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E3 Analysis: PS3 Controller |

Have you ever heard of the NIH syndrome? NIH stands for “Not Invented Here”. Nih! The NIH syndrome is something that Apple used to be accused of all the time. Why do they have to be so proprietary? Why don’t they have two buttons on their mice? Why don’t they use a standard video connector like everyone else? Why do they have two file forks? Why why why? Basically, Apple was arrogant. They only wanted their own inventions used in their products. And the whole world got really mad at them for it. The world punished them by refusing to buy their stuff. Marketshare plumetted. But now Apple has finally learned the error of their ways and now they use Intel chips, DVI connectors, and two-button mice. They’ve standardized on a Unix-based operating system and are embracing standards. If they see a good idea somewhere else, they’re not affraid to take it for their own and use it. Their iPod plays MP3s. And now everyone is happy.

Ever hear of “best practices”? It’s where the best things in the field are the ones that get used. It’s as common as H2O for a company to see an idea elsewhere and then start to use it in its own product line. It’s what pushes technology forward. Company A invents something. Company B improves it. Company C perfects it. Now it’s everywhere. In fact, this is the very lifeblood of one the most successful software company in the world – Microsoft. It’s what they do. It’s who they are. It defines them.

It’s a free world, isn’t it? A free market? A free interchange of ideas? Generally, companies that move the fastest and give people what the want and will like will succeed. Companies that stick their heads in the sand repeating “Nih! Nih! Nih!” will fail.

PS3 ControllerSo Sony asked themselves. What will make the PS3 more successful? What features can we add that will draw people to the platform? Motion sensitivity seems to be a cool technology whose time has come, so let’s add that to our controller. Sure it’s been tried before. Nintendo has a version in their latest technology. But that got a pretty good reception. So let’s give it a whirl and add it to our controller. Maybe its time has come.

BAM! Unoriginal. BAM! Rip-off. BAM! Been there done that.

What is going on here?

Why are people so mad at Sony for trying to improve the PS3? Just because Nintendo has similar technology? (And it’s not like Nintendo invented the technology or anything anyway.) Personally, I applaud Sony for trying to improve their controller. I truly don’t understand why people are getting upset over this. Taking an idea and using for yourself is just so common, so ingrained in our lives, it’s strange that Sony is getting flak for it.

I don’t know if it’ll work. But I’d like to try it. I can see using the technology to steer a car around a race track. I end up trying to do that with PS2 controllers subconsciously anyway, so now I’ll get a chance to see if it really works. Using a joystick to steer a car sounds a lot more artificial than just turning the controller. I’d like to try that. Give it a chance, see how it works out. And now Sony gives me that opportunity. So what’s the big deal?

Oh, and BTW, IGN thinks the PS3 controller motion sensitivity works well, and GameSpy thinks well of it too.

  • I actually applaud sony for being smart enough to understand which way the wind is blowing and move there, my personal concern is that featurers taked on a week before E3 may not really be received well or implemented well by game developers. I’ve read that there are a lot of peoplew working on PS3 games who didn’t even know about it till the announcement at E3.

  • True enough, but from the hands-on experience of several people, it seems to work quite well.

  • If one would be more extreme…

    Nintendo had consoles (ok, there were some before, but these are too far behind…)… Sega made some… rip off etc…

    The way of complaining to say they ripped it off is completely idiotic!

  • Gary

    People’s (especially Nintendo fanboys) reactions to Sony’s new controller was way over the top & actually quite hilarious. So far it has received good reviews & it can only be a good thing as it might change the way we play games in the future.

    I personally think it was a good move by Sony & they haven’t done anything wrong.

  • thomas

    Has the Motion sensitivity anything to do with the Bluetooth? i mean, what is it, what will we be able to do?

  • Beyond the fact that Bluetooth is medium through which signals will travel to the PS3, no.

    The controller will be able to detect yaw, pitch, and roll movement. Yaw is turning it left and right. Pitch is tilting it forward and back. Roll is tilting one side up and the other side down.

    This is ideally suited to flying, but will have other interesting applications. In a FPS, how about peeking around a building by rolling the controller a bit? Or kneeling/standing up with the pitch control? And turning around quickly with yaw? I think this really has the potential to improve gameplay, if done right.

  • Black Guy

    iRecall back in the day there was a similar device to plug into the N64 contoller. It permitted the user to input directional commands by moving the controller on the same 3 axises as this PS3 controller to steer a car, fly, FPS, platform games, etc. iWasn’t too crazy about it and iRarely used it. It worked as advertised but iJust felt iHad more precise control using the standard controls and after 30 minutes iGot tired of moving the control around. To me, this feature has always seemed a little gimmicky whenever iSaw it. It has been said Sony dropped the rumble ‘cuz they lost a suit to the patent holder and they needed to add something new to compensate; which is plausible. iCall BS on their claim of removing rumble for concern that it would interfere w/ the tilt sensor. The Wii has a much more robust feature and it still retains rumble!

    Tilt technology has been used in game related devices for about 15 yrs and it has never caught on. Now Sony is including a weak technology into their product. However, Sony has a huge stable of devs. that have the potential to do something really innovative w/ this.

  • Nintendo uses a different approach than Sony!

    IIRC Sony uses gyroscopic sensors to detect the motion of the pad. This WILL interfere with a rumble feature, but somehow… Cant you programm a game, that USES this interference? I mean like GT5 you hit another car, your pad rumbles and the motion sensor picks this up and boom, your steering suffers…

    I dont know what technical approach Nintendo uses (if gyroscopic or something else) so i cant comment on that one…

    Yes, Sony lost the case against Immersion… I think, these patents are worthless in Germany though (prior art and stuff) but nontheless, too bad we lost the rumble feature, but i can live with it (i almost always swichted it off, becuase it annoyed me… Ever played Final Fantasy X with rumble?)

  • Apparently hideo kojima even didn’t know about the new controller until just recently, and was disappointed by the lack of rumble support.


  • Matt

    I, in NO WAY, believe that they put the motion sensing in this controller because they wanted to. If Warhawk developers only had 3 weeks with it they appartently had no other choice. Sony wouldn’t do that to themselves.

    If you have to include something in the controller besides Rumble (which we all know wasn’t licensed to them by the company that sued them) their are few options.

    Rumble is probally the most useful of any tech that is realistic.

    Motion sensing is the second best option IMO. Sony just did it half assed in my opinion which kind of makes sense because of the short amount of time they had. They also couldn’t invest millions of dollars because it would be more money they stand to lose on a console. When you add in the simularity of the Wii controller it all goes towards good marketing to non-hardcore gamers.

    I would love to hear peoples opinions about what else Sony could have included besides motion on a standard controller. Rumble is not an option.

  • Black Guy

    An expansion port like the N64 and Dreamcast controller that would provide the option to insert a rumble device developed by a third party.

  • Questworld

    The real problem about acceptance here really lies on the fanboy vs. fanboy front.

    From a Sony fanboy front, they generally dismiss anything Nintendo as either “kiddy” or “gimmicky.” In retaliation, a Nintendo fanboy, believing in Nintendo’s importance in the industry often cites such innovations like rumble feedback, analog sticks, d-pad, etc. In return, a Sony fanboy tends to cheapen such “innovations” by citing sources that such advances are really something done before, regardless if such things like joysticks are actually practical today. And of course at this point everyone’s out to claim who made what first in their favorite’s honor while looking to point that the other console didn’t really bring anything new hence making the company irrelevant. This has gotten so out of hand that I’ve read in a forum of one individual claiming Microsoft is the first to have wireless controllers for their system. Someone would then say Nintendo made the Wavebird first and then the Xbox guy would reply that he mean “the first to have it STANDARD.” With this example, you can see that some people are really trying to pin their favorite as “FIRST.” I’m surprise no one’s bothered to stick a flag on the soil and claim so and so company used this color for their consoles first. The whole thing’s really crazy.

    Now personally I thought the Wii’s controller was interesting and had a lot of potential when Nintendo announced it. And of course after this people would say Nintendo got another innovation. The “opposing team” would start saying it’s been done before and Sony and MS actually showed their own wands regardless of their application just so they can claim they’ve been working on one too. It’s all PR.

    So anyway I think the reason the Nintendo fans are somewhat angry about this is because it’s been common that they get the Sony extremists trolling them, constantly arguing that Nintendo is kiddy and gimmicky only to turn around and praise Sony when the exactly (well, ok, somewhat similar) idea happens on their consoles (next gen version of connectivity, tilt sensor, rumble, etc.). Of course now that they did, their loyalists will turn around saying “it’s been done before” or it’s “free game.” Although what they say is “technically” true, it’s would be rather unappreciative when it seems Nintendo improves on the ideas and garners attention for the industry to look at the technology again. For all their philosophyies and ideas, I think Nintendo’s severly underappreciated and I think that’s why some Nintendo fans fight really hard.

    Frankly, if people simply got along, people would see that, if Nintendo’s new controller had any influence on Sony’s decision to add this (which I think it did), then that just means it’s a good idea. I’m sure Nintendo’s okay with this and in fact wanted new standards implemented, so this here’s a step. Shame about the rumble though. Frankly, if everyone just ease off in the “kiddy” and “gimmicky” word uses when referring to Nintendo, this whole “they stole it” wouldn’t even be an issue. All the console will be great, greater for some, not so great for others, but regardless enjoyable. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, that doesn’t mean we should put up with anymore “no really, your system really is trash” constantly drilled into our psychy. And that goes for all. Also, just because you have to put up with such people doesn’t mean you have to be a disease yourself and spread such hatred amongst other people who weren’t even fanboys/bashers. Ever notice how the mildest of fandom automatically seem like a fanboy to the bashers? Yeah, that’s how badly things can get. Don’t get sucked up in the hate. Your perception could get really altered when you get caught up in the trolling and fanboy wars.

    Enjoy the games everyone.

  • nickorton

    how come ther are only 4 light on the back

    do you think light num 5,6 and 7 are hidden behind the L1 and L2 buttons.

  • nick botulism

    thanks for the links to the PS3 controller reviews. i’m actually pleasantly surprised by how positive they were. i’m now looking forward to trying it out…

  • Tom

    Central Button? Anyone? Anyone? Usable? Anyone? Anyone?

  • I think it’s referred to as the Guide button, but my memory could be playing tricks on me. I assume it serves the same function as that on the 360’s remote.

  • Matt

    They probally pulled the 5,6,7 controller option. I don’t blame them. Why would you need 7 controllers on one console anyway? Basketball is the only game I can think of where 7 people could fit in one screen.

    As soon as they took the 2nd HDMI port off (which I knew they would) the reason for 7 controllers vanished. I wouldn’t expect them to release that info until closer to launch when they have almost finished games to show off.

  • But you know, there’s probably nothing stopping them technically from supporting 7 controllers. You can just have more than one light turn on. 4+1=5, 4+2=6, 4+3=7, after all. And from what I’ve read, the Bluetooth chip/whatever in the PS3 is an 8-device piece of hardware, where one of those devices is the chip itself.