An Abundance of Cool Console Controllers

By  |  Friday, June 5, 2009 at 11:57 pm

E3 featured a lot of brand new controller accessory announcements, but these slightly less prominent new products, from DreamGear, Nyko,  and PDP were almost drowned in the hype tsunami over input devices like Microsoft’s camera-based Project Natal.

Finally, Finally, Finally: Xbox-like controls for the PS3

shadow1Gamers with large hands have suffered with the Playstation dual-shock-style controller for more than 10 years. Ever since the Xbox first appeared on the scene, with its comfortable, ergonomic controller, Playstation gamers have longed for a crossover controller that features the analog-stick layout the Xbox uses. Well, the wait is finally over. The DreamGear Shadow is a third-party wireless gamepad for the PS3 which features the asymmetrical Xbox-type analog-stick orientation, on a pad with a slightly grippy rubberized texture, and with nicely curved trigger buttons to boot. With an MSRP of $60, some desperate PS3 players will probably be able to forgive the fact that the Shadow requires a USB dongle for connectivity.

Gametrak Freedom, the first Cross-platform Motion Controller

pdp-gametrakDemonstrating their motion controller that will, eventually, work with both the PS3 and Xbox 360, Performance Designed Products (PDP) showed off the benefits of their Wiimote-esque motion controller with the Xbox game that the company will bundle with the first version of the product, Squeeballs Party. The game, which requires you to put all kinds of toys through a series of torture tests, demands a high level of accuracy, which is exactly what the Gametrak Freedom is designed to do.

The controller uses ultrasonic pulses, instead of infrared light beams, and can reportedly determine not only the direction the controller is pointing, but the distance from the screen, to a level of precision not possible with infrared controllers. It remains to be seen whether the games designed to take advantage of controllers such as these will appear on these platforms

Nyko’s Wand, and a planned keyboard for the Wii (a Wii-board?)

wii-actionpackNyko spent some time letting gamers get some target practice with its Wand controller Action Pack, a bundle of the Wand and a gun attachment. The Wand is a lighter, slimmer Wiimote replacement with a feature Nyko calls Trans-Port. The Trans-Port, three additional copper contacts adjacent to the accessory port on the bottom of the controller, permits the Wand to send data or power to other devices connected to the unit.

wiikeyboardFor instance, the Trans-Port connectors permit the user to “cock” the “firing pin” on the plastic gun attachment as a more intuitive way to trigger the reload feature in shooting games. The Trans-Port will be used to power the upcoming Typepad — a full qwerty keyboard for the Wii–slated to appear by the end of 2009.


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3 Comments For This Post

  1. Laslo Says:

    I just tried the Dreamgear shadow controller out and its great. Perfect for people with large hands that had to “choke up” on the DS3.

  2. Sarah Says:

    Motion sensing controllers for PS3 and Xbox is interesting… I wonder what Nintendo thinks of this, a mere controller doing what their console does.

  3. thoams Says:

    how do i get one of these controllers

1 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. Nyko One-Ups Nintendo With Wii Wand+ Says:

    […] or Playstation 3 controller. That makes fertile ground for Nyko, whose third-party Wii Remotes, or Wands, feel just as mediocre for $10 […]