PS3 Controllers



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Feel precision gaming in the palm of your hand with a PS3 controller

Sony has been iterating on its familiar Dual Shock line of controllers ever since the PlayStation One Era, and some of the biggest innovations took place during the PlayStation 3 generation. PS3 controllers were the first on a Sony console to feature wireless Bluetooth technology. They also bucked the trend of most other wireless controllers at the time by having a build-in rechargeable battery. While the Dual Shock 3 is probably the most popular and well-known model of controller for the PS3, there is still a wide variety of different controllers available.

Wired vs. Wireless

Most players will opt for the convenience of a wireless PS3 controller. Eliminating the hassle of a wire tethering the controller to the console is a huge bonus. Wireless controllers are paired to the console via a Bluetooth connection. The easiest way to set this connection up is usually to simply connect the controller to the console via its USB port. Once powered on, the controller should automatically sync.

When a wireless PS3 controller’s battery is running low, it can be charged by once again connecting it to the console via USB. Of course you can continue playing while charging occurs, so you may want to consider investing in a longer USB cable if you expect to play and charge frequently. It’s also a smart move to plug your controller in when not playing, to ensure a fresh, full charge for your next gaming session.

Of course there is still a subset of gamers who prefer a wired controller. Some claim that they can sense the difference in latency between a wired and a wireless signal, and prefer the former for its sharper response time. For this reason there are also a number of wired models available.

First Party vs. Third Party

Sony manufactures the popular Dual Shock 3 PS3 controller itself, but there are also a vast number of “third party” PS3 controllers available as well. These are controllers manufactured under license to PlayStation 3 by other manufacturers.

Sony’s first party Dual Shock 3 controller doesn’t deviate from its core shape and hardware, but it does come in a number of different colour choices such as Black, White, Blue, Red, and even Gold to name a few. They tend to cost a bit more than a third party controller, but they are also guaranteed to be a high quality product. Look for the Sony name or logo on the packaging or the controller itself to ensure it’s a genuine first party item.

Alternatively, third party controllers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some even offer different aesthetic flourishes such as glowing lights or stylized grips. Third party PS3 controllers are also often priced more economically than those manufactured by Sony itself, but generally at the cost of some level of quality.

What else can it do?

Since the wireless Dual Shock 3 PS3 controller contains Bluetooth technology, it can also be used with you PC. Simply plugging a wireless PS3 controller into your PC via USB connection likely won’t be enough to sync it however, as the infrastructure doesn’t exist here in the same fashion as it does with a PS3 console. There are many simple-to-follow guides on the internet that can assist you in connecting a PS3 controller to a PC though.

The same can be said for connecting a PS3 controller to PlayStation 4. Unfortunately the PS4 is not designed to recognize PS3 controllers, however there are a number of sites on the web purportedly dedicated to workarounds for crafty gamers who want to connect a PS3 controller to their PS4 console.