Sony DualShock 3 Wireless Controller (Black) review: Sony DualShock 3 Wireless Controller (Black)

We tried the DualShock 3 with Heavenly Sword and Resistance: Fall of Man. While the rumble really didn't add much to Heavenly Sword, it was more effective with a first-person shooter such as Resistance, as it enhanced the feeling of firing your gun and taking hits. We also liked that the DualShock 3 (7 ounces) is somewhat heavier than the original Sixaxis controller (5 ounces). It isn't a huge deal, but it just feels more substantial in your hand. Some people complained that the Sixaxis controller was just too much of a featherweight, and if you're one of those people, you'll appreciate the extra 2 ounces this controller adds.

The Sixaxis motion-sensing feature is still present and accounted for along with the familiar Bluetooth wireless connectivity. Unfortunately, the DualShock 3 retains the annoyances of its predecessor. Chief among them: the built-in lithium-ion rechargeable battery isn't removable, so when it eventually dies (admittedly, probably several years down the road), you'll have to buy a completely new controller. (By contrast, the Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii have user-replaceable battery packs.)

The other major gripe with the DualShock 3 is the $55 price tag. That's anywhere from a $5 to $15 premium over the street price of Xbox 360 and Wii controllers, as well as the existing Sixaxis PS3 controller (which will be discontinued now that the DualShock 3 is available). To add insult to injury, Sony doesn't even throw in a USB cable for recharging.

If you haven't yet taken the PlayStation plunge, you might want to wait until June, when Sony will be releasing a new PS3 bundle for $499. It will include an 80GB console, the DualShock 3 controller, and the long-awaited Metal Gear Solid 4 game. By our math, that means you'll be saving a few bucks over buying those items separately. (Presumably, other PS3 bundles will eventually begin packing the DualShock 3 in place of the rumbleless Sixaxis controller later this year.)

Comparison shoppers should also note that Nyko makes the Zero, a wireless PS3 controller with rumble that costs about $50. While you might save a few bucks on that model--and, notably, it does include a USB cable and detachable battery--it's tough to recommend it over the familiar design of the Sony DualShock 3. We just hope the price of the Sony model drops closer to $40 with time.

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Where to Buy See All

Sony DualShock 3 Wireless Controller (Black)

Part Number: SCPH-98050
Low Price: $38.99 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Color Black
  • Pointing Device / Manipulator Gamepad
  • Form Factor external
  • Type game pad
  • Connectivity Technology wireless
  • Compatibility Game console
About The Author

Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable e-reader and e-publishing expert. He's also the author of the novels Knife Music and The Big Exit. Both titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, and Nook e-books.