - Got over that and everything was pretty fine. Like doom said, using your middle fingers works decently on the triggers but they are a little spongy to me and with the curvature going towards you it can make them a little slippery. They are great for racing games good for fps's (but id like the rumble to get the full feel back ie ds3) but the 2's are a little odd for fighters.

The Joysticks. Well they havent changed THAT much and noticing any difference can be hard but thats good lol. Sony controllers are for the most part my favorites too. I will give the notion that the 360's work well especially for fps's to an extent not because of their firmness or whatever (i almost feel the opposite), but because of the dimple in the top. The control you achieve by sort of having something to "grab" onto vs relying on grip that wears out really helps. The 360 controller works very well, but the face buttons are a little hard and too round for my taste. Mashing away in fighters puts flat buttons ahead.

In your editorial one thing seems a little funny: "I'd almost rather play FPSs with a Sony controller, too. It's just a matter of personal preference..."

I question - Is it really preference? Or is it familiarity - hence comfort? Dont get me wrong im far more comfortable using a DS any day, but with the little experience i do have with the 360, i have to give the "dimples" credit.

Last thing i find sort of funny is the feel you get playing a ps1 controller NOW. Seriously i loved the thing to death but with the advancements into the DS series the ps1 feels a little hard and small. The 2's are the same size as the 1's. I still like it, but the feel is definitely different.

The only controller i find uncomfortable (and ive played almost everything) is the org. Xbox controller. And though it was comfortable, the GameCube's was a little too odd.

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mk500
Tuesday, July 08, 2008 @ 3:53:25 PM
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As an avid gamer since the early 80's, I've used all the controllers. By far the best of them all are the DS3/Sixaxis and the 360 controller. Here's my opinion on the pros/cons of each:

Size/Shape: 360 is better. The first time I held one, I was amazed at how comfortable it was in my hands (my hands are pretty small). The DS3 feels much more cramped in comparison. However, this doesn't seem to be a major issue; as you get used to the DS3 very quickly. Extended gameplay doesn't seem to be an issue with either.

D-Pad: The DS3 is clearly better. The 360 D-Pad is almost unusable. It constantly registers diagonal hits when you are trying to hit right/left/up/ or down. This is a very serious flaw, and causes problems that developers seem to have to work around by reducing the use of the D-Pad (for critical stuff at least). I find they use the analog stick as an alternative sometimes, and this is just a painful workaround.

Analog Sticks: The 360 sticks seem to be more accurate. I'd say they are about 30% more accurate. They also have a really nice response. You really notice this in racing games and shooters. Again, the DS3 isn't horrible in this regard, and you can get used to the difference.

Buttons: The DS3 has far superior button feel. The 360 buttons feel cheap and un-responsive in comparison.

Triggers: 360 is far better. While the larger triggers on the DS3/sixaxis are a HUGE improvement over the DS2; the 360 triggers offer probably 30-50% more levels. You really notice this on racing games. It's not really a critical problem though, as it isn't an issue in other games, and developers work around it. The DS3 does have more "comfortable" triggers, as the 360 triggers tend to "bite" into your fingers after extended use (they are too narrow).

Battery: The DS3 integrated battery is far superior to the 360 "battery pack" design. You are buying so many clunky extra parts to make the 360 controller do what the DS3 does out of the box. Also, a standard USB cable makes for easy charging. Way better than "kits" that cost extra.

Overall: In the end, the 360 loses because it has a fatal flaw (the D-Pad). It is unfortunate, because it is superior in several other ways. It seems as if the developers work around this by just using the D-Pad less; but this reduces control complexity. I can't even imagine how you would play a game like Warhawk (where you switch weapons constantly via D-pad) using the 360 controller.

[disclosure: I like my PS3 better than my XBox 360; but play both daily]

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Caballo
Tuesday, July 08, 2008 @ 4:14:50 PM
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I agree with pretty much everything, except the not liking the "triggers" on the xbox controllers. You serious Ben? First person I've heard in my life who doesn't prefer the more realistic "trigger feel" controller over the "button feel" ps2/3 controller when playing first person shooters(be for real). I think personally, the current xbox controller is in every sense of the word better than the DS2/3(battery life, analogs, triggers,etc.), but what if you can't stand the way it feels in your hand, am I right? Or even if after just an hour of playing your palms start to hurt(yes hurt), or it just doesn't feel comfortable in your hands? If I was in a life or death situation(lol) where I had to choose a controller I would choose the Dualshock. It just feels better even after hours and hours of gaming, and my hands aren't complaining! If Sony has done something right ever, it is the feel of the Dualshock controller.

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jmjd00
Tuesday, July 08, 2008 @ 9:39:14 PM
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In my case the ps3 has improved in every way to me. I had 2 ds1 controllers and both of them had the x button stuck, then one of my ds2 R2 button got stuck when returned, with the plastic, almost every time i used it. Now the SA's R2 just can't get stuck and up till now haven't got any problem with it.

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ManaKnight
Sunday, July 13, 2008 @ 4:03:32 PM
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I definitely agree. The Sony controllers are always the best. That's one reason I get the PS3 version of almost everything.

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javon_27
Monday, July 14, 2008 @ 3:32:51 PM
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this article made the PSBlog!

oh and i definitely prefer the Sixaxis, wish I could afford a DS3, for all the reasons above, the whole ps layout, the lithium battery, etc...

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