If you are a bigger guy, or at least have big hands, you might find that the PS3 controller can really start to be a bother on those longer gaming sessions. Recently I purchased MotorStorm for PS3. I do love the game, this isn’t a slam on the game in particular, but it has really given me a chance to find the flaws in the current controller.
If you read regularly, you already know I think the controller is too light. In this game, more flaws come to view.
In the MotorStorm game, the two shoulder triggers are used for gas and brake. This is where I really start to have problems. Since the controller is so small, the two hand hold portions of the controller does not reach into my palms. This can be a big problem when you are really trying to slam on the gas and go, it pushes the controller back into your hand unless you really squeeze hard on it. when you squeeze on it pretty hard you can actually hear it creak. The seams of the plastic will actually make noise. I showed the PS3 and Xbox 360 controller in the above photo so I can show the size difference, it doesn’t look very obvious does it?
Now look at the controller in my hands. Notice how my fingers curl completely around the bottom of the controller. The Analog sticks seem to be a little low, and the controller itself is kind of shoved up in to the top of my hand leaving the bottoms of my hands holding nothing but air. This doesn’t sound like a huge problem until we revisit how hard I mentioned you have to squeeze the controller to keep the shoulder buttons from pushing it back into your hand.
I know this may all sound pretty nit picky to most people, but it really is a problem. I played MotorStorm for about an hour last night and my hands actually did hurt.
Now to be fair I will admit I really like the Xbox 360 controller. It’s heavier, feels more substantial, more solid and just feels better to me. Notice in this photo how for the same type of game the left analog stick, usually used for steering, is right under my thumb. Also notice how the bottom of the controller completely fills out my hand giving me a firm grip, without having to squeeze it with any amount of pressure. Also notice how my fingers comfortably wrap around it and I can press the shoulder buttons without my fingers arching to the buttons. Sure, this all sounds pretty silly to a casual gamer, but if you are playing for hours, it can really make a difference.
I know, I know, go ride a bike Jason, get out and do something other than play games for hours. Yea, I got that part, but the point is that the controller seems to possibly be designed for much smaller hands than the usual American might have. I am sure there is something to be said to that, hoping nobody bitches at me for racial generalization, but Japanese people are a bit more, well, Wii
I really like my PS3 lately, but I am definitely on the prowl for a new controller. I hope the next one is bigger and heavier….and maybe has rumble?