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DualShock 3

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DualShock 3

The DualShock (trademarked as DUAL SHOCK[1]) is a line of vibration-feedback gamepads by Sony for the PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4[2] video game consoles. The DualShock was introduced in Japan in late 1997, and launched in the North American market in May 1998. First introduced as a secondary peripheral for the original PlayStation, a revised PlayStation version came with the controller and Sony subsequently phased out the digital controller that was originally included with the console, as well as the Sony Dual Analog Controller. As of June 2008, over 28 million controllers have been sold in the DualShock line[3] (excluding bundled controllers).


Manufacturer Sony Computer Entertainment
Type Video game controller
Generation Fifth generation era
Retail availability November 20, 1997[4]
Discontinued December 31, 2004
Connectivity PlayStation (2) controller port


  • 157 mm × 95 mm × 55 mm
  • 6.18 in × 3.74 in × 2.16 in


  • 2 m
  • 6.56 ft
Predecessor Dual Analog
Successor DualShock 2

The DualShock Analog Controller (SCPH-1200) is a controller capable of providing vibration feedback based on the on-screen action of the game (if the game supports it), as well as analog input through two analog sticks. The controller's name derives from its use of two (dual) vibration motors (shock). These motors are housed within the handles of the controller, with the left one being larger and more powerful than the one on the right, so as to allow for varying levels of vibration. The DualShock differs from the Nintendo 64's Rumble Pak in this respect as the Rumble Pak only uses a single motor. The Rumble Pak also uses batteries to power the vibration function while all corded varieties of the DualShock use power supplied by the PlayStation. (However, some third party DualShock-compatible controllers use batteries instead of the PlayStation's power supply.) The rumble feature of the DualShock is similar to the one featured on the first edition of the Japanese Dual Analog Controller, a feature that was removed shortly after that controller was released.

Like its predecessor, the Dual Analog controller, the DualShock has two analog sticks. However, unlike its predecessor, the DualShock's analog sticks feature textured rubber grips instead of the smooth plastic tips with recessed grooves found on the Dual Analog controller's analog sticks. The DualShock also features two additional buttons when compared to the Dual Analog, L3 and R3, which are triggered by pressing the analog sticks down. Other differences between Dual Analog and the DualShock include the longer grips/handles and slightly different L2/R2 buttons found on the Dual Analog.

The controller was hugely supported; shortly after its launch most new titles, including Crash Bandicoot: Warped, Spyro the Dragon, and Tekken 3 included support for the vibration feature and dual analog sticks. Some games designed for the Dual Analog's vibration capability, such as Porsche Challenge and Crash Bandicoot 2, also work. Many games took advantage of the presence of two motors to provide vibration effects in stereo including Gran Turismo and the PlayStation port of Quake II. Released in 1999, the PlayStation hit Ape Escape became the first game to explicitly require DualShock/Dual-Analog-type controllers, with its gameplay requiring the use of both analog sticks.

The DualShock is also compatible with the PlayStation 2, as they use the same connector and protocol. However, certain PS2 games that utilize the DualShock 2's analog buttons, such as The Bouncer, are not compatible with the DualShock. The DualShock is fully forwards compatible with the PlayStation 2 when that console is used to play PlayStation games.

DualShock 2

DualShock 2
Manufacturer Sony Computer Entertainment
Type Video game controller
Generation Sixth generation era
Retail availability
  • JP March 4, 2000
  • NA October 26, 2000
  • EU November 24, 2000
  • AUS November 30, 2000
Discontinued January 4, 2013
  • Analog sticks (8-bit precision)
  • 8× Pressure sensitive buttons
    (, L1, R1, L2, R2)
  • Pressure sensitive directional buttons
  • 5× Digital buttons
    (Start, Select, "Analog", L3, R3)
Connectivity PlayStation (2) controller port


  • 157 mm × 95 mm × 55 mm
  • 6.18 in × 3.74 in × 2.16 in


  • 2.4 m
  • 7.87 ft
Predecessor DualShock
Successor Sixaxis, DualShock 3

When the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system was announced, the DualShock 2 Analog Controller (SCPH-10010) included with it was almost exactly the same externally as the previous DualShock analog controller. There were however a few minor cosmetic changes: it has different screw positioning and one screw fewer, a blue DualShock 2 logo was added to the top of the controller, the connector is squarer than the DualShock and both the cable and connector are black rather than grey. The standard controller is black (other colors came later), rather than grey as with the original DualShock. The analog sticks are also noticeably stiffer than on the original DualShock.

Internally, the DualShock 2 was lighter and all of the buttons (except for the Analog mode, start, select, L3 and R3 buttons) were readable as analog values (pressure-sensitive).[5]

The DualShock 2 has been made available in various colors: black, satin silver, ceramic white, slate grey, ocean blue, emerald green, crimson red, and candy pink.

The DualShock 2 is backwards compatible with the original PlayStation. It may also be used the PlayStation 3 by way of third party peripherals, which connect the controller to the console via the USB ports. However, the DualShock 2 will not work properly with games that require Sixaxis functionality, such as Heavy Rain.

DualShock 3

DualShock 3 / Sixaxis
Manufacturer Sony Computer Entertainment
Type Video game controller
Generation Seventh generation era
Retail availability JP November 11, 2007[6]
NA April 15, 2008[6]
AU April 24, 2008
NZ May 9, 2008
EU July 2, 2008[7]
UK July 4, 2008[3]
IRL July 4, 2008[3]
Power Lithium-ion battery (3.7 V 300 mA or 5.0 V 500 mA), USB host powered
Connectivity USB, Bluetooth (PS3 and PSP Go)
Dimensions 160 mm × 97 mm × 55 mm
6.20 in × 3.78 in × 2.20 in
Weight 192 g
6.77 oz
Predecessor Sixaxis, DualShock 2
Successor DualShock 4

Announced at the 2007 Tokyo Game Show, the DualShock 3 wireless controller (SCPH-98050/CECHZC2) is a gamepad for the PlayStation 3. It replaces the Sixaxis wireless controller originally released with earlier versions of the console. The DualShock 3 is nearly identical to the previous Sixaxis version but adds the haptic feedback – also known as force feedback – capabilities found in the DualShock and DualShock 2. Sony settled a patent infringement lawsuit with Immersion in March 2007 following a lengthy legal battle. The settlement cleared the way for incorporating the missing "rumble" feature that the Sixaxis lacked.[8] Both the vibration function and motion-sensing capabilities of the DualShock 3 can be used simultaneously without one interfering with the other. Like the Sixaxis, it also has a USB mini-B port for charging and can also be used on a PSP Go via Bluetooth, though the controller and the PSP Go must be registered using a PS3 console.

The DualShock 3 can be identified by its "DualShock 3" and "Sixaxis" markings. It also weighs 192 grams (6.8 oz), 40% more than its predecessor, the Sixaxis, which weighed only 137.1 grams (4.84 oz). Additionally, the DualShock 3 is made from opaque plastic rather than the Sixaxis's slightly translucent plastic.

The rear markings indicate the original DualShock 3 draws up to 300 mA of current at 3.7 V for a power consumption of 1.11 W, an order of magnitude increase from the 30 mA of current at 3.7 V (0.111 W) listed on the Sixaxis. However, this current is not drawn constantly and is the maximum current when the rumble is active. Its main power source is an internal 3.7 V Li-ion battery, which provides up to 30 hours of continuous gaming on a full charge. Third party replacement batteries are also available. Like the Sixaxis, the DualShock 3 comes with instructions on how to remove and replace the battery. The DualShock 3 can also draw power over a USB cable via a USB mini-B connector on the top of the controller. This allows the controller to be used when the battery is low and is also used for charging the battery. When connected via USB, the controller communicates with the console through the USB cable, rather than Bluetooth.

Along with the release of the 'slim' model PS3, Sony released a new version of the DualShock 3 (A1) which uses 5.0 V at 500 mA while connected, but still contains a 3.7 V battery. This revision of the DualShock 3 does away with the additional plastic brackets between the L1/R1 buttons and the L2/R2 triggers (increasing controller rigidity), has indicator lights soldered directly to the board (causing the light emitted to bleed through to the front of the controller), and comes in slightly revised color schemes.

While the DualShock 3 is compatible with any standard USB mini-B cable and many USB chargers, official charging cables are available from Sony. These include an official cable, the USB 2.0 Cable Pack and a wall charger, the AC adapter charging kit. Any third-party USB charger used must act as a USB host device, rather than simply providing power over the appropriate pins, since both the Sixaxis and DualShock 3 require a host signal to "wake up" and begin charging.

A Sony representative confirmed on April 2, 2008 that the original Sixaxis controller would officially be discontinued with the release of the force-feedback enabled DualShock 3 in mid-April 2008. The Sixaxis is no longer being produced and is no longer in stock in most stores.[9]

Available colors and variations

The DualShock 3 has been made available in various colors: black, satin silver, ceramic white, classic white,[10] metallic blue,[11] deep red,[11] pink,[12] "jungle green" (olive),[13] "candy blue" (light blue),[14] "urban camouflage" (three-color digital camouflage),[15] "crimson red" (transparent red) and "cosmic blue" (transparent blue).[16] Not all colors have been made available in all markets or at all times.

Additional colors have also been made available alongside limited edition consoles, including gun-metal grey[17] and "cloud black" (dark grey).[18]

A limited edition baseball themed DualShock 3 controller was released on March 8, 2011 to coincide with the release of MLB 11: The Show.[19] Another color, "Metallic Gold", became available in June 2012 as a limited edition in Europe,[20] while in North America it is sold exclusively in GameStop from October 2012.[21][22] A limited edition God of War: Ascension controller is available in the UK as part of a console bundle to coincide with the launch of the game[23] and in the Americas as a game and controller bundle.

DualShock 4

DualShock 4
Manufacturer Sony Computer Entertainment
Type Video game controller
Generation Eighth generation era
Retail availability
  • NA November 15, 2013
  • EU November 29, 2013
  • JP February 22, 2014
Power 3.7 V 1000 mAh Li-ion battery,[24] USB 3.0 host powered
Connectivity microUSB (Micro-B) 2.0, Bluetooth v2.1+EDR[24]
Dimensions 162 mm × 52 mm × 98 mm[24]
6.4 in × 2.0 in × 3.9 in
Weight 210 g[24]
7.4 oz
Predecessor DualShock 3

The DualShock 4 will be the PlayStation 4's controller. It is similar to the DualShock 3, with several new features. One new feature is a built-in two-point capacitive touch pad on the front of the controller, which can be clicked.[24] The controller will support motion detection via a three-axis gyroscope and three-axis accelerometer and vibration.[24] It will include a non-removable,[26] rechargeable 3.7 V lithium-ion battery tentatively capable of storing 1000 mAh.[24] The tentative design weighs 210 g (7.4 oz) and has dimensions of 162 × 52 × 98 mm (6.4 × 2.0 × 3.9 in).[26]

The top of the gamepad features a light bar with three LEDs that illuminate in different colors, which can be used to identify players by matching the colors of the characters they are controlling in a game, or to provide enhanced feedback or immersion by changing patterns or colors in reaction to gameplay.[27][28] It is also used in conjunction with the PlayStation Camera to judge the positions and movements of multiple players.[27]

The controller features several output connectors: a stereo headset jack (3.5 mm TRRS connector), a micro-B USB port and an extension port.[24] It can be charged via microUSB, a dedicated charging station, or the console (even when the console is off).[24] It will also include a mono speaker.[24]

The DualShock 4 features the following buttons: PS button, SHARE button, OPTIONS button, directional buttons, action buttons (triangle, circle, cross, square), shoulder buttons (R1/L1), triggers (R2/L2), analog stick click buttons (L3/R3) and a touch pad click button.[24] These mark several changes from the DualShock 3 and other previous PlayStation controllers. The START and SELECT buttons have been merged into a single OPTIONS button.[24][26] A dedicated SHARE button will allow players to upload video from their gameplay experiences.[24] The joysticks and triggers have been redesigned based on developer input.[24] with the ridged surface of the joysticks now featuring an outer ring surrounding the concave dome caps.

The DualShock 4 is backwards compatible with the PlayStation 3, but only via a microUSB cable. Backwards compatibility is not supported via Bluetooth.

Available colors and variations

The DualShock 4 will, upon the PlayStation 4's launch, be available in three colors: Jet Black, packed in with the console itself and available separately, and Magma Red and Wave Blue, available as separate purchases.[29]

Emmy Award

The DualShock controller was given an Emmy Award for "Peripheral Development and Technological Impact of Video Game Controllers" by The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences on January 8, 2007.[30] Sony initially reported that the Sixaxis had received this award[31] before issuing a correction.[32]


External links

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Sony PlayStation portal
Sony portal
Video games portal
  • Official North American DualShock 3 page
  • Official European DualShock 3 page
  • Official European PlayStation 4 site, which includes details of the DualShock 4
  • Official North American PlayStation 4 site, which includes details of the DualShock 4
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