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

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on January 23, 2024
Dual Shock 3 is a PlayStation controller with vibration feedback and Sixaxis motion sensing. Sixaxis is an earlier PlayStation controller with Sixaxis motion sensing but without vibration feedback.
Dual Shock 3 vs. Sixaxis — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Dual Shock 3 and Sixaxis


Key Differences

Dual Shock 3 is a PlayStation controller that features both Sixaxis motion sensing technology and vibration feedback. The Sixaxis controller, which preceded Dual Shock 3, also has motion sensing but lacks the vibration feedback feature.
The Dual Shock 3 controller was introduced to add the haptic feedback that was missing in the Sixaxis, providing a more immersive gaming experience. While the Sixaxis was innovative for its time with motion sensing capabilities, the lack of vibration feedback was noted as a drawback by many gamers.
In terms of design, both controllers are quite similar, but the Dual Shock 3 is slightly heavier due to the inclusion of the vibration motors. The Sixaxis is lighter, which some users might prefer for its handling ease.
Compatibility-wise, the Dual Shock 3 is generally compatible with the same games as the Sixaxis and can be used interchangeably on the PlayStation 3. However, the enhanced feedback provided by the Dual Shock 3 offers a different user experience.
The introduction of the Dual Shock 3 was in response to user feedback on the Sixaxis, indicating Sony’s commitment to improving the gaming experience by reintroducing the beloved vibration feature, along with maintaining the advanced motion sensing capabilities.

Comparison Chart

Vibration Feedback

Yes, features vibration motors
No vibration feedback

Motion Sensing

Includes Sixaxis motion sensing technology
Features Sixaxis motion sensing technology


Slightly heavier due to vibration motors
Lighter as it lacks vibration motors


Similar to Sixaxis, with a few minor changes
Ergonomic design, no major changes in later models

Gaming Experience

Provides immersive gameplay with haptic feedback
Offers motion-sensing gameplay but without haptic feedback

Compare with Definitions

Dual Shock 3

A PlayStation controller with vibration feedback.
The Dual Shock 3's vibration feature enhances my gaming experience.


Designed for the PlayStation 3.
My old PlayStation 3 still works great with the Sixaxis controller.

Dual Shock 3

Heavier than its predecessor due to additional features.
The Dual Shock 3 feels more solid and immersive compared to the Sixaxis.


Introduced advanced motion control in gaming.
The Sixaxis brought a new level of interactivity to my favorite games.

Dual Shock 3

Offers a more immersive gameplay experience.
Racing games feel more realistic with the Dual Shock 3’s haptic feedback.


Lighter than the Dual Shock 3.
The Sixaxis is so light, it barely feels like I’m holding anything.

Dual Shock 3

Includes advanced motion sensing capabilities.
The Dual Shock 3 responds accurately to my movements in motion-based games.


An earlier PlayStation controller with motion sensing.
The Sixaxis controller was my first experience with motion-controlled gaming.

Dual Shock 3

Compatible with PlayStation 3.
I use my Dual Shock 3 for all my PlayStation 3 games.


Lacks vibration feedback.
Playing with the Sixaxis feels different since it doesn’t have the vibration feature.

Common Curiosities

What is the main difference between Dual Shock 3 and Sixaxis?

The main difference is the vibration feedback feature in Dual Shock 3, which is absent in the Sixaxis.

Do both controllers use Bluetooth for connectivity?

Yes, both the Dual Shock 3 and the Sixaxis use Bluetooth for wireless connectivity to the PS3.

Can the Dual Shock 3 be used on all PS3 games?

Yes, the Dual Shock 3 is compatible with all PS3 games.

Is there a significant price difference between the two controllers?

The Dual Shock 3 is generally more expensive due to its additional features.

Is there a difference in the durability of these controllers?

Both are similarly durable, but the Dual Shock 3 might be more prone to wear due to its vibration motors.

Is the battery life comparable between the two controllers?

The Dual Shock 3 might have slightly less battery life due to its vibration function.

Are the button layouts the same on both controllers?

Yes, the button layouts are essentially the same on both models.

Can the Sixaxis controller work on a PS4?

No, the Sixaxis controller is not compatible with the PS4.

Can I charge these controllers using a standard USB cable?

Yes, both controllers can be charged using a standard USB cable connected to the PS3.

Is the motion sensing technology the same in both controllers?

Yes, the motion sensing technology is the same in both the Dual Shock 3 and the Sixaxis.

Can the Sixaxis controller be used for all types of games?

Yes, but games that utilize vibration feedback won't have that feature with the Sixaxis.

Do these controllers come in different colors?

Yes, both the Dual Shock 3 and the Sixaxis are available in various colors.

Is the weight difference significant when playing for long hours?

This largely depends on personal preference, but some users may find the lighter Sixaxis more comfortable for extended gaming sessions.

Can these controllers be used for PC gaming?

With the right drivers and software, both controllers can be used for some PC games.

Are there any known connectivity issues with these controllers?

Generally, both controllers are known for stable connectivity, but like any wireless device, they may occasionally experience interference or connectivity issues.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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