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29 Controls of Christmas
Sony PlayStation 2 DualShock 2
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 15, 2008   |   Episode 19 (Show Archive)  

   

It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're taking a look at 29 of the best known video game controls of all time, from the Nintendo Entertainment System to the Nintendo Wii remote. We're going to review each and every one of them, and then give you a short haiku. Join us as we celebrate this joyous season with the 29 Controls of Christmas!



The PlayStation 2 (and DualShock 2) was so popular that I doubt I even need to show you a picture!
Brief Synopsis: As the control's name indicates, this PlayStation 2 control is the second iteration of the DualShock redesign. To bring everybody up to speed, we already reviewed the Sony PlayStation control. Seeing the success Nintendo and Sega were having with their analog controls, Sony decided to release a similar analog control, one they called the DualShock. It was called this because of the rumble, which could be felt on both sides of the control. However, when the DualShock control came to the states, it initially did not have the rumble. It wasn't until a year later that Sony got around to giving us the DualShock proper. Fast forward to 2001 and Sony is back with the PlayStation 2, and the control they decide to use is the next step in the DualShock line. While it looks the same, there are a couple of noteworthy changes. For one thing, the four face buttons are now fully analog. Unfortunately most game developers fail to incorporate this technology into their softs, but it was there for the taking. Sony also went in and improved the four shoulder buttons, placing them in a more ergonomic way. For the most part Sony didn't fix what wasn't broken, which is why the Sony DualShock 2 was the shining beacon in a generation of bad controls.

The Style: Remember how I said the original PlayStation control looked like it was missing something. Well, apparently what it was missing was balls. That's right, what the PlayStation control needed was a pair of balls. Or, rather, a pair of analog sticks. Nice, big, round analog sticks. Just dangling there under the start/select buttons. Some may

The best thing about Sony is how they don't seem to care about getting into easily avoidable controversies!
complain that Sony didn't change enough between the DualShock 1 and 2, but from a style perspective this design is just about perfect. It fits perfectly in your hand, the analog sticks are nicely placed and the shoulder buttons are comfortable to hit. This is just about the perfect control, which is why Sony had so much trouble improving on it in the next generation.

What the 22 Year Old Me Would Say: Boring ... you showed me this already. I already have this DualShock thing for my original PlayStation. In fact, I have two of these. I had two buy it twice because they forgot to put the rumble stuff in the first time around. Stupid Sony. I guess I like the design, the DualShock is pretty comfortable, but couldn't they have done something big and creative for the PlayStation 2? Oh, and is there a reason I have to stand out in this goddamn line to get one of these things. This thing better be good!

What I Would Say Now: Well 22 year old me, prepare for a drought early in the PlayStation 2's life, but I'm sure you can hold out until Twisted Metal Black comes out. As for this control, it feels weird talking about a control that I still use on a regular basis. Even when I'm playing the PlayStation 3, it still feels like I'm using the same control. Sony certainly found a design they liked and stuck with it. I guess I can't fault them for that.

The PlayStation 2 DualShock 2 Haiku:
The perfect design.
But so much like the last pad.
Did they even try?
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