For most, the well established Sony control pad is perfect just the way it is. The latest incarnation, the DualShock 3 for PS3, not only features analogue controls but also motion sensing, USB charging and vibration technology. So then, how do you improve on perfection?
Third party control pad developers Splitfish think they’ve found the answer – by literally breaking the DualShock 3 design in two. The sleek Dual SFX Evolution, comes in two wireless pieces, and works on both PS3 and PC. By enabling the user to hold a piece of the controller in each hand SplitFish contend that the arms can be placed in more comfortable positions allowing for prolonged stints of play. Each controller also contains its own ergonomically placed analogue stick to further enhance the user’s comfort.
The Evolution’s enhancements don’t stop at comfort either; Splitfish’s device features fully programmable motion controls not found in Sony’s pad. By connecting the Evolution to a PC, the pad’s ‘wrist flick’ controls can be configured exactly how you want them. A quick flick of either wrist triggers a pre-programmed action – ideal for honing the pad to a particular type of genre or creating instant Wii-like gesture controls. The pad’s analogue sticks can also be modified as required; perfect for achieving that perfect control balance on anything from a first-person shooter to a driving game.
The Evolution does have its drawbacks however, the most obvious being the button layout. PS3 owners are used to their face buttons being of a standard configuration, the Evolution changes this standard to accommodate its analogue sticks; a change sure to cause confusion when playing games that require quick-fire button presses. The constant need to connect the pad to a PC whenever a new layout is required is a problem too; the inability to store multiple pad layouts onboard the device an obvious failing.
The success or failure of SplitFish’s Evolution will depend on their successful championing of its improvements over Sony’s pad in order to win over fans of the DualShock 3. The Evolution might not offer quite enough to tempt everybody at this stage but perhaps subsequent, refined versions might; after all even Sony’s DualShock didn’t happen overnight.