Got a new Playstation 3 ?
With so many peripherals out there for the games consoles on the market today, I thought I would take a closer look at and give a small review of some of the kit I have added to my Playstation to enhance and improve my game playing time, or in some cases just to make it look a little better than it already does, if thatâ€™s at all possible. I mean, it already looks great sitting alongside your TV, how can it possibly look any better.
Lets have a look at some of this stuff and see whatâ€™s available and whether or not itâ€™s any good.
DUAL SHOCK Wireless Controller
The Dual Shock controller should definitely be the very first thing you upgrade on purchasing a PS3, should your bundle have not come packaged with one. Sure, aesthetically both controllers are identical, but the main difference of course between the Dual Shock and the stock controller is the vibration function. Almost every game released now supports the vibration function, be it an action game with the pad shaking in your hands as you fire your gunâ€™s or god forbid being on the receiving of those guns, or in a racing game where the pad jumps in your hands as you pile your top of the range super car in the wall. It just adds that little extra immersion to your gaming.
There are another couple of small things that are not initially noticeable, the first of which is weight and construction. The pad feels weightier and generally of better construction than the packaged controller, just feeling more solid and comfortable in the hands.
The other small thing that I noticed was the fact that the analogue sticks offered a touch more resistance. It is a small thing but it is something you notice on initially picking up the Dual Shock pad after having used the standard controller.
If you have a PS3 or plan on getting one seriously think about picking one of these up also. Use the standard controller for when you have friends over and make sure you use the Dual Shock Pad instead of them.
SONYâ€™S BLUETOOTH WIRELESS HEADSET
I have spoken before about headsets on the forum here, so I wont go too much into my initial thoughts on headsets other than the fact that I hadnâ€™t owned one for a while after gaming online using both a PC and Playstation. This was due to the fact that, having heard the majority of the conversations over voice chat, they were the last thing I wanted to take part in. But certain circumstances led me to purchasing one and to ensure compatibility, I did what I normally do and went with Sony’s official headset.
This being my first Bluetooth headset and therefore I donâ€™t really have anything to compare it too, I can only tell you what I think of it. Wearing the headset, which can be worn on either left or right ear by removing the ear clip and reattaching too suit the person using it, you will find that the headset is so comfortable and unobtrusive that you can forget that you are wearing it.
Not only is the comfort level high but all of the controls on the mic are nicely laid out and easy to use, with two separate volume controls, rather than a toggle switch as I have seen on many others, with a button on the top for raising and one on the underside for lowering the volume. Other than the power button, the only other control is a very easy to turn on and off mute button, perfect for when things are getting a little bit hectic in or out of game.
In general, I have had very few problems with this headset and the small problems I have encountered are easily fixed, the main one being that on occasion the headset will lose itâ€™s Bluetooth connection too my console. Itâ€™s very easily fixed by popping into system settings and re-establishing the connection. It can be annoying when you are in a heated moment mid game but again nothing major to worry about.
With the number of console games being released with multiplayer modes increasing all the time, a headset is a very worthy purchase for keeping in contact with team mates. The only problem with a headset is that you do have to occasionally put up with loudmouthed obnoxious people in game, but then again most games do come with the option to mute individual players which is always welcome.
GIOTECK REAL TRIGGERS FOR PS3
These little lumps of moulded plastic are without a doubt the cheapest of all the peripherals I have personally added to my controllers. Without these attached to your controller you will notice that the R2 and L2 shoulder buttons curve in towards the pad meaning that when you use these two buttons your fingers can occasionally slip off, or at least feel like they are about too.
With these simple little bits of plastic, which easily clip onto the shoulder buttons in question, they now curve away from the pads rather than towards. Not only are they now far more comfortable, with forefinger resting on the curve of the buttons, but they also give much more control over whatever action they are controlling in game. They are especially handy in driving games, if mapped out to have L2 and R2 as your brake and accelerator.
Even if you do not think the unmodified buttons are a problem, I would guarantee that the majority of people on trying these triggers, would never want to remove them again as your fingers quickly adjust too the change and then feel totally natural. It really does make me wonder why Sony did not design the pad with this in mind in the first place.
There is only one downside in my opinion to this product and it only effects you if you, like me, can be clumsy at times and you manage to drop you pad. Because the triggers are clip on they have a tendency to ping off and they can travel quite the distance, leaving you scrabbling around on the ground searching for them. At only Â£3 for a set of these, you really cant go wrong.
A keyboard or a smaller keypad, such as Sony’s own, which is the one I use, is ideal for those that send a lot of long text based messages over the PS3, or even communicating in certain games or activities such as Playstation Home. Keyboards connect to the PS3 via Bluetooth, so any Bluetooth keyboard will do the job, even the full sized keyboards that are more often used with a PC. Sony’s own keypad clips neatly onto your controller and does not get in the way.
Typing on this pad can be likened to typing on a Blackberry. Yes, the keys are small, but after time it becomes second nature. A couple of really nice features on this pad are the two buttons set below the qwerty layout keyboard. One takes you directly to your friends list and the other to your message box, which can be very handy for quickly replying to messages and such.
The problem with keyboards, I have found, is that once you have a headset a lot of the time you used to spend typing out text messages is pointless when you can say what needs to be said with your voice. I personally have found that I use my keypad less and less because of this and when I do need to send a text message itâ€™s usually so short itâ€™s just as easy using your controller to do so.
A keyboard is a nice addition to your console but what you need to ask yourself before buying one is, with a headset making it so much easier to keep in contact with your fellow gamers, do I really need one. If you prefer not too use voice chat for some reason then I would say definitely.
MADCATZ CONTROLLER FACEPLATES
The final item in this list serves no practical use whatsoever when it comes to improving your gaming, but boy it does make your game pad look pretty. Madcatz do some great lines in plastic clip on and decal faceplates for both controllers and consoles. If you donâ€™t want that plain black finish then there is a great selection out there to customize your controllers and console.
The only downside to the plastic clip on faceplates is a small one. With the faceplate fitted to your game pad it gives a bit of a lip around the face buttons on the pad which makes hitting the buttons feel a little different. But if you stick with it, like many other things in life, you grow accustomed to the change so much so that it feels strange when you remove the faceplate.
The faceplates are a nice way to personalize and give your console and controllers a unique look.
Please feel free to comment on and discuss this article on the site and forum, I am always interested to hear what others think of my opinions.