The DualShock (originally Dual Shock; trademarked as DUALSHOCK or DUAL SHOCK) is a line of gamepads with vibration-feedback and analog controls developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment for the PlayStation family of systems.[1] The DualShock was introduced in Japan in November 1997 and launched in the North American market in May 1998. First introduced as a secondary peripheral for the original PlayStation, an updated version of the PlayStation console included the controller. Sony subsequently phased out the digital controller that was originally included with the console, as well as the Sony Dual Analog Controller. As of 2008, over 28 million DualShock controllers have been sold under the brand's name, excluding bundled controllers.[2]


Original grey version of the DualShock controller
DeveloperSony Computer Entertainment
TypeVideo game controller
GenerationFifth generation era
LifespanNovember 20, 1997[3]
InputController Port
ConnectivityPlayStation (2) controller port
  • 157 mm × 95 mm × 55 mm
  • 6.18 in × 3.74 in × 2.16 in


  • 2 m
  • 6.56 ft
PredecessorDual Analog
SuccessorDualShock 2

The DualShock Analog Controller (SCPH-1200), a controller capable of providing vibration feedback, was based on the onscreen actions taking place in the game (if the game supports it), as well as analog input through two analog sticks. Its name derives from its use of two (dual) vibration motors (shock). These motors are housed within the handles of the controller, with the left one being larger and more powerful than the one on the right, so as to allow for varying levels of vibration. The DualShock differs from the Nintendo 64's Rumble Pak in this respect as the Rumble Pak only uses a single motor. The Rumble Pak also uses batteries to power the vibration function while all corded varieties of the DualShock use power supplied by the PlayStation. (However, some third party DualShock-compatible controllers use batteries instead of the PlayStation's power supply.) The rumble feature of the DualShock is similar to the one featured on the first edition of the Japanese Dual Analog Controller, a feature that was removed shortly after that controller was released.

The DualShock, like its predecessor the Dual Analog controller, has two analog sticks. Unlike the earlier controller, the DualShock's analog sticks feature textured rubber grips rather than the smooth plastic tips with recessed grooves found on the Dual Analog controller. Other differences between Dual Analog and the DualShock include the longer grips/handles and slightly different L2/R2 buttons. The Dual Analog controller also had an additional mode accessible by pressing the "Analog" button that provided compatibility with the PlayStation Analog Joystick which resulted in the analog indicator light turning green instead of red; this feature was removed in the DualShock.

The DualShock controller was widely supported; shortly after its launch most new titles, including Crash Bandicoot: Warped, Spyro the Dragon, and Tekken 3 included support for the vibration feature and dual analog sticks, while Capcom re-released Resident Evil: Director's Cut and Resident Evil 2 with support for the controller added to these newer versions. Some games designed for the Dual Analog's vibration capability, such as Porsche Challenge and Crash Bandicoot 2, also work. Many games took advantage of the presence of two motors to provide vibration effects in stereo including Gran Turismo and the PlayStation port of Quake II. Released in 1999, the PlayStation hit Ape Escape became the first game to explicitly require DualShock/Dual-Analog-type controllers, with its gameplay requiring the use of both analog sticks. In 2000, when the PS one (a remodeled version of the original PlayStation) was released with the slightly redesigned DualShock Controller (SCPH-110), similar to the first one, except its color is white instead of gray, in the middle of the controller has the "PS one" logo, instead of the "PlayStation" naming, most of the buttons, analog sticks and the cord are brighter than the previous one, and the connector is more of a semi-circle shape than having round edge, it also came in colors.

The DualShock is also compatible with the PlayStation 2, as they use the same connector and protocol. However, certain PS2 games that utilize the DualShock 2's analog buttons, such as The Bouncer, are not compatible with the DualShock. The DualShock is fully forwards compatible with the PlayStation 2 when that console is used to play PlayStation games.

DualShock 2

DualShock 2
DualShock 2 controller
DeveloperSony Computer Entertainment
TypeVideo game controller
GenerationSixth generation era
  • JP: March 4, 2000
  • NA: October 26, 2000
  • EU: November 24, 2000
  • AU: November 30, 2000
  • Analog sticks (8-bit precision)
  • 8× Pressure-sensitive buttons
    (, , , , L1, R1, L2, R2)
  • Pressure-sensitive directional buttons
  • 5× Digital buttons
    (Start, Select, "Analog", L3, R3)
ConnectivityPlayStation (2) controller port
  • 157 mm × 95 mm × 55 mm
  • 6.18 in × 3.74 in × 2.16 in


  • 2.4 m
  • 7.87 ft
SuccessorSixaxis, DualShock 3

When the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system was announced, the DualShock 2 Analog Controller (SCPH-10010) included with it was almost exactly the same externally as the previous DualShock analog controller. There were however a few minor cosmetic changes. It has different screw positioning and one fewer screw. A blue DualShock 2 logo was added to the top of the controller, the connector is more square than the DualShock, and both the cable and connector are black rather than grey. The standard controller is black (other colors came later), rather than grey as with the original DualShock. The analog sticks are also noticeably stiffer than on the original DualShock.

Internally, the DualShock 2 was lighter and all of the buttons (except for the Analog mode, start, select, L3 and R3 buttons) were readable as analog values (pressure-sensitive).[4]

The DualShock 2 has been made available in various colors: black, satin silver, ceramic white, slate grey, ocean blue, emerald green, crimson red, and candy pink.

The original PlayStation is forward compatible with the DualShock 2. The PlayStation 3 is backward compatible with the DualShock and DualShock 2 by the use of third party peripherals, which connect the controller to the console via a USB port. However, the DualShock and DualShock 2 will not work properly with games that require Sixaxis functionality, such as Heavy Rain.

DualShock 3

DualShock 3
DualShock 3 controller
DeveloperSony Computer Entertainment
TypeVideo game controller
GenerationSeventh generation era
ConnectivityUSB, Bluetooth (PS3 and PSP Go)
PowerLithium-ion battery (3.7 V 300 mA or 5.0 V 500 mA), USB host powered
Dimensions160 mm × 97 mm × 55 mm
6.20 in × 3.78 in × 2.20 in
Mass192 g
6.77 oz
PredecessorSixaxis, DualShock 2
SuccessorDualShock 4

Announced at the 2007 Tokyo Game Show, the DualShock 3 wireless controller (SCPH-98050/CECHZC2) is a gamepad for the PlayStation 3. It replaces the Sixaxis wireless controller originally released with earlier versions of the console. The DualShock 3 is nearly identical to the previous Sixaxis version but adds the haptic feedback – also known as force feedback – capabilities found in the DualShock and DualShock 2. Sony settled a patent infringement lawsuit with Immersion in March 2007 following a lengthy legal battle. The settlement cleared the way for incorporating the missing "rumble" feature that the Sixaxis lacked.[7] Both the vibration function and motion-sensing capabilities of the DualShock 3 can be used simultaneously without one interfering with the other. Like the Sixaxis, it also has a USB mini-B port for charging and can also be used on a PSP Go via Bluetooth, though the controller and the PSP Go must be registered using a PS3 console.

The DualShock 3 can be identified by its "DualShock 3" and "Sixaxis" markings. It also weighs 192 grams (6.8 oz), 40% more than its predecessor, the Sixaxis, which weighed only 137.1 grams (4.84 oz).

The rear markings indicate the original DualShock 3 draws up to 300 mA of current at 3.7 V for a power consumption of 1.11 W, an order of magnitude increase from the 30 mA of current at 3.7 V (0.111 W) listed on the Sixaxis. However, this current is not drawn constantly and is the maximum current when the rumble is active. Its main power source is an internal 3.7 V Li-ion battery with a tentatively capable of storing 570 mAh, which provides up to 30 hours of continuous gaming on a full charge. Third party replacement batteries are also available. Like the Sixaxis, the DualShock 3 comes with instructions on how to remove and replace the battery. The DualShock 3 can also draw power over a USB 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 communicates with the console through the USB cable, rather than Bluetooth.

Along with the release of the 'slim' model PS3, Sony released a new version of the DualShock 3 (A1) which uses 5.0 V at 500 mA while connected, but still contains a 3.7 V battery. This revision of the DualShock 3 does away with the additional plastic brackets between the L1/R1 buttons and the L2/R2 triggers (increasing controller rigidity), has indicator lights soldered directly to the board, and comes in slightly revised color schemes.

While the DualShock 3 is compatible with any standard USB mini-B cable and many USB chargers, official charging cables are available from Sony. These include an official cable, the USB 2.0 Cable Pack and a wall charger, the AC adapter charging kit. Any third-party USB charger used must act as a USB host device, rather than simply providing power over the appropriate pins, since both the Sixaxis and DualShock 3 require a host signal to "wake up" and begin charging.

A Sony representative confirmed on April 2, 2008 that the original Sixaxis controller would officially be discontinued with the release of the force-feedback enabled DualShock 3 in mid-April 2008. The Sixaxis was no longer produced after 2008, being dropped from stock by most retailers.[8]

Available colors and variations

The DualShock 3 has been made available in various colors: black, satin silver, ceramic white, classic white,[9] metallic blue, deep red,[10] pink,[11] "jungle green" (olive),[12] "candy blue" (light blue),[13] "urban camouflage" (three-color digital camouflage),[14] "crimson red" (transparent red) and "cosmic blue" (transparent blue).[15] Not all colors have been made available in all markets or at all times.

Additional colors have also been made available alongside limited edition consoles, including gun-metal grey[16] and "cloud black" (dark grey).[17]

A limited edition baseball themed DualShock 3 controller was released on March 8, 2011 to coincide with the release of MLB 11: The Show.[18] Another color, "Metallic Gold", became available in June 2012 as a limited edition in Europe,[19] while in North America it is sold exclusively in GameStop from October 2012.[20][21] A limited edition God of War: Ascension controller is available in the UK as part of a console bundle to coincide with the launch of the game[22] and in the Americas as a game and controller bundle. On November 1, 2013 Sony announced a new see-through "Crystal" model of the DualShock 3 controller in Japan.[23]

DualShock 4

DualShock 4
DualShock 4 controller
DeveloperSony Interactive Entertainment
TypeVideo game controller
GenerationEighth generation era
  • NA: November 15, 2013
  • EU: November 29, 2013
  • JP: February 22, 2014
ConnectivitymicroUSB (Micro-B) 2.0, Bluetooth v2.1+EDR,[25] 3.5mm TRRS (OMTP) stereo headset jack, extension port
Power3.7 V 1000 mAh Li-ion battery,[25] USB 3.0 host powered
Dimensions162 mm × 52 mm × 98 mm[25]
6.4 in × 2.0 in × 3.9 in
Mass210 g[25]
7.4 oz
PredecessorDualShock 3

The DualShock 4 (CUH-ZCT1) is the PlayStation 4's controller. It is similar to the DualShock 3, with several new features. One new feature is a built-in two-point capacitive touch pad on the front of the controller, which can be clicked.[25] The controller supports motion detection via a three-axis gyroscope and three-axis accelerometer and vibration.[25] It includes a non-removable,[26] rechargeable 3.7 V, 1000 mAh lithium-ion battery, which can be charged while the system is in rest mode. It weighs 210 g (7.4 oz) and has dimensions of 162 mm × 52 mm × 98 mm (6.4 in × 2.0 in × 3.9 in).[26] It also lacks a Sony logo on the front due to the Touchpad in its place.

The top of the gamepad features a light bar with three LEDs that illuminate in different colors, which can be used to identify players by matching the colors of the characters they are controlling in a game, or to provide enhanced feedback or immersion by changing patterns or colors in reaction to gameplay. (Example: In Grand Theft Auto V when the player is wanted by the police the light bar flashes red & blue).[27][28] It is also used in conjunction with the PlayStation Camera to judge the positions and movements of multiple players.[27] The light bar was developed for PlayStation VR.[29]

The controller features several input and output connectors: a stereo headset jack (3.5 mm OMTP TRRS connector), a micro-USB port and an extension port.[25] It can be charged via microUSB, a dedicated charging station, or the console (even when the console is off).[25] It also includes a mono speaker, like the Wii Remote, and is the second major controller in video game history to have such feature.[25]

The DualShock 4 features the following buttons: PS button, SHARE button, OPTIONS button, directional buttons, action buttons (triangle, circle, cross, square), shoulder buttons (R1/L1), triggers (R2/L2), analog stick click buttons (L3/R3) and a touch pad click button.[25] These mark several changes from the DualShock 3 and other previous PlayStation controllers. The START and SELECT buttons have been merged into a single OPTIONS button.[25][26] A dedicated SHARE button allows players to upload screenshots and videos from their gameplay experiences.[25] The joysticks and triggers have been redesigned based on developer input,[25] with the ridged surface of the joysticks now featuring an outer ring surrounding the convex dome caps.

The DualShock 4's buttons differ slightly in functionality from the DualShock 3. Only the L1, L2, R1 and R2 buttons are pressure-sensitive, a change from the functionality of the DualShock 2 and 3. This is likely due to the fact that most games did not utilize these buttons as well as due to it not being used on competitors' controllers (including Wii U and Xbox One).

The PlayStation 3 is forward compatible with the DualShock 4 (originally only via a microUSB cable). Firmware update 4.60 for the PS3 added wireless connectivity; however, motion and vibration functions are not supported.[30] As the START and SELECT buttons are no longer present, the OPTIONS and SHARE buttons respectively replace them.

Version issues and modifications

Sony initially released DualShock 4's (estimated at around 10%) had wear issues with the rubber surface on the left analog stick, which exhibited excessive wear or tearing after short-term use. In January 2014, Sony issued a statement acknowledging an issue on a small percentage of controllers.[31]

In early September 2016, Sony confirmed a second generation of DualShock 4 controllers, known as the DualShock V2 (CUH-ZCT2), which hosts slight improvements over the original DualShock 4, including USB communication, a longer battery life and the ability to see the light bar from the top of the touchpad. It released on September 15, 2016.[32]

In the initial controller version, the light bar was a permanently illuminated, bright-colored light. The potential for light pollution in darkened playing rooms as well as an interest in extending battery life led to inquiries as to whether the light bar could be switched off by users when not required in game; Sony executive Shuhei Yoshida initially responded in the negative (July 2013),[33][34] though videogame developers had the option to disable the light in game.[35] In early 2014, the company announced that a future update would allow the light bar to be dimmed.[36] (Enabled by system update 1.70 of April 2014.[37])

Available colors and variations

The original DualShock 4 (CUH-ZCT1) is available in Jet Black, Glacier White, Urban Camouflage, Wave Blue (black back), Magma Red (black back), Gold, Silver and Steel Black.[38]

The newer DualShock 4 (CUH-ZCT2) is currently available in Jet Black, Glacier White, Green Camouflage, Blue Camouflage, Wave Blue (blue back), Magma Red (red back), Gold, Silver, Sunset Orange, Crystal, Red Crystal, Blue Crystal, Steel Black, Midnight Blue,[39] Metallic Copper, Alpine Green and Berry Blue.

There were also DualShock 4's that were exclusive (at least initially) to console bundles, like the 20th Anniversary Edition, Gun Metal, Batman: Arkham Knight, Metal Gear Solid V, Call of Duty: Black Ops III,[40] Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, Star Wars Battlefront, Monster Hunter World, God of War, Gran Turismo Sport, Call of Duty: World War II, the Days of Play, Marvel's Spider-Man, Death Stranding,[41] and the 500 Million Limited Edition PS4 Pro.

Emmy Award

The DualShock controller was given an Emmy Award for "Peripheral Development and Technological Impact of Video Game Controllers" by The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences on January 8, 2007.[42] Sony initially reported that the Sixaxis had received this award[43] before issuing a correction.[44]

See also


  1. Morell, Chris (March 20, 2008). "Feature: Ready to Rumble: PS3 DualShock 3 vs. Sixaxis". GamePro. Archived from the original on August 12, 2008. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
  2. "DualShock 3 Wireless Controller available for PlayStation 3 this summer". Next-Gen.biz. 2008-07-01. Retrieved 2008-07-01.
  3. "SCPH". maru-chang.org.
  4. Zdyrko, Dave (September 27, 2001). "Dual Shock 2 Review". IGN. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
  5. Yam, Marcus (April 3, 2008). "SIXAXIS PS3 Controller Discontinued; DualShock 3 is Here". DailyTech. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
  6. "DUALSHOCK3 Wireless Controller available for PLAYSTATION3 this summer". Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. 2008-06-30. Archived from the original on 2008-07-11. Retrieved 2008-06-30.
  7. Cohen, Peter (February 26, 2008). "PS3 DualShock 3 controller coming in April". Macworld. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
  8. Cavalli, Earnest (April 2, 2008). "Sixaxis Discontinued in Favor of DualShock 3". Wired. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
  9. Hollister, Sean (September 5, 2010). "'Classic White' DualShock 3 appears at e-tail, dreaming of an alabaster console". Engadget. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
  10. Miller, Paul (July 28, 2009). "Sony's red and blue DualShock 3 controllers land in October, love this country". Engadget. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
  11. McElroy, Griffin (September 10, 2010). "Pink DualShock 3 controller coming September 21". Engadget. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
  12. "Amazon.com: DualShock 3 Controller - Jungle Green: Video Games". Retrieved December 26, 2010.
  13. "Japan: New PS3 controller colour, peripherals announced". CVG. March 1, 2011. Retrieved March 1, 2011.
  14. "DUALSHOCK®3 – Urban Camouflage - PlayStation®3 Accessories". Sony. Retrieved September 13, 2011.
  15. "'Sonic Blue' DualShock 3 at Wal-Mart".
  16. "Gunmetal Grey PS3 Coming to North America". Shacknews. April 10, 2008. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
  17. North, Dale (January 19, 2009). "Final Fantasy VII Advent Children PS3 bundle is real". Destructoid. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
  18. "Amazon.com: PS3 DualShock 3 Wireless Controller - MLB 11 The Show Edition: Video Games". Retrieved December 26, 2010.
  19. "On Your Marks, Get Set, Go…! – PlayStation.Blog.Europe". PlayStation.Blog.Europe. June 5, 2009. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
  20. "DUALSHOCK 3 wireless controller - Metallic Gold - GameStop Exclusive".
  21. Fletcher, JC (June 15, 2012). "PS3 controller goes 'metallic gold' at GameStop". Engadget. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
  22. "God of War: Ascension white PS3 bundle unveiled for UK". Joystiq. AOL. 2012-02-06. Archived from the original on 2013-04-02. Retrieved 2013-02-08.
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  24. Sony Computer Entertainment. "Press Release from Sony". Archived from the original on 13 April 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  25. (c)Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. "NEW SLIMMER AND LIGHTER PLAYSTATION®3 TO HIT WORLDWIDE MARKET THIS SEPTEMBER | PRESS RELEASES | Sony Computer Entertainment Inc". Scei.co.jp. Archived from the original on 2013-04-13. Retrieved 2013-02-21.
  26. McWhertor, Michael (2013-01-31). "PS4 touch-sensitive DualShock 4 controller revealed (update: features, scale detailed)". Polygon. Retrieved 2013-02-21.
  27. (c)Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (February 20, 2013). "Sony Computer Entertainment Introduces Wireless Controller For Playstation®4 (DUALSHOCK®4) And Playstation®4 Eye | Sony Computer Entertainment Inc". Sony.com. Archived from the original on October 23, 2013. Retrieved October 22, 2013.
  28. (c)Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (October 3, 2013). "Transistor and the Secrets of DualShock 4 | PlayStation.Blog". blog.us.playstation.com. Retrieved October 22, 2013.
  29. Matulef, Jeffrey (8 May 2014). "The DualShock 4's light bar was developed for Project Morpheus". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
  30. Pitcher, Jenna (July 2, 2014). "DualShock 4 controller now works wirelessly with the PlayStation 3". Polygon. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
  31. L., Stefan. "Sony Responds to DualShock 4 Wearing & Tearing". TheSixthAxis. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
  32. New Official PS4 Peripherals Announced, Includes New DualShock 4, PS Camera and Headset
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  37. Grant, Adam (Apr 2014), "PS4 system update 1.70 launches today – full feature list", blog.eu.playstation.com
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