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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.