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Dual Shock 3 vs. Sixaxis: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on February 18, 2024
DualShock 3 is a PlayStation controller with vibration feedback, while Sixaxis is its predecessor without vibration but with motion sensing capabilities.

Key Differences

DualShock 3, an evolution of the PlayStation controller, is renowned for its vibration feedback, enhancing the gaming experience by providing physical responses to in-game actions. Sixaxis, its predecessor, lacks this vibration feature, focusing solely on motion-sensing technology.
The Sixaxis controller was introduced with the PlayStation 3, offering innovative motion-sensing capabilities, allowing players to control games through physical movements. Conversely, DualShock 3 was later introduced, retaining these motion-sensing features while reintroducing the much-missed vibration feedback.
In terms of design, DualShock 3 resembles the Sixaxis, with a familiar layout and ergonomics. However, the DualShock 3 is slightly heavier due to its added vibration motors, a difference that some gamers find enhances the controller's substantial feel.
Battery life is another point of distinction; the vibration feature in DualShock 3 can lead to a faster drain of the controller's battery compared to the Sixaxis. However, many gamers find the trade-off for the immersive experience offered by haptic feedback to be worthwhile.
Both controllers connect to the PlayStation 3 console wirelessly via Bluetooth. While the Sixaxis was initially criticized for its lack of rumble, DualShock 3 addressed this by offering both advanced motion-sensing technology and the tactile feedback that many gamers desired.

Comparison Chart

Vibration Feedback


Motion Sensing



Heavier due to vibration motors
Lighter as it lacks vibration motors

Battery Life

Shorter due to vibration feature
Longer as it lacks vibration feature

Design and Ergonomics

Similar to Sixaxis, slightly heavier
Similar to DualShock 3, but lighter

Dual Shock 3 and Sixaxis Definitions

Dual Shock 3

An advanced game controller combining haptic feedback and wireless connectivity.
I prefer the DualShock 3 for its immersive gaming experience.


The first wireless controller for the PlayStation 3.
Sixaxis was revolutionary for its time as a wireless PS3 controller.

Dual Shock 3

A PlayStation 3 controller with vibration feedback and motion sensing.
Playing racing games feels more realistic with the DualShock 3's vibration.


An early PlayStation 3 controller featuring motion sensing technology.
I use the Sixaxis for games that require precise motion control.

Dual Shock 3

A successor to the Sixaxis controller with added vibration functionality.
The DualShock 3 improved upon the Sixaxis by bringing back the rumble feature.


A lightweight PS3 controller without vibration feedback.
The Sixaxis is lighter than the DualShock 3, making it easy to handle.

Dual Shock 3

A Bluetooth-enabled PS3 controller with enhanced gaming features.
Connecting my DualShock 3 wirelessly to the PS3 is seamless.


A predecessor to the DualShock 3, lacking haptic feedback.
While I like the Sixaxis, I miss the vibration feedback that DualShock 3 offers.

Dual Shock 3

A heavier version of PlayStation controllers due to integrated vibration motors.
The weight of the DualShock 3 gives it a more substantial feel in hand.


A game controller focused on providing an innovative motion gameplay experience.
Flying games are more fun with the motion sensing of the Sixaxis.


What is DualShock 3?

A PlayStation 3 controller with vibration and motion sensing.

Does DualShock 3 have vibration feedback?

Yes, it includes vibration feedback.

Does Sixaxis have vibration feedback?

No, it lacks vibration feedback.

Can DualShock 3 be used wirelessly?

Yes, it connects wirelessly via Bluetooth.

What is Sixaxis?

An early PlayStation 3 controller with motion sensing but no vibration.

Is Sixaxis a wireless controller?

Yes, it connects wirelessly to the PS3.

Is Sixaxis compatible with all PS3 games?

Yes, but games specifically requiring vibration feedback are better with DualShock 3.

Is DualShock 3 heavier than Sixaxis?

Yes, due to its vibration motors.

Which has longer battery life, DualShock 3 or Sixaxis?

Sixaxis, as it doesn't have the battery-draining vibration feature.

Do both controllers support motion sensing?

Yes, both have motion sensing capabilities.

Can DualShock 3 be used on all PS3 games?

Yes, it's compatible with all PS3 games.

Can DualShock 3 be charged via USB?

Yes, it can be charged using a USB cable.

What is the primary advantage of DualShock 3 over Sixaxis?

The primary advantage is its vibration feedback feature.

Is Sixaxis suitable for all types of games?

It's suitable for most games, but may lack immersion in games that benefit from vibration feedback.

Which controller was released first, DualShock 3 or Sixaxis?

Sixaxis was released first.

Are the button layouts the same on DualShock 3 and Sixaxis?

Yes, the button layouts are identical.

Is the tactile feedback in DualShock 3 adjustable?

No, it's not adjustable.

Can Sixaxis be used on a PC?

Yes, with proper drivers and software.

Did Sony continue producing Sixaxis after releasing DualShock 3?

No, DualShock 3 essentially replaced Sixaxis.

How do DualShock 3 and Sixaxis connect to the PS3?

Both connect via Bluetooth.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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