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Battle of the Controllers: PS3 vs Xbox 360

Posted August 25, 2011 by Taylor Stein in Editorials

With the lifespan of the 7th generation consoles approaching their end, it’s time to evaluate the two prime competitors in the gaming market, the Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360. While the Nintendo Wii has left its mark on the video game industry through innovation and creativity, it is in a category separate from Sony and Microsoft’s consoles, especially considering its controller design. Let’s take a look back at the most recent duo of platforms and assess which console’s controller will be the most optimistically remembered, potentially inspiring the controllers of the future.

 PS3 Controller – DualShock 3 (DS3)

Replacing the Sixaxis as the standard PlayStation 3 controller, the DualShock 3 features the same functions and design (including “Sixaxis” motion sensing), but with additional vibration feedback capability.

Cosmetically, the DualShock 3 is nearly identical to the Sixaxis, with the only differences being that “DUALSHOCK 3″ is printed on the top (with the original “SIXAXIS” label moved down) and that the body is made of opaque plastic rather than the slightly translucent plastic used on the Sixaxis. The vibration function does not interfere with the motion sensing capabilities, and both functions can be used at once. Like the Sixaxis, it is a wireless controller with a mini-USB port on the rear that is used for charging, as well as playing while charging.

Released alongside new PlayStation 3 models in Japan on January 11, 2008, the DualShock 3 was initially available in Black and Ceramic White colors, matching the color options for the new console models. Currently, the Dualshock 3 boasts a multitude of colors ranging from Satin Silver to pink and purple. On October 30, 2008, the DualShock 3 became the standard controller packaged with PlayStation 3 consoles, starting with the (non-PS2-backwards compatible) 80 GB models.


Power: 3.7 V Li-ion Battery, USB host powered


  • Motion sensing (6 axes)
  • 2× Analog sticks (10-bit precision)
  • 2× Analog triggers (L2, R2)
  • 6× Pressure sensitive buttons (Triangle, Circle, Cross, Square, L1, R1)
  • Pressure sensitive D-Pad
  • 5× Digital buttons (Start, Select, “PS”, L3, R3)

Connectivity: USB, Bluetooth

Dimensions: 160 mm × 97 mm × 55 mm/6.20 in × 3.78 in × 2.20 in

Weight: 192 g/6.77 oz

Previous Model: Sixaxis

Gaming Precision

About the Author

Taylor Stein

As an avid gamer and passionate writer, Taylor created Gaming Precision to share her infatuation with others while providing video game insight from a female perspective.

  • Esteban Cuevas

    Sony really got it right when they developed the dualshock. That’s why it hasn’t changed in 15 years.

  • http://YourWebsite... DeafAtheist

    I like the Xbox controller better. It’s more comfortable for longer gaming sessions and the thumbstick layout is more comfortable. The PS3 controller has the player’s hands in an unnatural claw position that causes discomfort from long term use.

    • Tim

      I agree. Ergonomics and analog stick positions are what makes the Xbox 360 controller a winner.

    • WTF DUDE


  • Mike

    I use to be loyal to the Xbox 360 controller but I recently got a ps3 and do like it better, especially the joysticks. They’re much smoother, helps me our when playing shooters.

    • Kolalid

      Xbox Controller is MUCH better. It is so much more ergonomic

  • OriginalSquid

    I have always preffered the xbox controller. I disagree with PS3 longetivity, as 2/3 times a PS3 contoller has a defect that effect gameplay greatly (broken joystick, unresponsive triggers, etc.). Also, the design seems to feel so much smoother and gripped in the hands when using the 360 controller. Of coure, it can depend on person, but that’s just my opinion.

  • Ps3 Contoller

    y, as 2/3 times a PS3 contoller has a defect that effect gameplay greatly (broken joystick, unresponsive triggers, etc.). Also, the design seems to feel so much smoother and gripped in the hands when using the 360 controller. Of coure, it can depend on person, but

  • Blaster

    Xbox 360. Here’s why: Take your PS3 controller. Put it in your hands. Now relax your thumbs. Your thumb automatically moves to the top of the controller (the human opposable thumb points up with the rest of the hand when relaxed).

    Now that we have that out of the way, put your PS3 controller into your hand. You’ll find that your left thumb has to constantly stretch to reach the left stick. Now put that down and put your xbox controller into your hand. You’ll find that your left thumb naturally relaxes to the location of the left thumb stick.

    This is why the Xbox 360 controller is better. Since the left thumb has to constantly be on the left analog stick, it’s best to have it in a position that doesn’t require constant muscle usage. Now maybe people have really strengthened that part of their thumb over 15 years but that doesn’t make the PS3 analog stick position the natural resting place for your thumb. The right thumb isn’t constantly on the stick as it presses buttons.

    After a long session with my PS3 (I just had one), my left hand is cramped and my thumb hurts like I have a mild case of carpal-tunnel.

  • A
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