The DualShock (originally Dual Shock; trademarked as DUALSHOCK or DUAL SHOCK) is a line of gamepads with vibration-feedback developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment for PlayStation consoles and devices. The DualShock was introduced in Japan in late 1997 and was launched in the North American market in May 1998. First introduced as a secondary peripheral for the original PlayStation, an updated version of the PlayStation console included the controller. Sony subsequently phased out the digital controller that was originally included with the console, as well as the Sony Dual Analog Controller. As of 2008[update], over 28 million DualShock controllers have been sold under the brand's name, excluding bundled controllers.
Original grey version of the DualShock controller
|Developer||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Type||Video game controller|
|Generation||Fifth generation era|
|Retail availability||November 20, 1997|
|Connectivity||PlayStation controller port|
The DualShock Analog Controller (SCPH-1200), a controller capable of providing vibration feedback, was based on the onscreen actions taking place in the game (if the game supports it), as well as analog input through two analog sticks. Its 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.
The DualShock, like its predecessor the Dual Analog controller, has two analog sticks. Unlike the earlier controller, the DualShock's sticks feature textured rubber grips other than the smooth plastic tips with recessed grooves found on the Dual Analog controller. The DualShock also features two additional buttons when compared to the Dual Analog, L3 and R3, which are triggered by depressing the analog sticks. Other differences between Dual Analog and the DualShock include the longer grips/handles and slightly different L2/R2 buttons.
The DualShock 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. In 2000, when the PSone slim was released with the slightly redesigned DualShock Controller (SCPH-110), similar to the first one, except its color is white instead of gray, in the middle of the controller has the "PSone" logo, instead of the "PlayStation" naming, most of the buttons, analog sticks and the cord are brighter than the previous one, and the connector is more of a semi-circle shape than having round edge, it also came in colors.
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 controller
|Developer||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Type||Video game controller|
|Generation||Sixth generation era|
|Connectivity||PlayStation (2) controller port|
|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 fewer screw. A blue DualShock 2 logo was added to the top of the controller, the connector is more square 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).
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 original PlayStation is forward compatible with the DualShock 2. The PlayStation 3 is backward compatible with the DualShock 2 by the use of third party peripherals, which connect the controller to the console via a USB port. However, the DualShock 2 will not work properly with games that require Sixaxis functionality, such as Heavy Rain.
DualShock 3 controller
|Developer||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Type||Video game controller|
|Generation||Seventh generation era|
|Connectivity||USB, Bluetooth (PS3 and PSP Go)|
|Power||Lithium-ion battery (3.7 V 300 mA or 5.0 V 500 mA), USB host powered|
|Dimensions||160 mm × 97 mm × 55 mm
6.20 in × 3.78 in × 2.20 in
|Predecessor||Sixaxis, DualShock 2|
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. 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).
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 with a tentatively capable of storing 570 mAh, 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, 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.
Available colors and variations
The DualShock 3 has been made available in various colors: black, satin silver, ceramic white, classic white, metallic blue, deep red, pink, "jungle green" (olive), "candy blue" (light blue), "urban camouflage" (three-color digital camouflage), "crimson red" (transparent red) and "cosmic blue" (transparent blue). Not all colors have been made available in all markets or at all times.
A limited edition baseball themed DualShock 3 controller was released on March 8, 2011 to coincide with the release of MLB 11: The Show. Another color, "Metallic Gold", became available in June 2012 as a limited edition in Europe, while in North America it is sold exclusively in GameStop from October 2012. 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 and in the Americas as a game and controller bundle. On November 1, 2013 Sony announced a new see-through "Crystal" model of the DualShock 3 controller in Japan.
DualShock 4 controller
|Developer||Sony Interactive Entertainment|
|Type||Video game controller|
|Generation||Eighth generation era|
|Connectivity||microUSB (Micro-B) 2.0, Bluetooth v2.1+EDR, 3.5mm TRRS (CTIA) stereo headset jack, extension port|
|Power||3.7 V 1000 mAh Li-ion battery, USB 3.0 host powered|
|Dimensions||162 mm × 52 mm × 98 mm
6.4 in × 2.0 in × 3.9 in
The DualShock 4 (CUH-ZCT1) is 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. The controller supports motion detection via a three-axis gyroscope and three-axis accelerometer and vibration. It includes a non-removable, rechargeable 3.7 V, 1000 mAh lithium-ion battery, which can be charged while the system is in rest mode. It weighs 210 g (7.4 oz) and has dimensions of 162 mm × 52 mm × 98 mm (6.4 in × 2.0 in × 3.9 in). It also lacks a Sony logo on the front due to the Touchpad in its place.
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. (Example: In Grand Theft Auto V when the player is wanted by police the light bar flashes red & blue). It is also used in conjunction with the PlayStation Camera to judge the positions and movements of multiple players. The light bar was developed for PlayStation VR.
The controller features several input and output connectors: a stereo headset jack (3.5 mm CTIA TRRS connector), a micro-B USB port and an extension port. It can be charged via microUSB, a dedicated charging station, or the console (even when the console is off). It also includes a mono speaker, like the Wii Remote, and is the second major controller in video game history to have such feature.
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. 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. A dedicated SHARE button will allow players to upload videos from their gameplay experiences. The joysticks and triggers have been redesigned based on developer input, with the ridged surface of the joysticks now featuring an outer ring surrounding the convex dome caps.
Despite innovations, the controller has a few regressions from the DualShock 3. Pressure sensitivity has been removed from all buttons except L2 and R2. This is likely due to the fact that most games did not utilize these buttons as well as due to it not being used on competitors controllers (including Wii U and Xbox One).
The PlayStation 3 is forward compatible with the DualShock 4, originally only via a microUSB cable. Firmware update 4.60 for the PS3 added wireless connectivity, however motion and vibration functions are not supported. As the START and SELECT buttons are no longer present, the OPTIONS and SHARE buttons respectively replace them.
Version issues and modifications
Some initially released DualShock 4's (estimated at around 10%) had wear issues with the rubber surface on the left analogue stick which exhibited excessive wear or tearing after short term use. In January 2014 Sony issued a statement acknowledging an issue on a small percentage of controllers.
In early September 2016, Sony confirmed a second generation of DualShock 4 controllers, known as the DualShock V2 (CUH-ZCT2U), which hosts slight improvements over the original DualShock 4, including USB communication, a longer battery life and the lightbar can be seen from the top of the touchpad. It released on September 15, 2016.
In the initial controller version the light bar was a permanently illuminated bright colored light. The potential for light pollution in darkened playing rooms, as well as an interest in extending battery life led to inquiries as whether the light bar could be switched off by users when not required in game; Sony executive Shuhei Yoshida initially responded in the negative (July 2013), though videogame developers had the option to disable the light in game. In early 2014, the company announced that a future update would allow the light bar to be dimmed. (Enabled by system update 1.70 of April 2014.)
Available colors and variations
The original DualShock 4 (CUH-ZCT1) is available in Jet Black, Glacier White, Urban Camouflage, Wave Blue (black back), Magma Red (black back), Gold, Silver, Steel Black and Crystal.
The newer DualShock 4 (CUH-ZCT2U) is currently available in Jet Black, Green Camouflage, Wave Blue (blue back), Magma Red (red back), and Silver.
There were also DualShock 4 that were exclusive to console bundles - like the 20th Anniversary (which was also released separately with slight modifications), Gun Metal, Batman: Arkham Knight, Metal Gear Solid V, The Black Ops 3 (which was also released separately), Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (which was also released separately) and Star Wars Battlefront respectively.
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. Sony initially reported that the Sixaxis had received this award before issuing a correction.
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