Dualshock 3 vs. Fantastick, Playstation 3
I’m really angry right now. How angry? I’m livid. Open your wallet and take out a $50 bill. Now tear it into tiny tiny pieces and burn them. That probably won’t make you as angry as I am, because you’re the one who did it to yourself.
To get as angry as I am, you’ll have to give the $50 to someone you trust, then unexpectedly that person will have to tear your $50 into tiny pieces. Yes, that’s how angry I am.
Why are you so angry?
Well, this is a fairly long story. A story about me being cheap and waiting a long time to buy expensive things so that they will be cheaper because I’m not the kind of idiot who buys something new just because it’s new. All video game consoles are expensive when they first come out, because people can’t wait and they line up at stores to buy them. I laugh at them because when I get around to buying it, it’ll be much cheaper, and I already will know which games and system I want, as I’ve been given ample time to evaluate all the systems before opening up my wallet. And it’s not like I’m not gonna get a chance to play the games if I don’t buy the system. Everyone who has the system is going to call me up and ask me to come play with them.
Well this time around it was the same, and I waited patiently as the Nintendo Wii came out, followed by the Playstation 3. I believe both have been available for 4 years now, and
my girlfriend told me that even though I didn’t think I needed another game system that I was going to buy I decided to buy a PS3 and 3 games for only about $320.
The games were pretty fun. I got a lot of playing time out of Prince of Persia. Tekken 6 is great if you have someone to play against, as well as FIFA 2010. All in all I really like the Playstation 3.
Why are you angry again?
I’ll tell you why after the jump.
The PS3 came with the wireless Dualshock 3 controller. Naturally the wireless controller needs a source of power, and Sony in their infinite wisdom thought that rather than having people buy tons of batteries and change them all the time, they’d install a Lithium Ion battery in the controller, and allow you to charge it with a 3 foot USB cable.
Isn’t that a good thing?
Well in theory yes. The wireless worked perfectly for about a month and then suddenly the controller seemed to not be able to charge anymore. The battery still had charge, but I couldn’t recharge it for some reason. When I plugged it into the system with the system turned on, and left it overnight, the next day I still had the same problem. Finally the battery ran out of charge and died. The controller is still usable, but only if I use the 3 foot long USB cable to connect it. This means I have to sit really close to the TV.
Do you see the irony here? The wireless controller was invented so that people didn’t have to worry about tangled wires, distance from the TV, and general comfort. You’re supposed to be able to walk freely around the room (if you want to) as you play your game, but because my wireless controller doesn’t work anymore and I have a USB cable that’s even SHORTER than the wire on most wired controllers, I actually have to sit right in front of the TV, (on the floor, 6 feet in front of the couch). So because this wireless controller that came with the system is a piece of garbage, wireless control has made my life LESS convenient. On top of that, Prince of Persia keeps freezing up because I guess it needs a fully charged controller to work properly.
When anything I own breaks, I always try to fix it myself before calling the company. After searching the internet, I found that there are thousands of people having problems with their Dualshock 3 conrollers. Some can’t charge, some can’t use it wirelessly even though it does charge. Some turn off in the middle of use. Some worked perfectly until they updated the firmware of their PS3 system.
There were also a host of ways to fix the problem. Use a different cable, charge it in your laptop, push the tiny reset button on the back of the controller. Open it up and disconnect the battery and reconnect it, hit the controller with a sledgehammer…
I tried all of them except the sledgehammer one and none of them worked. I kind of want to try hitting it with a sledgehammer, but I don’t think I’d want to risk breaking it… the sledgehammer I mean.
If this controller were second hand, third party, or both, then I’d be more forgiving, but THIS IS A CONROLLER THAT CAME WITH THE PS3 SYSTEM IN THE SAME BOX. SONY, YOU FAIL.
After all of that, I tried to contact SONY Korea and they said I needed to bring the whole system into their after service center which is only open on weekdays. I have an hour for lunch and it would probably take me 45 minutes to get there from my office, then I’d probably have to wait in line for all the other people who bought other poorly designed SONY products to get theirs fixed, by probably an underpaid uncaring technician. (That’s not to say that everything made by SONY is poorly designed. In fact, it’s one of the few electronics brands I really trust, along with Samsung and Toshiba. The Dualshock 3, however is poorly designed.) The technician probably won’t listen to my explanation of the problem, that the battery is dead, and will take 20 minutes testing the thing, opening it up and looking at the parts, then deducing that the battery is dead, he’ll inform me that the battery is dead and offer to switch it out for a new one. The paperwork for the warranty will probably take 20 minutes or so, then it’ll take me 45 minutes to get back to the office. Then I’d have to explain to my boss that the reason I’m late from lunch is because I wanted to fix my broken video game controller and she’ll think I’m even more juvenile and unprofessional than she already does. On top of all of that, I’d still be hungry from not eating lunch!
So instead I contacted the SONY after service to send a technician to my house. Now I have to inconvenience my girlfriend to wait around my house until the technician arrives and ignores her explanation of the problem, that the battery is dead, and will take 20 minutes testing the thing, opening it up and looking at the parts, then deducing that the battery is dead, he’ll inform her that the battery is dead and offer to switch it out for a new one. Then she’ll have to do paperwork claiming to be me. Good thing my name is both A) Korean and B) Unisex.
With my luck, as soon as the technician leaves, the controller will break again.
So how can you play your PS3 then?
Well, included in the deal was an arcade style controller called the Fanta Stick. (You know, as in, it’s fantastic!K)
I’ve never really been a fan of arcade style joysticks. Ever since the Nintendo Entertainment System I’ve been using one version or another of the D-Pad style game controller. Arcade sticks have been there for every system and have been popular for fighting games and other arcade style button masher games. I always found that the complicated sequence of buttons and directions that video games require were easier to do on a D-Pad controller than they were with a stick. I guess it’s just that since I’ve been using D-Pads for so long, I have developed motor skills related to video games only in my thumbs. I get the idea behind them though, as some people like the arcade feel in their own home.
The problems with a lot of these sticks, however, were that they were ridiculously expensive, so lightweight that they would move with use, and they broke easily. Not the Fanta Stick, it’s heavy enough that you can co crazy moving it around and it’s so well put together that you know you won’t break it unless you obviously abuse it. You can use it comfortably on your lap, on the floor in front of you, or on a table.
It’s not wireless, but the wire attached to it is long enough for me to sit on my couch.
I still don’t enjoy playing games with this stick as much as I would like a D-pad controller, but until I can get my Dual Shock 3 repaired, I’m pretty much stuck with this one. It’s a very very good stick though!
For those people who like arcade style joysticks, I’d recommend it. It’s also multifunctional, as it uses USB 2.0, you can also connect it to your PC and use it for PC games.
The Fanta Stick isn’t made by SONY, it’s made by a local company called Gammac. I usually shy away from controllers that aren’t made by the makers of the gaming system, because if for some reason it doesn’t work, then the maker can say that they don’t accept responsibility. If the maker of the system also makes the joystick, then there isn’t any excuse for it not to work properly. In the case of the Fanta Stick, however, it is quite possibly the best arcade style joystick I have ever seen.
To learn more about the Fanta Stick please visit this website.
Edit: There seems to be a lot of interest in the Fanta Stick, so I’ll link a website where you can buy it.