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Revision as of 14:54, 18 December 2009 by Funny Drunk Packie (talk) (SIXAXIS is GTA IV)
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The final Sixaxis Design

The Sixaxis Wireless Controller is the official wireless controller for the Sony PlayStation 3. It can be used for specific fuctions in Grand Theft Auto IV.


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At 2005, Sony showcased their "boomerang" design. Sony 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." This design was abandoned, possibly due to negative public feeling about it, and was replaced by an upgraded wireless version of the PlayStation 2's DualShock 2 at E3 2006 - the SIXAXIS. Until Sony announced the name in early October, reviewers had been calling the controller "DualShake."

Feature and Design Changes

The SIXAXIS can operate wirelessly via Bluetooth; up to 7 simultaneous controllers are supported natively by the console.

A major feature of the controller is the ability to sense both rotational orientation and translational acceleration along all three dimensional axes, providing a full six degrees of freedom. This became a matter of controversy, as the circumstances of the announcement, made less than eight months after Nintendo revealed motion-sensing capabilities in its new game console controller, with only one game shown at E3 to demonstrate the motion-sensing feature, led to speculation that the addition of motion-sensing was a late-stage decision by Sony to follow Nintendo's move. Further fueling the speculation were comments from Incognito Entertainment, the developer behind the motion-sensing PlayStation 3 game, Warhawk, that it only received development controllers with the motion-sensing feature 10 days or so before E3. Developer Brian Upton from SCE Studios Santa Monica later clarified that the Incognito had been secretly working on the motion-sensing technology "for a while", but did not receive a working controller until "the last few weeks before E3".

The SIXAXIS features finer analog sensitivity than the DualShock 2, increased to 10-bit precision from the 8-bit precision of the DualShock 2. The controller also features more trigger-like R2 and L2 buttons, with an increased range of depression. In the place of the "Analog" mode button switch of previous dual analog models is a jewel-like "PS button" with the PlayStation logo, which can be used to access the home menu and turn the console on or off. The PS button can be customized to light up if the controller is modified. A row of four numbered LED port indicators are on the top of the controller, to identify and distinguish multiple wireless controllers and can also display the remaining battery charge.

Removal of Vibration Capability

Sony announced that because of the included motion sensors, the vibration feature of previous PlayStation controllers was removed, reasoning that the vibration would interfere with motion-sensing. Some have disputed Sony's reasoning, citing that the Wii Remote controller has both motion sensing and vibration capability.

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 judgment. Immersion later emphasized compatibility with motion-sensing when introducing its next-generation vibration feedback technology.

According to Sony, as a result of removing force feedback, PlayStation 3 games do not support force-feedback in steering wheel controllers: "All PS3 games are programmed for the SIXAXIS which doesn't have force feedback, therefore the force feedback in the wheels won't be recognized." This caused backlashes from some gamers, arguing that rumbling found in the DualShock controller and force feedback are not the same thing.

In March 2007, Sony announced that both companies have agreed to end their patent litigation, and have entered a business agreement to explore using Immersion technology, and are considering using it in a future controller.

The DualShock 3 controller, which is identical to the SIXAXIS but it also offers a vibration feature. The DS3 offers the same vibration capabilities as the DS2, but it also vibrates in relation to what caused the vibration, for example, softly for a small crash by full for a larger crash


In PS3 version of GTA IV there is an option in the controller tab of the pause menu to turn on SIXAXIS. SIXAXIS can be used for a number of things, and each one can be turned on and off separately, so the player can use SIXAXIS for what they want to use it for. SIXAXIS is turned off by default. While SIXAXIS is turned on, the button associated with the same action still work, so if the player is in trouble they can just hold the controller still and use the buttons. Going to the phone and choosing "SIXAXIS Tutorial" will take the player to the airport and the game gives the player instructions for use of each SIXAXIS feature, and the player must complete a simple objective for each. This SIXAXIS tutorial is not available during a mission.

The SISAXIS feature can be used for:

  • Reloading a weapon
  • Steering a bike
  • Steering a boat
  • Piloting a helicopter