Solutions for Sony Gaming Discomfort

I’ve been playing more games on my Sony devices lately, and it reminded me that I never shared some of my favorite peripherals.

Playstation 3

To me the Playstation 3 controller feels like a legacy controller. It’s like some kind of gaming relic, limping along with half-hearted attachments and poor ergonomics. The loose, convex analog sticks are too close together (I hate when I knock thumbs playing games, maybe I have giant hands). The L2 and R2 sloping triggers are so oddly shaped and uncomfortable to depress, most shooters use the L1 and R1 buttons for firing instead. The whole thing is just super uncomfortable.

If you feel the same way (and even if you don’t), you might like these:

Dual Triggers

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These trigger attachments are super cheap and remarkably sturdy. You just clip them on the back buttons and you’re ready to go. Having the triggers swoop out also changes your hand position on the controller, which for me means less thumb knocking on the analog sticks.

Pro EX Controller

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This controller mimics the Xbox 360 controller and can also be used on a PC. It’s not bad, but I find the right stick height to be just a tad too high (might not bother you if you don't also frequently use a 360 controller). There’s also a pretty large dead zone, which means it’s not the best controller for precision gaming. Also, it doesn’t have six axis support, which I didn’t realize until my flashlight started going out in The Last of Us and it didn’t respond to my frantic shaking. Still, it’s cheap and works on PC just fine.

I’m waiting out the PS4 launch at least until I see an Infamous bundle. If you’re not upgrading in a couple months to the new console and it’s spiffy new controller, I recommend checking out one of the two options above.

Vita

As for my other Sony device, I bought a grip like this almost immediately after purchasing my Vita this summer (just over a month before the announced price drop, lucky me).

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The one I have cost a bit more because it also has a battery inside, which ads a bit of heft and a couple hours of game time. I had something similar for my PSP and it makes a world of difference. The Vita fits snug, no wobble or flex. You do have to remove the Vita to switch games, but that’s not a deal breaker.

Even with the dual sticks, some Vita games still require you to contort your grip into a weird claw, just like the PSP. This holder feels like I’m gripping a super wide console controller. With the extra space, I can easily tap the back touchscreen and still use the front one with my thumbs. No, it’s not portable at all, but I play my Vita around my house (usually upstairs while my son plays with his toys), so that doesn’t matter. Actually, portability on trips doesn’t matter either. It’s not like I’d put the Vita in my pocket, all that crap goes in a bag.

The added control comfort, the stupidly awesome free games and discounts on Playstation Plus and the superior Netflix, Hulu and Amazon apps--none of which require a charge like Xbox Live--have all pushed me further into the Playstation ecosystem (I also own a 360 and a gaming PC…the 360 doesn’t get turned on much).

One could argue that if the Sony devices were as ergonomically sound as Microsoft’s, I wouldn’t need this stuff. That’s probably true—I’m still rocking my seven-year-old wired 360 pad when I play PC games—but if there are solutions to gaming discomfort, might as well use them right?