PS3 controller set to work with new Sony Xperia phones

The venerable DualShock 3 controller is set to be officially supported by Sony phones, so you can use it to play Android games.

Upcoming Sony Xperia phones will be able to use the PlayStation 3 controller via Bluetooth, so you can play console-style games the way they were meant to be played -- on your blower.

You'll have to pair the two devices initially via a USB cable, Xperia Blog reports, but after that just press the PS button on the controller and your phone will recognise it as a Bluetooth device it can party with.

Sony Mobile's Tom Randall demonstrated it with the upcoming Sony Xperia SP , a mid-range dual-core effort with a 720p screen (you can see his video below). Connecting to a DualShock controller is just a menu option in Sony's version of the Android interface, so there's no reason to think it'll be limited to just that one phone. (I don't have an Xperia Z to hand to see if it currently has the same option -- I'll try to get hold of one -- but it may require a software update.)

Using a proper controller, while perhaps making you look slightly odd on the bus, means you're not obscuring the screen with your fingers. For console-style action and racing games -- of which there are a great wealth on the Google Play Store, not to mention (ahem) emulators -- this is a huge improvement. You also get the tactile feedback of knowing you've definitely pressed a button, which is sadly lacking when you're just poking a screen.

If you want to play with your PS3 controller on any Android device, you can already do so. It's a little more complicated, and involves rooting your phone, which strictly we can't recommend. You can read how to do it in our full guide here , which also explains how to configure games and emulators to work with the controller.

It's taken a very long time for Sony to integrate such an obvious bit of functionality into its phones. It bought out Ericsson to take full control of its smart phone business over two years ago , and its previous gaming effort the Xperia Play , one of its last with Ericsson, was half-baked and very clunky. It's not until this year's waterproof Xperia Z that we've seen a genuinely brilliant mobile from Sony alone.

Are you desperate to play mobile games with a proper controller? Is this a more sensible compromise than the Xperia Play, or would it make you look like a total berk in public? Play around in the comments, or over on our permanently tethered Facebook page.

Update: A previous version of this story stated that you didn't need to root your phone to follow our guide, which isn't the case -- you do need to root.

 

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