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Sony Goes Up Against PS3 Controller Knockoffs
Sony Goes Up Against PS3 Controller Knockoffs
September 24, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander

September 24, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander
More: Console/PC

Aiming to stem counterfeit and unlicensed PlayStation 3 controllers, Sony's warning its consumers about the possible downsides of such products. With its latest firmware update, the company's disabling their use -- and reportedly dinging USB devices in the process.

Recent firmware update 3.50 doesn't disable officially licensed third-party devices. In a consumer alert, Sony Computer Entertainment America said it "advises consumers to be cautious when buying PlayStation 3 Wireless Controllers from uncertain sources as the quality, reliability and safety of counterfeit products is uncertain, and in some cases, may be dangerous."

"It is possible that some counterfeit product may ignite or explode, resulting in injury or damage to the user, your PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system, or other property," the company warned. SCEA also said that users who use counterfeit or unlicensed controllers risk losing the ability to use them -- without Sony's support, future firmware updates could make those devices stop working.

That consumer warning may have forecast a decision to come. Consumer site 1Up discovered users claiming on PlayStation's official boards that some of their USB devices have been affected by the latest firmware update as well.

According to the report, the firmware device has disabled some adapters, such as the Yobo PS3 JoyBox, which lets PS2 controllers be used with PS3; the XCM Cross Battle Plus, which adapts Xbox 360 controllers to the PS3, and other adapters that allow players to use PS2 Guitar Hero controllers with PS3. Some users also say their direct-USB controllers have stopped working, or that their licensed PS2-PS3 adapters still work.

Although it appears that third-party devices officially licensed by Sony aren't affected, the company hasn't elaborated on any specific lock-out intentions behind the 3.50 update, aside from the consumer warning -- which the company released on the same day as the update itself.

The primary function of update 3.50 was ostensibly to add support for 3D Blu-ray movie playback, for users with compatible televisions. It also expanded on the platform's Facebook integration, so that some games can pull friend lists, profiles and other info directly from Facebook itself. Its third key point was a new "Grief Reporting Function" that lets users report abusive or inappropriate messages directly from the XrossMedia Bar.

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Jonathan Jennings
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the only reason people flock to those controllers is because $60 seems like a nice chunk of change just to spend on the ability to play a game you already own with someone else. considering they knockoffs go for as low as $15 I certainly feel like pricing is a large reason for people buying them. 4 knockoffs without dual shock and six axis control for the price of one official controller with sixaxis and dual shock? I love my consoles but I always have felt controllers cost way too much

Maurício Gomes
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Good that I don't have a PS3...

I can continue using my PS2 controllers on my PC. I like PS controllers so much, that I don't ever owned a Playstation, any of them, but I have several PS2 controllers (not from Sony of course, because they are bloody expensive) on my PC.

Bad for the guy that I saw that liked to use PS1 controllers on PS3 (the official PS1 controller digital controls for some reason unknown to us are better than PS2 or PS3), or those that hate the PS3 stupid trigger that hurt the fingers or is "mushy" when what you want is just a damn button.

Abdu Kho
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Ok, this didn't effect me, at least not my ps2 controller adapter, and I am guessing that the game stop 3rd party PS3 controllers still work and will be considered "3rd party licensed controllers"? I was going to buy one of those, It doesn't use a usb but blue tooth to connect it to the PS3. I agree that $60 for a PS3 controller is too much. Will see if my ps2 usb adapter still works the same, though the controls are always reversed, always found it weird.

Chris Crawford
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The best part is that unlicensed ps3 controllers may EXPLODE or IGNITE!? I guess they went a little overboard with the force feedback.

Regardless, if I am using it for PS2, PS3 or PC I always go for a dualshock, there really is a difference in quality I feel (even when compared to the sixaxis.)

Glenn Sturgeon
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I haven't gotten a firmware release since the one before the other OS was dissabled.

No i don't use the other OS option & no i don't use usb adaptors or 3rd party controllers.

But i unlike too many people have a ps3 that supports everything (but psn) it did when i bought it.

Since i play multi player on PC so PSN (& xbl) are kinda redundant to me.(kid version)

I paid $500 for my 60gig ps3 and i don't plan on losing any options that i paid for.

I'm glad i already got wipeout HD & a couple of the other best psn games when i did.

*I see it this way "don't take from me what i already paid for & if you buy cheap bootleg junk its at your own risk."

The last official Sony brand ps3 controller i bought as a backup, i didn't open for 2-3 months after purchase only to find out it wont charge. It was one of the defective battery batch controllers, thanks sony.

The ps3 & 360 controllers should be MSRP 29.99 by now they are old teck & far from the best quality.

@john Nate

but let's face it... security patches will always receive backlashes from the shady users... like the uproar with removing the other OS feature.. etc.. etc.. and now this..

For some Shady is an insult. Some just like to own what they paid for.

"keeping the online gaming community free of trash"

If you mean hackers & cheaters, theres no way.

Cheaters are on every format of online gaming.

That includes Steam, XBL & PSN.

The Ps3 has a browser to DL any hacks made for the system.

There are people making modded "official controllers" with turbo fire for both systems. So you never have to wonder how a guy with a pistol killed you when you had an assult rifle & you both started firing at the same time.

Most of the trash at psn & xbl comes from it being a low grade parent / babby sitter & tweens poor (im the best) thought patters.imo

Abdu Kho
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I kind of agree their, like when they took the o/s out, I was planning on using it until that firm wire came in, even though I haven't actually put it on the ps3 yet, its still like why take out another feature which was advertised (in the old commercials)? Also I agree that PS3 controllers should be like $30, but I guess if there isn't "really" a competitor why drop down the price?