Unpopular Opinion: Playstation 3 controllers

Jul 1, 2013


Disclaimer:  This is my own opinion and may not be the opinion of Geeks With Wives or any of the staff…in fact, they all may call me nuts for even putting this to print.

I am a fan of the Playstation 3 controllers.  I am pluralizing this because I enjoyed the Sixaxis controller, the Dualshock 3 and the Mad Catz versions of the controllers.  I like these controllers more than the Xbox controller.  Ok, before you decide I’m just nuts and move on to other articles, allow me to try to make my case.

I like the smaller format of the controller.  I am not the guy from the burger commercials with the small hands.  My hands are normal size.  In fact, they may be slightly on the larger side.  I find the location of all the buttons relatively close together more convenient.  When having to hit an unusual combo to beat that difficult part, I don’t have to contort my hands in a painful, unusual manner.

The symmetry of the buttons is a good thing.  This gives my brain one less thing to think about during gameplay.  The D-pad and select button are the same height and distance from my left thumb as the shape buttons and start button are from my right thumb.  The thumb sticks are at the same place in symmetry.  No thinking of what buttons are where.  Just pick up the controller and go.

Now enough with the PS3 love.  Allow me to focus on direct comparisons between PS3 controller and Xbox.

Xbox Trigger              PS3 Shoulder  Buttons

First things first, everyone immediately goes to the Xbox’s trigger button versus PS3’s convex L2/R2 buttons.  Why?  The R2/L2 buttons give me some control over how hard I push the button.  The same as the trigger.  Does having more of an actual trigger shape bring you more into the experience?  I don’t feel any more into a game based on this.  Do your fingers slip on the PS3 buttons?  There is texture to  these buttons.  My fingers do not slip on these buttons at all.  To call the trigger a positive for the xbox is not a strong case.


xbox home buttonThe back and next buttons on the xbox controller are incredibly close to the “X box” button.  I have accidentally hit this button an uncountable amount when I was only trying to hit back or next.  The “PS” button is lower than the select and start buttons.  I have never hit it by mistake.

While there are aftermarket solutions for the next issue, my PS3 controller came out the box with a rechargeable option.  If my xbox controller goes dead, I have to dig through my junk drawers in hopes of finding batteries.

Then there is the fact that I simply appreciate the lighter controller.  It’s easier for me to hold and use for long periods of time.


Xbox UglyNow please note, I am not being a complete Playstation homer.  There are a few drawbacks to the PS3 controller as well.  For example, the stick controls for the PS3 are actually more slippery due to the convex shape.  I am also aware that a number of these issues, for both consoles, have been addressed in the next generation controllers.  I simply feel that the Playstation controllers have an unfairly negative reputation.

Well, now that you have listened to the highly opinionated rant, let me know what you think.  Respond in the comments below.  I’d be more than happy to read YOUR opinion as well.