I was in Japan and I had to get a white DualShock 3

Happy new year everyone! I’ve been away from the site for the past little while as I was off having some fun in Japan. Of course, I never return from Japan without a few neat toys that aren’t yet available in North America.

Not able to wait until whenever SCEA decides to release the DualShock 3 controller in North America, I grabbed one dressed in sharp-looking ceramic white. Getting vibration force-feedback back is a pretty big deal for me. In fact, I held off playing Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune until after getting a DualShock 3 since the game fully supports rumble.

After putting the first few hours into Uncharted (which is most excellent) and the Burnout Paradise demo, the return of rumble added an extra layer to the overall experience. To be fair, a vibrating controller doesn’t add to the level of immersion as other force feedback technologies – such as a motor-controlled steering wheel – but it certainly returns an extra output for the gamer to interpret.

Prior to its settlement with Immersion, Sony called vibration a last-generation technology. While the return of rumble great for the PlayStation 3, the overall feel of the rumble is decidedly similar the previous-gen DualShock 2 for the PS2. Those expecting some improved level of rumble will be disappointed, as the DualShock 3’s vibration (as least how it’s been implemented in the games tested) feels less strong than that found in the Xbox 360 controller.

Regardless of vibration strength, the DualShock 3 successfully brings back gameplay-improving features that help provide the gamer with another source of information – such as when getting hit or driving on a certain surface.

I’m not able to comment on the vibration motors’ effect on battery life yet, but the added hardware does add an extra heft to the controller that makes it feel more substantial than the SIXAXIS.

It’s puzzling why Sony chose to release the DualShock 3 in Japan so much earlier than in North America and Europe (both slated for a Spring 2008 release), but it’s impending arrival makes the current SIXAXIS an undesirable accessory. If you can find an import source at a reasonable price, it’s worth considering.

“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith
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