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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Dualshock 3: Out of Order

So I turn on the PS3 to get some gaming in. I'm feeling like I need some more Sonic Generations in my life. I go through a few levels as Classic Sonic with no problems. I decided to do some levels as Modern Sonic and this is where I encounter some hiccups. Sonic starts drifting around curves when I'm not even wanting him to. Why am I going off in directions I don't want to go? It occurs to me that something I feared when I got my used PS3 is indeed a reality: my Dualshock 3 is wonky.

I first suspected I may run into problems with the controller when I heard a light rattling sound coming from inside the controller the night I took my PS3 out of the box. It didn't heavily concern me since the control worked fine. For the most part. There were times when I was on the PlayStation store when I would get booted off it and back to the PS3's main menu. This perplexed me since I clearly remember not exiting the shop. This is something that happened to me on more than one occasion.

I tried playing some Skullgirls Encore. I couldn't even navigate the menus. Next I tried jumping on the PlayStation Store just to do some digital window shopping. Any form of menu navigation was kaput since it refused to read any controller input. Strangely, I could play Galaga Legion DX but my controller was so screwy that I couldn't stop firing, giving me the impression that the game came with some auto fire feature. Much as I hate it, I have to accept the fact that my Dualshock 3 controller is on the fritz, which puts PS3 gaming on hold.

What gulls me is that this isn't the first time I've come across problems with Sony's Dualshock controllers. The Dualshock 2 on the PS2 has a messed up left analog stick, which has lead to steering mishaps in racing games, characters moving when I don't want them to and other kinds of headaches that I really don't want to talk about. With the PS2, it wasn't so bad since it was backwards compatible with original PS Dualshock Controllers. But every now and then, I'd pop in a PS2 game that had to be played with the Dualshock 2, like OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast.

Now I have to plunk down cash for another Dualshock 3. I don't really think I've mentioned it anywhere on this blog before, but the cost of controllers in this day and age is insane. I used to think $34.99 for N64 controllers was expensive. I'm still not crazy about paying $40 for a Wii Remote. The price for a Dualshock 3? $54.99. That's right. We've reached a point in gaming where our controllers cost just about as much as the freaking games. And this is the era of HD gaming. We're lucky if a game retails for $50 on launch day. $50 is a lot of change to part with for a video game. $60? That's not a tough pill to swallow, that is a freaking suppository. And now our controllers cost just as much dough. The DualShock 4? Sixty bones, the price of a new PS4 game. An Xbox One Wireless controller? Sixty clams, the exact same price you'll pay for an Xbox One game. I'm not letting the Wii U off the hook either. Sure, it may only cost $50 for the Classic Controller Pro, but that's still the price of a lot of Wii U games.

Since controllers now carry the same price as the games, I think you can understand why I'm feeling just a tinny bit peeved when my controller, my first party controller, mind you, stars malfunctioning. That's money that could be spent on a new game or something else entirely. I'm guess I'm a little more than irritated since it's another Dualshock that's gone south for me.

My NES controllers still work. My SNES controllers have a few buttons that stick, but that's the only problem I get out of those. The memory to save data on my SEGA Saturn died a long time ago but the controller? Still works. What is it with Dualshock 3 controller, a controller that isn't even close to being as old as any other controller that I mentioned, that makes them fizzle out so easily? Granted I don't know what the thing went through with the previous owners, but a first party product should be able to stand up to a fair amount of abuse before buckling under the pressure. I guess Nintendo and SEGA really did build controllers better than Sony when it comes to long term durability. Thar or I just have lousy luck with Dualshocks.

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