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PS3 Controller Officially Called 'Sixaxis' 179

Posted by Zonk
from the nice-name-still-rumble-less dept.
morpheus83 writes "Sony has decided to call the PS3's wireless controller 'Sixaxis' as it has sensors which allow it to sense linear motion along six axes. The Bluetooth controller charges when connected via the USB cable, after a full charge it is good for 30 hours of gaming. It becomes a wired controller when charging so you can continue playing." The Next Generation article also offers some further details on PS3 accessories: "Sony will also sell a memory card adapter used to upload data from PS or PS2 memory cards to the PS3 hard drive. That peripheral will go for 1500 yen ($13) and will be available at launch as well. A Blu-ray/DVD movie controller will also be in the accessory mix, selling for 3600 yen ($31)."
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PS3 Controller Officially Called 'Sixaxis'

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  • Let's play word association: Sixaxis: The Axis of Evil Wiimote: Weeeeeeeeee! or Kirby!
    • Congressman Foley. That sixaxis belongs in jail!
    • by Alaren (682568) on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @10:09AM (#16291949)

      "SixAxis?" What the hell? That's maybe slightly better than "NoVibrate" or "DualShock Wireless." Someone want to explain how you get six axes in a three dimensionsional environment? I understand that there are six points connected, but that's because the lines cross each other...

      I mean, was "Triple Shock" was out of the question? I know they couldn't use the ever-popular "PSThwii," and obviously fan feedback destroyed their brilliant "Boomerang" attempt, but "SixAxis?" No one is going to call it that. I feel silly saying "Wii," but "SixAxis" is just plain unpronouncable.

      • I mean, was "Triple Shock" was out of the question?

        Given that it doesn't have vibration feedback, I'd say Triple Shock would be out of the question. This is really sad, because I really like the Dual Shock controller. I've found it to be the most intuitive controller of all the consoles. They took something that wasn't broke and tried to fix it.
      • "No one is going to call it that. I feel silly saying "Wii," but "SixAxis" is just plain unpronouncable."

        I can get you close. Think long and hard about Sony executives, then just say six asses. It just rolls off the tongue!
      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        Well, You can't get six axes, but you get six degree of freedom. Basically you need 6 axes to controller X,Y,Z translation and X,Y,Z rotation. I remember trying to play the original descent was quite hard becuase you had to control all 6 degrees of freedom, and most controllers only had at max 4 degrees of control.
      • by SnowZero (92219)
        Probably from rotation. The PS3 demos showed people rotating the controller to fly an airplane, not translating it.
      • At Sony they subscribe to String Theory [superstringtheory.com] and Brane theory [wikipedia.org]. Space is not three dimensional.

        Seriously. Here is it

        Stick 1 - X, Y, Z(press the stick)
        Stick 2 - X, Y, Z(again press the stick)
        Motion sensor X, Y, Z (Assuming the sensor works in 3 dimensions.)

        Theoreticly it could be Nineaxis instead of Sixaxis
      • by twistedsymphony (956982) on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @10:40AM (#16292441) Homepage
        Is there an engineer in the house? Six axis implies movement along X Y and Z as well as rotation about X Y and Z. The "shock" in "dualshock" refereed to the rumble feedback, seeing as there is no-longer any rumble feedback it'd be silly to still use the shock title (hence why many journalists started calling it "dual shake". Also sixaxis has the marketing benefit of reading the same when spelled backward, which plays along with the symmetry Sony seems to feel is terribly important with their controller designs.
      • by Psykechan (255694) on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @10:44AM (#16292485)
        Sony isn't going to use force feedback vibration because of their suit with Immersion so calling it the anything-shock without changing the feedback to being an actual shock [g4tv.com] would be out of the question.

        They also saw the buzz that Nintendo was creating with their accelerometer based revolution. So a quick implementation of this into their current controller designs gives them a new tout-able feature (ooh... the Sixaxis) and a lame excuse about why they can't implement vibration. Sorry, we had to remove vibration from the controller because it interferes with the motion sensor despite the fact that the Wii-mote will have both. Actually the Wii remote [wikipedia.org] can rumble both sides giving it two vibration motors as opposed to just one in the Gamecube; maybe they should call it a "DualShockWiiMote" :)

        Anyway, I'm glad that Sony was able to quickly implement accelerometers to make the Sixaxis controller. I would've hated to hear the alternatives coming from Sony's marketing department...

        "Bundled with the Playstation 3 is the exclusive DodecaClick3 controller. It has a whopping twelve buttons which is much more than at least one of our competitors. Imagine the games that can be created tot take advantage of this."

        Although now I kind of do like the idea of kids yelling "Mommy! Mommy! I want a DodecaClick!" Hold on a sec while I trademark that... :)
      • by necro81 (917438)
        Six axes for six degrees of freedom. Three are translational (X, Y, Z), and three are rotational (roll, pitch, yaw; some textbooks call them phi, theta, and psi). With these six coordinates, one can completely describe the position and orientation of an object in three-space. Oftentimes, the rotational axes will correspond to the translational axes, so that roll is rotation about X, pitch is about Z, and yaw is about Y, but it can become difficult, in the dynamics of moving bodies, to keep that consisten
      • Marketing BS (Score:2, Insightful)

        by jonskerr (217459)
        No one's going to call it anything but 'the controller' unless they're maybe talking to a clerk at Best Buy or somewhere. Having these bullshit product names is just dickhead marketing executive justifying their leeching off the corporate teat. "Dual Shock" etc etc. What crap. Hand me the controller for my PS2, I'm off. duh.
  • Six axes? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HunterZ (20035) on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @10:02AM (#16291847) Journal
    Linear motion along six axes? Height, Depth, Width, Time and what are the other two?
    • by Delusion_ (56114) on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @10:04AM (#16291877) Homepage
      Spin and Flavor.
    • The axes of Fun and RSI! It's the next level in gaming!
    • by germansausage (682057) on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @10:06AM (#16291905)
      The other two are curled up infinitely small.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by wired_LAIN (974675)
      I think they're dividing each axis into 2 - instead of x y and z, they have forwards, back, right, left, up, and down. So technically, its actually 3 axis.
      • by Mayhem178 (920970) on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @10:14AM (#16292075)
        Close, it's actually up up down down left right left right B A start.
        • i always use the konami code to find out who had friends when they were a kid. i personally say "up up down down left right left right B A select start" only because everytime i played contra it would be with my friends. i have noticed a few others do the same thing.
          • by bodrell (665409)
            i always use the konami code to find out who had friends when they were a kid. i personally say "up up down down left right left right B A select start" only because everytime i played contra it would be with my friends. i have noticed a few others do the same thing.

            Yep. Select Start. Who played "Contra" by themselves? Too easy to die.

        • I thought they were changing the Konomi code just for Sony's revolutionary controller, which didn't steal the movement from Wii or the guide button from XBox360...

          Up down Up down left right left right shake the snot out of it in frustration

          On a side note: I would like to see a game that could figure out that you just threw the controller across the room and bring up the help system. 'I see that you are frustrated. Would you like some help with the game or cool off with a walk first?'

    • Height, Depth, Width, Time and what are the other two?

      How about "Velocity" and "Distance" for when you throw it in disgust during a long boss battle.....

      Yes, I know, they're mathematically related.
      • by Mortanius (225192)
        That's when the PS2 goes into tilt and shuts down the controller for 30 seconds while the boss that just beat you down starts taunting you and doing unspeakable things to your corpses for good measure. :-P
    • Re:Six axes? (Score:4, Informative)

      by gabebear (251933) on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @10:14AM (#16292065) Homepage Journal
      3 rotational axes(pitch, roll, and yaw) and and the 3 regular axes(x, y, z).
      • by HunterZ (20035)
        My post was meant as a smartass remark, but I think your explanation is probably the right one. Technically, though, it's still only 3 axes (X, Y, Z); "rotational axes" in your comment refers to rotation around X/Y/Z, while "regular axes" refers to linear movement along X/Y/Z.

        What's suspicious is the summary says "linear movement" along 6 axes. This could be construed to mean rotation movement is not tracked.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by SnowZero (92219)

          My post was meant as a smartass remark, but I think your explanation is probably the right one. Technically, though, it's still only 3 axes (X, Y, Z); "rotational axes" in your comment refers to rotation around X/Y/Z, while "regular axes" refers to linear movement along X/Y/Z.

          Well, if one wanted to be a smartass, one could point out that the axes of rotation do not need to lie exactly parallel to the translational axes. Nobody ever claimed all six axes were orthogonal. Really though, you are picking

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Sage Gaspar (688563)
          The six degrees of freedom means that your configuration space is a six dimensional space, with six basis elements, and thus six "axis." Probably a torus with a couple holes, I dunno, it's been a long day and I'm tired :P
          • Yeah actually it's not too hard, you fix the center in R^3, S^2 (two-dimensional sphere) gives you all the possible alignments of the controller's "horizontal" axis if you pick an orientation, and S^1 (one-dimensional circle) gives you the tilt, so you get R^3 X S^2 X S^1 = R^3 X S^3. Not entirely sure what that is or if I really want to know what that is :P
        • Technically, though, it's still only 3 axes (X, Y, Z); "rotational axes" in your comment refers to rotation around X/Y/Z, while "regular axes" refers to linear movement along X/Y/Z.
          "SixDegreesOfFreedom" would have been even more cumbersome than "SixAxis", don't you think?
      • It will be interesting to see if the controller can be gimbal locked. (assuming gimbal lock is verbable.)
        • by Skreems (598317)
          As long as reality uses quaternions to calculate 3d rotations, I think we'll be fine...
          • by |/|/||| (179020)
            Gimme a minute and I'll take a peek at the code...

          • Gimbal lock isn't just a mathematical problem. It's a physical problem that affects mechanical devices. A simple software patch is not sufficient. Using quaternions is a mathematical solution that works fine for game physics, but I know of no mechanical "quarternion sensor" that would magically solve the problem.

            Carefully placed accelerometers might be able to solve the problem through software integration, but it's certainly non-trivial.

            On the other hand, 6-axis could also have meant x, y, and 4 throttl
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by bluephone (200451)
          Verbing nouns weirds language.
    • by mwvdlee (775178)
      Perhaps along three axis and around three axis?
      Movement and rotation.
    • by j00r0m4nc3r (959816) on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @10:32AM (#16292329)
      The controller is just a single button, but you get to play a character with six arms who wields six axes.
  • Sony will also sell a memory card adapter used to upload data from PS or PS2 memory cards to the PS3 hard drive.
    That's a definite bonus. Ever so slightly off topic, but does anyone know if something similar will exist for the wii?
    • by gabebear (251933)
      The Wii has 2 gamecube memory slots on the console, so yes and no.
    • Wii has Gamecube memory card slots in it. No need to buy an extra adapter.
      • Wii has Gamecube memory card slots in it. No need to buy an extra adapter.

        The PS3's adapter can read PS2 and PS1 memory cards. How do I copy my N64 Controller Pak save files into Wii's Virtual Console?

    • No, the Wii will not have a Gamecube memory adapter available to purchase at launch.

      Mainly due to the fact that it has 2 Gamecube memory slots already on the console. :P
    • by Millennium (2451)
      The Wii has GC memory card slots already (though it will supposedly use standard SD cards for its own games), so there's no need for an adapter as far as that goes. I would be interested, however, to see if someone will come up with a solution for N64 memory cards, since those games will be playable via the Virtual Console.
  • Six? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Otter (3800)
    Are the six axes not orthogonal or has Sony come up with some practical use for string theory? (If the latter, I can see why it's on the expensive side...)
    • Re:Six? (Score:5, Informative)

      by pilkul (667659) on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @10:15AM (#16292081)
      Translation in three axes, plus rotation in three axes. Not sure what the problem is.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Rotation ... not *in* three axes, but about three axes; axes easily described by the translation axes. So you get 6 DOF but not six axes.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Megane (129182)

      Are the six axes not orthogonal or has Sony come up with some practical use for string theory? (If the latter, I can see why it's on the expensive side...)

      The PS3 will now support the Time Cube. [wikipedia.org] Your PS3 will be able to play four, er, six simultaneous games in one revolution of the BluRay disc.

    • by cowscows (103644)
      They're more often referred to as the 6 degrees of freedom

      Simple movement through space:

      Up-Down
      Left-Right
      Forwards-Backwards

      And rotations around the three axis:

      Pitch
      Roll
      Yaw

      They're all really easy to show visually, but it's sort of hard to explain the differences with words.

      I guess sony's controller can detect all 6 types of movement, but it's really only happening around three axis.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/6_Degrees_Of_Freedom [wikipedia.org]
  • The Sex Axis? Does this mean Sony is promising German and Japanese hotties?
  • Is it just me? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by GundamFan (848341) on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @10:09AM (#16291963)
    Or does the lower end PS3 look like it is on par with the value of the Xbox360?

    With the exeption of Live(a pay service that Sony intends to compete with in the future) and a few "exclusive" game deals (on the Xbox exclusive tended to be more of a "head start") I don't think that buy buying a $500 PS3 you are giving anything up that the $400 360 has plus you get the blue ray drive... this has got to be cheaper than a 360 + HD-DVD thingy...

    Anyway... just a thought... I'll wait till there are a few games out that I want to buy before I make a purchase. Dead Rising looks tempting... but I feel majorly cheeted by MS on the Xbox so I need more than that.
    • by @madeus (24818)
      but I feel majorly cheeted [sic] by MS on the Xbox

      'Cheated'? In what way?

      • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @11:27AM (#16293127) Journal
        but I feel majorly cheeted [sic] by MS on the Xbox
        'Cheated'? In what way?

        My Xbox slept with my wife, stole my credit cards, and drove my Camaro to Vegas.
      • by GundamFan (848341)
        to put it plainly was given an Xbox about a year after it was introduced and I played all of three games on it.

        I feel bad for the people who gave it to me as a gift... and will not likely be buying or showing a desire for a Xbox 360.
        • by @madeus (24818)
          to put it plainly was given an Xbox about a year after it was introduced and I played all of three games on it.

          I feel bad for the people who gave it to me as a gift... and will not likely be buying or showing a desire for a Xbox 360.


          You haven't really said why you felt cheated.

          There were loads of really good titles for the X Box, something that would be true even if you only counted the ports from other platforms (like the Dreamcast, PS2 and PC), and of course there were some great (even iconic) console exc
          • by GundamFan (848341)
            A: I did not care for most of the "exclusive" games on the system... if you thought they where great... bonus for you (DOA Extreme Beach Vollyball and Outlaw golf are not my thing), I have access to a PS2 and a Gamecube so the ports are of no intrest to me. If you mean Halo and Halo 2 when you say iconic console exclusive I'll stick with PC shooters thanks, I never feel for the marketing.

            B: It was not the "most advanced system on the market" by any means... it was a computer, an obsolete one at that, yes it
            • by @madeus (24818)

              You still haven't answered the question of how you have been cheated by Microsoft with regard to the X Box. The only thing that you seem to have offered up that remotely sounds like why you might feel 'cheated' is that you seem to have felt it didn't have 'enough good exlusive titles'. That is, even though pretty much all the multi-platform titles were graphically superior and typically they had additional features such as surround sound, additional downloadble content (levels/tracks/vehicles) and of course
            • I actually feel the same way you do. I got the Xbox as a gift from my wife, but I played far more games on my PS2 than the Xbox. I should also let you know that I am supposedly biased for MS (see my profile, *grin*).

              A lot of it has to do with the fact that I'm a huge fan of RPGs, particularly Japanese-style RPGs. With games like Disgaea, all the Xenosaga titles, and all the Final Fantasy games (just for starters) on the PS2, it's a no brainer which console I played more.

              Despite that, though, I've been pleas
    • by gabebear (251933)
      Early adopters are always cheated, you either need to have some patients or you need to have disposable money. If you just recently bought your 360 then get ready to feel even more cheated since the 360 is due for a price drop.
    • Or does the lower end PS3 look like it is on par with the value of the Xbox360?

      Well not exactly - as you noted the lower end PS3 has a Blu-Ray drive, and also an HDMI connector which the 360 lacks. Not to mention free mtach play using the online service.

      So it's really a bit better.
  • Bingo! (Score:3, Funny)

    by hcdejong (561314) <hobbesNO@SPAMxmsnet.nl> on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @10:17AM (#16292115)
    This has to be the first marketing droid to succeed in cramming not just one, but two extremely-desirable-for-some-unfathomable-reason letters X into a product name. Well done, Xony!
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by SeePage87 (923251)
      So long as you ignore the xbox, though that seems to be what Sony is hoping for, so why not?
  • Great (Score:5, Funny)

    by I Like Pudding (323363) on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @10:17AM (#16292119)
    Sony Exec 1: Ok people, we're naming the controller "PooS". That's an infinity sign in the middle
    SE2 through 12: Brilliant!

    Everyone else on Earth: Poos?! Sony is retarded.

    SE1: PooS didn't test well. We'll need a new name.
    SE2: I still want the batman-style controller...
    SE1: Shut up. Names, people.
    SE7: Dual Shark?
    SE4: Uhhh, "Weemote"?
    SE9: Sticktwiddler.
    SE10: Thumbtron!
    SE12: iStick.
    SE11: Guys....Sixaxis
    SE1: Done!

    Everyone else on Earth: Six asses?! Sony is retarded.
  • Oh, come on. How many people attend to Sony's board meetings? And not a single one had the guts to say "Sir, that's a terrible name"?

    Ah well, perhaps this is their answer to the Nintendo Wii.
  • The only reason the name is sticking is because it's a palindrome and probably will have some nifty logo =)
  • That works for me as long as they promise that the next Final Fantasy only takes 30 hours to beat. I mean, what about the hardcore gamers that will go 400 hours straight to finish the latest GranTurismo. I think they need to add a charging base for additional battery packs so that I can rotate battery packs during hardcore gaming sessions.... and another thing. If I'm playing against someone and their controller runs out of batteries, will they be stating there spinning in circles like players whose mice di
    • Don't forget, when charging it acts like a wired remote.

      And if the designers had any sense, they'd adopt a policy like that on the XBox, where if the main controler suddenly lost connection, the game pauses and waits for you to plug back in.
    • by Valdrax (32670)
      That works for me as long as they promise that the next Final Fantasy only takes 30 hours to beat.

      Note from the world of people who have jobs:
      You don't have to play all 30 hours straight.
    • I think they need to add a charging base for additional battery packs so that I can rotate battery packs during hardcore gaming sessions....

      You must have missed the part where plugging it in means it's a charging wired controller.

      Presumably there will be a warning if the controller gets low on power.
  • To think you laughed at the name "Wii".
  • Most displacement-based structural finite element packages feature grid points that characterize motion with six parameters: X, Y, Z, RX, RY, RZ. This is because beam and plate elements are abstractions to reality that introduce the concept of "bending". Solid elements are "less" abstracted and often don't support the rotational degrees of freedom.

    Just to say, using those six degrees of freedom at a point is a way to reproduce "reality" in a certain abstracted way.

  • But at least they're dipshits who know that wireless [x] is always 3000x better when it can be used as a wired [x] as well (and with a standard USB cable, at that) [take that, Nintendo]. Not enough to make me buy your next console for $827.39, but maybe just enough to make me buy one of the new controllers.
    • by SnowZero (92219)
      Since it seems to be plain USB, I am absolutely going to buy one of these controllers as soon as a Linux driver comes out. I have a Logitech PS2-copy dual-analog controller, and I've used the thing in a lot of my programs (robotics stuff and games), as well as for general gaming. It's always neat to play with new forms of input. I'm still working on a game idea that requires both a dancepad and a dual-analog controller.
      • by Ant P. (974313)
        I thought the GP post sounded odd at first (who'd buy a controller with nothing to use it with?)...

        So if these are USB and the wireless function is bluetooth, could these possibly be hacked to work as BT access points?
    • Not enough to make me buy your next console for $827.39

      Then what about $500 instead?

      That's how much the base console is, which has a few more things than the premium 360 pack which is only $100 less. Even an HDMI connector.
  • To all the posters above talking about 6-axes etc etc - it's a name. A PR stunt, nothing more.
    Let me give you an example. Here in the UK, expectant parents can now buy ultrasound scans of the child as videos. They are called '4D pictures' - which is of course sounds stupid to anyone that actually knows the 4th dimension is time. Sony's naming here is no different - they're probably just trying to equal the publicity Nintendo got when they named their next-gen console the Wii.
    • by batkiwi (137781)
      But they are 4d pictures by your very definition!

      An ultrasound is an odd thing. Basically you get a depth image, but somewhat different as it also has density. In order to give you a concrete 3d looking image they take that 3d (including density) image over time and take areas they know are of the same thing. While the output appears to simply be 3d the image is created using signals over a timeperiod.
  • by Speare (84249)

    Explanation: one of their brighter marketdroids included sixaxis on a short list for a focus group. Other choices of names for the new six degree of freedom controller which were NOT picked: "six doof," "sixtoy," "axis six," "funxxy," "wiiconsiide."

  • by Maul (83993) on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @10:57AM (#16292665) Journal
    If ignorant of the almighty
    Sixaxis Creation Power,
    then you are android dumb,
    educated singularity stupid
    and unworthy of existence -
    with your death as positive.
    Killing you is not immoral -
    only unlawful by WiiMen.

    (Yes, this is a Time Cube parody...)
  • Is there a competition between Sony and Nintendo to make the worst name for game console hardware? First Wii now Sixaxis.

    Microsoft should stay out of this one.
    • by Ant P. (974313)
      I think Microsoft won this particular contest 5 years ago.
    • by justchris (802302)
      Actually, it seems to me that Nintendo and Sony were trying to top Microsoft who briliantly named their new console the Xbox 360. Nintendo said, "We need a horrid name as well. How about Wii!" And then Sony was all like, "But we've already said we're making a PS3. We need to give something a silly name. What do we have left that hasn't been named? The controller? Sure, we'll call it Sixaxis. That'll win us this competition."
  • by Chardish (529780) <(chardish) (at) (gmail.com)> on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @11:02AM (#16292745) Homepage
    Who wants to bet that the logo for the controller will feature some kind of symmetry?
    • by bunions (970377)
      yep. It's a really good name - relatively descriptive (consumers aren't going to make a big fuss over whether a DOF actually technically constitutes an axis or not), it's got the marketing-friendly 'x's, and it's got symmetry. As a name goes, it's a damn fine one. Doesn't make the platform any more attractive, but it's a good name.
  • Price? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Leviance (1001065)
    So the price will be $42, $2 more than the basic Wiimote? Interesting...
  • Sixaxis... Oh I had that back in high school. Got a shot.. cleared it right up baby.. you got nothing to worry about.

  • It's a palinder... a palindah...

    a puh... puhh...

    pff, they spelled it backwards.
  • by Kinwolf (945345)
    I am wondering, why give it a name at all? Where people really saying "Hey, pass me the dualshock"? As for Nintendo, I can understand giving it's controllers a name to differenciate the 2 parts, but for sony, it is kinda useless.

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