Since the release of the original PlayStation gaming console, Sony has used the DualShock in each of its following gaming systems, the PlayStation 2, and the PlayStation 3. With each release, the necessary improvements have been made to the controller in order to stay even with competition. Many gamers are more than happy with the DualShock controller up to this day because they are accustomed to the controller’s feel and love the comfortable setup that it provides. However, others argue that the DualShock is outdated and needs to be completely redesigned the way that Nintendo and Microsoft (to some extent) have done to their respective game pads. Here we will take a look at the evolution of Sony’s most popular controller over the years.
PlayStation 1 DualShock (SCPH-1200)
The original DualShock for the PS1 was capable of providing vibration feedback based on events programmed into the game that the user is playing. It featured 13 digital buttons, along with 2 analog sticks and a D-Pad. The DualShock differed from most of the other controller’s of its time, due to it’s built in vibration feature. It surprises many people that the DualShock in fact, was not the original controller for the PS1. The “Dual Analog Controller” was its predecessor and only included vibration feedback in the Japanese version, and as a result was shortly discontinued and replaced by the DualShock. The DualShock also introduced the L3 and R3 buttons, activated by clicking down the left or right analog sticks. Shortly after it’s release, most new games began to incorporate the dual analog sticks and vibration features. When the PlayStation 2 was released, it still supported the original DualShock controller due to the similarities between it and the DualShock 2.
PlayStation 2 DualShock 2 (SCPH-10010)
The DualShock 2 was very similar to the original in almost every way. Because of this, the DualShock and DualShock 2 controllers could be used interchangeably between the PlayStation and PlayStation 2. Physically, the only way to tell the difference between the two was the darker colors, along with the “DualShock 2” logo on the top of the controller. The DualShock 2 was also much lighter in comparison to the DualShock. The main improvement with the new iteration of the controller, was the more accurate movement of the analog sticks and that each button was pressure sensitive, with the exception of the L3 and R3 buttons.
PlayStation 3 DualShock 3 (SCPH-98050)
The DualShock 3 is the most significant update to the game pad thus far. It features motion sensitive capabilities, along with Wireless Bluetooth technology and USB that allows for playing while charging. A PS button is placed in the center of the controller for access to the XMB during games. The two pressure sensitive “trigger” buttons were also emphasized for ease of use in future games. Sony’s DualShock 3 controller succeeded the ill-received Sixaxis controller that was originally released with the PS3. The main difference between the two was that vibration was not a feature included with the Sixaxis. (Probably due to lawsuits that Sony and Microsoft were faced with between Immersion Corporation) All PlayStation 3 games required use of the DualShock 3 after it’s release due to the discontinuation of the Sixaxis controller.
Overall, Sony’s DualShock controller has evolved nicely over the years from the original PlayStation console to the PlayStation 3. The included motion sensing feature used with the PlayStation 3 has not only kept Sony’s controller up to date, but it is the only game pad that uses a traditional button layout while incorporating motion sensitive capabilities. Essentially, it is a combination of the classic feel of the Xbox 360 Gamepad with concepts of the Wii’s motion controls. However, this is nothing new for gamers. The question that still remains is not if Sony should completely redesign the DualShock, but Why should they? It’s no doubt that the next generation of gaming consoles will feature motion controls, but it’s hard to imagine that everyone would be comfortable ditching the classic game pad for a magic wand. Feel free to post your opinion below.