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The Sixaxis (trademarked SIXAXIS) is a wireless
gamepad A gamepad is a type of video game controller held in two hands, where the fingers (especially thumbs) are used to provide input. They are typically the main input device for video game consoles. Features Gamepads generally feature a set of ...
produced by
Sony , commonly stylized as SONY, is a Japanese Multinational corporation, multinational conglomerate (company), conglomerate corporation headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan. As a major technology company, it operates as one of the world's la ...
for their
PlayStation 3 The PlayStation 3 (PS3) is a home video game console developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment, Sony Computer Entertainment. The successor to the PlayStation 2, it is part of the PlayStation brand of consoles. It was first released on Novemb ...
video game console. It was introduced alongside the PlayStation 3 in 2006 and remained the console's official controller until 2008. The Sixaxis was succeeded by the
DualShock 3 The DualShock (originally Dual Shock; trademarked as DUALSHOCK or DUAL SHOCK; with the PlayStation 5 The PlayStation 5 (PS5) is a home video game console developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment. Announced as the successor to the PlayStat ...
, an updated version of the controller that, like the DualShock and DualShock 2 controllers, incorporates
haptic technology Haptic technology (also kinaesthetic communication or 3D touch) is technology that can create an experience of somatosensory system, touch by applying #Force feedback, forces, #Vibration, vibrations, or motions to the user. These technologies c ...
– also known as force feedback. A Sixaxis controller can also be used with Sony's PSP Go via Bluetooth after registering the controller on a PlayStation 3 console. The DualShock 3 was originally intended to be bundled with the PlayStation 3 in time for the console's launch. However, Sony was in the midst of appealing a decision from a 2004 lawsuit involving patent infringement claimed by Immersion. The two companies were at odds over the haptic feedback technology used in earlier PlayStation controllers. The legal battle led to a decision to remove the vibration capabilities from the PS3 controller's initial design, which became known as Sixaxis. The term "sixaxis" is also used to refer to the motion-sensing technology in PlayStation 3 controllers. It is a contraction of "six axis", which refers to the ability to sense motion in all axes of the
six degrees of freedom Six degrees of freedom (6DOF) refers to the six Degrees of freedom (mechanics), mechanical degrees of freedom of movement of a rigid body in three-dimensional space. Specifically, the body is free to change position (geometry), position as fo ...
. The name is a misnomer because there are only three axes: X, Y, and Z, which allows six
degrees of freedom Degrees of freedom (often abbreviated df or DOF) refers to the number of independent variable Dependent and independent variables are variables in mathematical modeling, statistical model A statistical model is a mathematical model that emb ...
(rotation about each axis and translation along each axis). It is also a
palindrome A palindrome is a word, palindromic number, number, phrase, or other sequence of symbols that reads the same backwards as forwards, such as the words ''madam'' or ''racecar'', the date and time ''11/11/11 11:11,'' and the sentence: "A man, a pla ...
.


History

At E3 2005,
Sony , commonly stylized as SONY, is a Japanese Multinational corporation, multinational conglomerate (company), conglomerate corporation headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan. As a major technology company, it operates as one of the world's la ...
showcased their "boomerang" design for the
PlayStation 3 The PlayStation 3 (PS3) is a home video game console developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment, Sony Computer Entertainment. The successor to the PlayStation 2, it is part of the PlayStation brand of consoles. It was first released on Novemb ...
's controller. Accompanied by much criticism, most of which were for its looks, this design was later abandoned. Sony later stated that the original controller "was very clearly designed as a design concept, and was never intended to be the final controller, despite what everybody said about it". At
E3 2006 E3 (short for Electronic Entertainment Expo or Electronic Entertainment Experience in 2021) is a Trade fair, trade event for the video game industry. The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) organizes and presents E3, which many video game ...
, Sony announced that the boomerang design had been replaced by the Sixaxis; a wireless, motion sensitive controller, similar in overall design to the earlier PlayStation
DualShock The DualShock (originally Dual Shock; trademarked as DUALSHOCK or DUAL SHOCK; with the PlayStation 5 version named DualSense) is a line of gamepads with Haptic technology, vibration-feedback and analog controls developed by Sony Interactive Enterta ...
controllers. The controller was bundled with all new systems from launch, until the introduction of the 80 GB (CECHKxx, CECHLxx & CECHMxx) model, which substituted the Sixaxis with the new DualShock 3 which added a vibration feature while retaining the design, features and functionality of the Sixaxis. The Sixaxis controller was later phased out and replaced by the DualShock 3 controller completely and is no longer being produced in any region. The Sixaxis survived longest in Europe, where the '' Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots'' PlayStation 3 bundle, released in summer of 2008, included a Sixaxis. In 2011, Sony announced that their new handheld, the
PlayStation Vita The PlayStation Vita (PS Vita, or Vita) is a handheld video game console developed and marketed by Sony Interactive Entertainment. It was first released in Japan on December 17, 2011, and in North America, Europe, and other international territo ...
, would have Sixaxis motion-sensing capabilities.


Features and design

A major feature of the Sixaxis controller, and from where its name is derived, is the ability to sense both
rotation Rotation, or spin, is the circular movement of an object around a ''axis of rotation, central axis''. A two-dimensional rotating object has only one possible central axis and can rotate in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. A t ...
al orientation and translational
acceleration In mechanics, acceleration is the Rate (mathematics), rate of change of the velocity of an object with respect to time. Accelerations are Euclidean vector, vector quantities (in that they have Magnitude (mathematics), magnitude and Direction ...
along all three-dimensional axes, providing
six degrees of freedom Six degrees of freedom (6DOF) refers to the six Degrees of freedom (mechanics), mechanical degrees of freedom of movement of a rigid body in three-dimensional space. Specifically, the body is free to change position (geometry), position as fo ...
. This became a matter of controversy, as the circumstances of the announcement, made less than eight months after
Nintendo is a Japanese Multinational corporation, multinational video game company headquartered in Kyoto, Japan. It develops video games and video game consoles. Nintendo was founded in 1889 as by craftsman Fusajiro Yamauchi and originally produce ...
revealed motion-sensing capabilities in its new game console controller (see
Wii Remote The Wii Remote, also known Colloquialism, colloquially as the Wiimote, is the primary game controller for Nintendo's Wii home video game console. An essential capability of the Wii Remote is its Motion controller, motion sensing capability, which ...
), led to speculation that the addition of motion-sensing was a late-stage decision by
Sony , commonly stylized as SONY, is a Japanese Multinational corporation, multinational conglomerate (company), conglomerate corporation headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan. As a major technology company, it operates as one of the world's la ...
to follow Nintendo's move. Further fueling the speculation was the fact that Warhawk was the only game shown at E3 that year which demonstrated the motion-sensing feature. Also, some comments from Incognito Entertainment, the developer behind Warhawk, said that it received development controllers with the motion-sensing feature only 10 days or so before E3. Developer Brian Upton from
Santa Monica Studio Santa Monica Studio is an American video game developer based in Los Angeles. A First-party developer, first-party studio for Sony Interactive Entertainment, it is best known for developing the ''God of War (franchise), God of War'' series. Th ...
later clarified that Incognito had been secretly working on the motion-sensing technology "for a while", but was also withheld a working controller until "the last few weeks before E3". The Sixaxis features finer analog sensitivity than the
DualShock 2 The DualShock (originally Dual Shock; trademarked as DUALSHOCK or DUAL SHOCK; with the PlayStation 5 version named DualSense) is a line of gamepads with Haptic technology, vibration-feedback and analog controls developed by Sony Interactive Enterta ...
, increased to 10-bit precision from the 8-bit precision of the DualShock 2. The controller also uses both analog and digital signals simultaneously at all times during gameplay. The frame beneath the L2 and R2 buttons has been omitted and these buttons have been made trigger-like, with the range of travel determining the degree of analog input rather than the range of pressure. In the place of the "Analog" mode button of previous Sony dual analog controllers (
Dual Analog The Dual Analog Controller (SCPH-1150 in Japan, SCPH-1180 in the United States, and SCPH-1180e in Europe) is Sony's first handheld analog controller for the PlayStation (console), PlayStation, and the predecessor to the DualShock. Its first off ...
,
DualShock The DualShock (originally Dual Shock; trademarked as DUALSHOCK or DUAL SHOCK; with the PlayStation 5 version named DualSense) is a line of gamepads with Haptic technology, vibration-feedback and analog controls developed by Sony Interactive Enterta ...
and
DualShock 2 The DualShock (originally Dual Shock; trademarked as DUALSHOCK or DUAL SHOCK; with the PlayStation 5 version named DualSense) is a line of gamepads with Haptic technology, vibration-feedback and analog controls developed by Sony Interactive Enterta ...
) is a jewel-like "PS button" with the PlayStation logo, which can be used to access the home menu or XMB (after system software version 2.40), switch controller inputs and turn the console or the controller on or off. It fulfills a similar function to the "Guide" button featured on Microsoft's
Xbox 360 controller The Xbox 360 controller is the primary game controller for Microsoft's Xbox 360 home video game console that was introduced at Electronic Entertainment Expo, E3 2005. The Xbox 360 controller comes in both wired and wireless versions. The Xbox Con ...
, or the "Home" button on the
Wii Remote The Wii Remote, also known Colloquialism, colloquially as the Wiimote, is the primary game controller for Nintendo's Wii home video game console. An essential capability of the Wii Remote is its Motion controller, motion sensing capability, which ...
.


Lack of vibration capability

Sony announced that because of the included motion sensors, the vibration feature of previous PlayStation controllers was removed, stating that the vibration would interfere with motion-sensing. This therefore made the PS3 wireless controller feel light to players accustomed to heavier controllers such as the
DualShock The DualShock (originally Dual Shock; trademarked as DUALSHOCK or DUAL SHOCK; with the PlayStation 5 version named DualSense) is a line of gamepads with Haptic technology, vibration-feedback and analog controls developed by Sony Interactive Enterta ...
. Haptics developer Immersion Corporation, which had successfully sued Sony for patent infringement, expressed skepticism of Sony's rationale, with company president Victor Viegas stating in an interview, "I don't believe it's a very difficult problem to solve, and Immersion has experts that would be happy to solve that problem for them", under the condition that Sony withdraw its appeal of the patent infringement ruling. The Wii Remote, another contemporary motion controller, was able to incorporate vibration. Immersion later emphasized compatibility with motion-sensing when introducing its next-generation vibration feedback technology, TouchSense. Subsequent statements from Sony were dismissive of the arguments from Immersion, with SCEA Senior VP of Marketing Peter Dille stating, "It seems like the folks at Immersion are looking to sort of negotiate through the press and try to make their case to us … we've talked about how there's a potential for that rumble to interfere with the Sixaxis controller." However, in a press release made some eight months later, Phil Harrison, Sony's president of worldwide studios, said he didn't see a need for Sony's controllers to have rumble noting that rumble was the "last generation feature" and that he thought "motion sensitivity is he next-generation feature" He added that rumble and other forms of feedback would continue to be valuable for certain types of games, but that it would likely come from third-party controllers. Sony later decided to include rumble functionality in their
DualShock 3 The DualShock (originally Dual Shock; trademarked as DUALSHOCK or DUAL SHOCK; with the PlayStation 5 The PlayStation 5 (PS5) is a home video game console developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment. Announced as the successor to the PlayStat ...
controller.


Wireless technology

In a change from previous PlayStation controllers, the Sixaxis features wireless connectivity based on the
Bluetooth Bluetooth is a short-range wireless technology standard that is used for exchanging data between fixed and mobile devices over short distances and building personal area networks (PANs). In the most widely used mode, transmission power is limit ...
standard. However, the Sixaxis lacks a Bluetooth "discovery mode", which is normally used for connecting to Bluetooth devices wirelessly, so a wired USB connection is required to set up the Sixaxis with the appropriate Bluetooth address before a wireless connection can be made. When used with the PSP Go, a PS3 is required to set up the Sixaxis. PlayStation 3 controllers are compatible with Bluetooth-equipped
Apple Macintosh The Mac (known as Macintosh until 1999) is a family of personal computers designed and marketed by Apple Inc., Apple Inc. Macs are known for their ease of use and minimalist designs, and are popular among students, creative professionals, and ...
computers, with no external software required. Workarounds have been created allowing the Sixaxis and DualShock 3 controllers to be used on PCs and Android devices despite this limitation, using custom software and Bluetooth drivers or in the case of Android, an app and
root In vascular plants, the roots are the plant organ, organs of a plant that are modified to provide anchorage for the plant and take in water and nutrients into the plant body, which allows plants to grow taller and faster. They are most often b ...
access Access may refer to: Companies and organizations * ACCESS (Australia), an Australian youth network * Access (credit card), a former credit card in the United Kingdom * Access Co., a Japanese software company * Access Healthcare, an Indian BPO ...
.


Power

The Sixaxis wireless controller features an internal 3.7  V
Li-ion battery A lithium-ion or Li-ion battery is a type of rechargeable battery which uses the reversible reduction of lithium ions to store energy. It is the predominant battery type used in portable consumer electronics and electric vehicles. It also ...
, which provides up to 30 hours of continuous gaming on a full charge. Third party replacement batteries are also available. The battery was originally not thought to be replaceable when a Sony spokesperson stated that the Sixaxis should operate for "many years before there's any degradation in terms of battery performance. When and if this happens, then of course Sony will be providing a service to exchange these items". Later, it was revealed that the Sixaxis came with instructions on how to remove the battery and that the battery was fully removable. The DualShock 3 also uses this battery. The Sixaxis can also draw power over a
USB Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an technical standard, industry standard that establishes specifications for cables, connectors and communication protocol, protocols for connection, communication and power supply (Interface (computing), interfa ...
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 will communicate with the console over the USB connection, rather than wirelessly. This also applies to the DualShock 3.


LEDs

On the top of the controller is a row of four numbered LEDs, which are used to identify and distinguish multiple wireless controllers. These are similar to the indicators found on the
Wii remote The Wii Remote, also known Colloquialism, colloquially as the Wiimote, is the primary game controller for Nintendo's Wii home video game console. An essential capability of the Wii Remote is its Motion controller, motion sensing capability, which ...
and the ring of light
Xbox 360 Controller The Xbox 360 controller is the primary game controller for Microsoft's Xbox 360 home video game console that was introduced at Electronic Entertainment Expo, E3 2005. The Xbox 360 controller comes in both wired and wireless versions. The Xbox Con ...
. Since the PlayStation 3 supports up to 7 controllers, but the controller only features 4 LEDs, controllers 5, 6 and 7 are represented as the sum of two other indicators (for example controller 5 is represented by illuminating indicators '4' and '1' at the same time, since 4+1=5). Sony also patented a technology to be able to track the motion of these LEDs with the PlayStation Eye camera for use alongside the PlayStation Move Controller. Though this was never utilised with the DualShock 3, its successor, the
DualShock 4 The DualShock (originally Dual Shock; trademarked as DUALSHOCK or DUAL SHOCK; with the PlayStation 5 version named DualSense) is a line of gamepads with Haptic technology, vibration-feedback and analog controls developed by Sony Interactive Enterta ...
, features a light bar used for motion tracking, as well as player identification.


See also

*
DualShock The DualShock (originally Dual Shock; trademarked as DUALSHOCK or DUAL SHOCK; with the PlayStation 5 version named DualSense) is a line of gamepads with Haptic technology, vibration-feedback and analog controls developed by Sony Interactive Enterta ...
**
DualShock 3 The DualShock (originally Dual Shock; trademarked as DUALSHOCK or DUAL SHOCK; with the PlayStation 5 The PlayStation 5 (PS5) is a home video game console developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment. Announced as the successor to the PlayStat ...
* Microsoft SideWinder Freestyle Pro *
PlayStation 3 The PlayStation 3 (PS3) is a home video game console developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment, Sony Computer Entertainment. The successor to the PlayStation 2, it is part of the PlayStation brand of consoles. It was first released on Novemb ...
*
PlayStation 3 accessories is a video game, video gaming brand that consists of five home video game consoles, two Handheld game console, handhelds, a Home theater PC, media center, and a smartphone, as well as an online service and multiple magazines. The brand is p ...
*
PlayStation Move is a Motion controller, motion game controller developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment. Initially released in 2010 for use with the PlayStation 3 home video game console, its compatibility was later expanded to its successor, the PlayStation ...
*
Xbox 360 controller The Xbox 360 controller is the primary game controller for Microsoft's Xbox 360 home video game console that was introduced at Electronic Entertainment Expo, E3 2005. The Xbox 360 controller comes in both wired and wireless versions. The Xbox Con ...
*
Wii Remote The Wii Remote, also known Colloquialism, colloquially as the Wiimote, is the primary game controller for Nintendo's Wii home video game console. An essential capability of the Wii Remote is its Motion controller, motion sensing capability, which ...


References


External links

{{PlayStation
Sixaxis Controller
PlayStation 3 accessories Game controllers Pointing devices Haptic technology es:Sixaxis ja:DUALSHOCK#SIXAXIS