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PlayStation 3 Controller On Android Devices 133

Posted by timothy
from the mix-n'-match dept.
An anonymous reader writes "You can now use the PS3 Sixaxis Controller on Android phones and devices. This requires your phone to be rooted, however it is incompatible with most HTC devices and some newer Samsung devices due to the need of specific Bluetooth protocol. It can sync four controllers at once with buttons completely configurable."
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PlayStation 3 Controller On Android Devices

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  • Does it (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by madsci1016 (1111233)
    Does it steal your identity too?
  • It would definitely be simpler than hauling around a Wii controller + a Wii Classic Controller Plus for every game I can't control with A B Start Select, but no HTC? There goes 90% of all the phones...
  • "Requires your phone to be rooted"

    Well, Shit.

    I seem to have the unrootable phone now. This Nexus-S just won't do it, and I have done everything by the book, followed all the guides... Hell, I even watched the damned video just in case I was doing something wrong!

    Must be something my provider does to them. Cincinnati Bell has a new obsession with doing interesting things to phones now.
  • Glad to see developers have solved the PS3 support problem, as my touch interface didn't give me enough analog options or virtual buttons. You still have to install all sorts of crappy 3rd party BT drivers and jump through various flaming hoops to get a BT keyboard to work on android.

    • by chammy (1096007)
      I have Cyanogen 7 on my Droid and it can handle a bluetooth keyboard just fine - all I had to do was turn it on and sync like any other device. The only issue I've had is it doesn't rotate the arrow keys with the screen (not a big deal.)
  • http://www.reddit.com/r/Android/comments/ja2au/now_you_can_use_ps3_controllers_on_your_phone/ [reddit.com]

    Probably more useful on tablets anyways....

    I've had the wiimote working with mine for a while. sixaxis may be even better...

  • If you're a guy who wants to develop for the Play Station Phone, maybe your aps will be easily portable to people who use an Android + PS3 controller.

    Some Aps just need a real controller feel to them, even if you're missing out on a majority of the market share(people with Android/iPhones and no PS3 controller).
    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      I was talking about this the other day with a co-worker. They could make the Android an even more serious contender to the PSP/ Nintendo DS if they had some kind of gamepad you could use with any old Android phone. I know that a lot of people complain about using the touch input on their phone for games. Especially if you have one of the cheaper phones with resistive display. I'm sure a bluetooth controller could be made, possibly with some kind of adjustable piece which could hold onto the phone. This w
  • Yay? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jethro (14165) on Sunday August 07, 2011 @09:06PM (#37018310) Homepage

    Be more useful for me if I could use my Android phone AS a Sixaxis controller. Or at least a lot cooler.

    • Mod parent +1,Only sensible comment here
    • by Rennt (582550)
      A less ergonomic six axis with no buttons - unless you count virtual buttons, then its a subpar six axis you can't use while looking at the TV. Cool maybe, but significantly less useful.
    • On Maemo you could do that, among other things:

      http://maemo.org/packages/view/bluemaemo/ [maemo.org]

    • by Timmmm (636430)

      Err no, this is so you can connect one or several PS3 controllers to your phone, which is running an emulator displayed over HDMI. Thus turning your phone into a mini-console.

      I don't see why anyone would want to use a phone as a controller for a PS3. It would be far inferior to an actual PS3 controller.

      • by Jethro (14165)

        And I don't see why anyone would want to play games on their phone, even via HDMI on a TV. I don't think EITHER of these is in any way useful. I'm just saying using the phone as a controller would be somewhat cooler.

        • by Timmmm (636430)

          Heh, you make no sense. I mean, the attraction of having your phone be a full-on console is obvious. You can easily take it to other people's houses, on business trips, etc.

          But there's no reason you'd want to use a phone as a PS3 controller - people who have PS3's tend to already have PS3 controllers, and they are much better!

          • by Jethro (14165)

            Yeah, Angry Birds on a huge TV with a PS3 controller, that's just awesome cool fun.

            I prefer to take a book on trips. I do a lot of things with my phone, but play games is not one of them.

            • by Timmmm (636430)

              Well now you're just changing what I said, which is as good as admitting you lost the debate!

              • by Jethro (14165)

                Ok, you're saying phone games are as good as console games. I say maybe consoles from 5 years ago. I still have zero interest in playing them.

                As I said originally, I don't really think either of these is a 'good' idea.

  • What is it with BT? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Sunday August 07, 2011 @09:24PM (#37018386) Journal
    Can anybody explain for me why the state of BT, even on devices that amount to general purpose computers, is so fucked compared to other common interconnects?

    I understand that, when one or both devices communicating are likely to be embedded ones for which driver update is impractical or impossible, the specification of assorted "Protocols" is desireable(and extremely convenient, as in the case of USB's "Classes"). What I don't understand, though, is why the various BT protocols seem to be so device/driver dependent. Some dongles support protocol X, others don't, others do with a cracked copy of BlueSoliel Y or higher...

    Why is it up to the bluetooth device, or to its driver, to support high-level protocols(even on PCs) rather than just handling the low-level link stuff and letting the OS or userspace handle the clever stuff? It seems vaguely like discovering that your NIC is handling SIP in-driver, and if you happen to buy the wrong one, VOIP just won't work. I can understand why a maker of embedded chipsets might produce an IC combining a NIC with some VOIP-centered DSP stuff and an application processor, for the convenience of people building VOIP handsets and such; but encountering such a thing in a PC would be a bit of a shock.

    Why is BT so weird?
    • by grumbel (592662) <grumbel@gmx.de> on Sunday August 07, 2011 @10:15PM (#37018620) Homepage

      Can't answer the general case, but when it comes to the Playstation 3 controller the situation is basically this (at least as far as I understand it):

      1) you connect the controller via USB to let him now the Bluetooth address of your computer/phone
      2) you press the button on the controller to power it up
      3) the controller now contacts your computer and says hello
      4) your computer needs an application running to answer that call

      The problem is step 4), the Playstation 3 controller seems to use well known ports for this (HID stuff I think) and your average OS already has an application listening on those ports, thus you can't just add another application to listen on the same ports and have to kill whatever is already running there to make it work. It's essentially the same thing as when you want to run two webservers on port 80, it simply doesn't work.

      With the Wiimote in adhoc mode the situation is much simpler, as it is the computer that is contacting the Wiimote, not the Wiimote the computer. Thus there are no ports on the computer to worry about and you can simply run a Wiimote app on the PC and have that talk to the Wiimote. The Wiimote however can also be synced with the PC (when pressing the red sync button instead of 1+2), when that is done the situation reverses again, its now the Wiimote contacting the PC. Not sure what ports it uses for that and if there are any conflicts.

      • by Timmmm (636430)

        > your average OS already has an application listening on those ports

        I don't think it is that in this case. The app describes the lack of support as a "missing protocol". Probably Samsung/HTC's bluetooth stack doesn't support HID... or something.

        I've actually been trying to write an android sixaxis app, but bluetooth is pretty damn complicated and there are no good tutorials or documentation - they're all way too 'enterprise' and convoluted.

      • by Timmmm (636430)

        Aha! I found the real reason.

        There is a bluetooth input code here: http://code.google.com/p/android-bluez-ime/ [google.com]

        And they state "Wiimote support is ready, but many devices lack the L2CAP ability and thus cannot communicate with the Wiimote."

        I imagine it is the same reason for the PS3.

    • by m50d (797211)

      I believe the root of the problem is that Windows shipped without a bluetooth stack, leaving it up to the various bluetooth hardware makers to write their own drivers. Hardware companies are not very good at software - it's outside their core competency, and they view drivers as an expense rather than a way to improve their product. So some of them did things their own way, some of them licensed stacks from other companies, and we ended up with about four competing implementations each with their own bugs.

  • For some phones, the game gripper is a good option http://www.game-gripper.com/Default.asp [game-gripper.com]

    Does not require root, as it physically pushes the keyboard buttons.
    • by toadlife (301863)

      I bought a game gripper for my Epic 4g (Galaxy S). It's not perfect, but it's good enough for 8/16 bit emulation, which is all I wanted.

  • by Sasayaki (1096761) on Sunday August 07, 2011 @09:32PM (#37018422)

    ... why people just accept that in order to do anything cool with an Android phone you have to jailbreak it first.

    Among my friends there's about a 25/75 split between Android users and iPhone users (disclaimer: I've got an iPhone). Honestly, I don't really get the fanboy fuelled 'hate-dom' that seems to flare up whenever we get into a debate about the respective merits of our devices, especially because we're arguing about the superior brand of telephone. Really...?

    I do find it strange, though, that despite Android phones having superior cameras, consumer-friendly features including the ability to replace your battery, better and faster processors, more ram and physical keyboards (in all ways, physically, superior to iPhones), whenever a debate comes... it's inevitable that one of the main arguments (usually the first one) that's bought out by the Android users is "It's open and it's free as in freedom", usually said with this smug grin, as though the iPhone is not. They're right, of course, but...

    But then I ask something like, "Can I replace the 'telephone' app freely then?" and they nod eagerly and say, "Yep, you totally can, you just jailbreak it like this and-" ...

    I can accept that Android has a great deal many superior features to the iPhone, but I eventually went with iPhone because it had the best user interface, painless upgrade process, everything about it 'just works' (unless it doesn't, such as 3GS wifi-access-point-mode), and the app-store is by far the best. Some people say, "If you're not willing to tinker with your devices you're not a real geek", at which point I tell them that it's just a telephone and I expect it, and its apps, to just work, all the time. It should not need to be tinkered with.

    I just don't understand why when the inevitable fanboy war comes, that the very first feature that seems to be produced is "It's open if you jailbreak!". I mean, isn't that the very definition of jailbreaking? Making something closed open? (and yes, iPhones can do it to...)

    My second question is...

    Awesome! Is there an iPhone port of this?

    • I don't know why they accept it. That's why I got a Nokia N900. Root available(just install an app) easily, unlocked, open bootloader(so you can dual, triple or quad-boot whatever the hell you want), and a full Linux stack.

      Oh, and it's supported using the Sixaxis controller since at *least* January of last year... Not that I care, not having one, but...

      Yea.

    • by Veggiesama (1203068) on Sunday August 07, 2011 @10:15PM (#37018614)

      I can accept that Android has a great deal many superior features to the iPhone, but I eventually went with iPhone because it had the best user interface, painless upgrade process, everything about it 'just works' (unless it doesn't, such as 3GS wifi-access-point-mode), and the app-store is by far the best. Some people say, "If you're not willing to tinker with your devices you're not a real geek", at which point I tell them that it's just a telephone and I expect it, and its apps, to just work, all the time. It should not need to be tinkered with.

      No offense, but I can't stand the "it just works" cop-out. I have heard it so many times, it sounds like it was ripped straight from an Apple commercial. Of course "it just works"-- even Androids "just work," if you mean they can do all the basic functions, like making calls, storing contacts, showing the time, accessing webpages, etc., in some fashion or another without a ton of modification.

      However, when given the ability to customize and personalize, some of us enjoy going the extra mile to upgrade a sufficient "just works" interface to an optimal "OMG check out what my smartphone can do" interface. Sure, the default Android browser works fine, but I want tabbed browsing, so I upgrade to Dolphin HD. The default gTalk app does what it's designed to do, but I'm a power chatter with five or six different IM accounts (which could require many different apps!), so to standardize the interface and save on the RAM, I grab eBuddy for an all-in-one solution. And that's not even getting into all of the cool stuff (and money-saving stuff) you can do if you root your phone.

      I think that when a geek gains that ability to tinker, "just works" becomes "hmm... maybe I can do better." If you don't have any other options, you don't bitch about a lousy interface--you learn to adapt. For instance, every microwave oven I've ever owned has had a POPCORN button on it that always seems to burn any popcorn I give it. Naturally, I just ignore it like many others do. However, if I could take that button off and replace it with a +30 SECONDS button (in addition to the regular +1 QUICK MINUTE button) or a QUICK RECALL button or something other that would be more useful, I would do it in a heartbeat. But I can't, because the microwave's interface is locked and can't be modified. So you learn to adapt to the quirks and ignore the deficiencies.

      However, as soon as you learn you have other options, the minor problems become glaring obstacles that can be overcome with a little bit of research and tinkering. Maybe that's not a big deal to some people, but I like it.

      • by Tooke (1961582)

        Exactly! Thank you for posting that.

        I have an ipod touch (don't have money for a smart phone, no real alternatives that I've seen) and it hardly "just works" for me. I've jailbroken it, and I don't know how people can stand to live without the features I've added to mine. I use a case with a cover, so the lock screen is pointless for me. Turns out there's a cydia app to get rid of the lock screen. I thought it was a pain to take it out of my pocket, unlock it (before I jailbroke), and open the music app jus

        • Both iOS and Android have their good and bad points (to state the obvios). If you love the Apple interface, it would be a wrench to switch to something else. Apple certainly does 'slick' and a lot of the features are well implemented but a lot are not.

          A work colleague got an iPhone 4 which I had a play with. It impressed me once I'd got the hang of the menu system but one thing that really put me off was the lack of peak and off-peak email schedules in the MS exchange implementation. I prefer push ema

          • by donaldm (919619)

            The battery life was dire at the start but only due to the number of default apps which were trying to sync every quarter of a second or so (stock, news, email, gmail, weather, shoes, plates, cups, saucers etc.). Once I'd tweaked a bit and scheduled wif-fi to switch off during work hours when I don't need it, the battery life is fine. Of course, I can use someone elses adroid, blackberry charger if I run low on juice.

            Battery life is one of the minuses of the HTC Desire HD so I always carry a USB to micro USB cable which I plug into my laptop whenever my charge level drops below 50%. Basically I only get about an hour gaming on the train and my battery normally goes down to 50%. Other than that I am very happy with my phone.

            Traveling by car takes me well over an hour in peak traffic to get to where I am currently working hence the reason I take a train (less stress) when traveling in the city. In addition I can also pl

      • by Mr_Silver (213637)

        No offense, but I can't stand the "it just works" cop-out. I have heard it so many times, it sounds like it was ripped straight from an Apple commercial. Of course "it just works"-- even Androids "just work," if you mean they can do all the basic functions, like making calls, storing contacts, showing the time, accessing webpages, etc., in some fashion or another without a ton of modification.

        The problem is that "just works" implies a level of polish that a lot of geeks don't seem to care about. Doing basic

    • by subreality (157447) on Sunday August 07, 2011 @10:22PM (#37018646)

      Awesome! Is there an iPhone port of this?

      Yep, coming soon, you just jailbreak it like this and-" ...

      This is actually one of my big misgivings about my iPhone. I have to jailbreak it to do a lot of cool things with it, and Apple goes way out of their way to make it obnoxiously hard. I skip most of the upgrades because it's a complete PITA to plan an upgrade path that won't lose my jailbreak.

      I'm giving very serious thought to switching to an Android phone where I can jailbreak it once (possibly with vendor-blessing, or perhaps not), install Cyanogenmod, and be done with it.

      If I wanted the best vendor-supplied experience, the iPhone has it, hands down. But I'm a tinkerer, and Android is calling.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Rooting != Jailbreaking

    • by godrik (1287354)

      I think you have the wrong understanding of "jailbreaking" and which type of operations require "jailbreaking".

      "jailbreaking" on android is obtaining root access. The system does not really prevent you from having root access since plugging a USB cable on the phone give you root access. That is why the operation is called "rooting" the phone. Most people want to root the phone to install custom firmwares, but for most thing you do not need that.

      Only applications that need a low level access require a rooted

      • by Thantik (1207112)

        Actually, jailbreaking is called such because under iOS you have to break out of a CHROOT JAIL. You don't jailbreak an Android because there is no chroot jail to break out of. It's called rooting because you're doing that...obtaining root.

    • by MeNeXT (200840)

      I owned an iPhone not to knock it or anything if you are happy with it fine but I didn't realize how many calls it dropped until I switched. My 2cents is just to say I'm so glad I can connect my new phone on as many computers as I care to. iPhone is so closed that I can't understand how you put up with it, jailbroken or not.

      • My wife and I both had 3G phones, I have a 4 now. Neither of us, over the three phones, have ever had a dropped call. Ever. Did you switch carriers when you switched phones? Or, perhaps, just a sketchy radio in the phone. As to being closed, that's just silly. The reality of the situation is that you need to jailbreak/root either phone, or you're stuck in a shitty closed platform. Android talks open, but you're still beholden to your handset maker/carrier for OS upgrades (which may well never come)

        • One of the strongest arguments in favour of Andriod - the choice of hardware upon which to use it - is also one of the arguments against it. The new iPhone is realeased and everyone gets it - no watering down of hardware/compatibility. With Android, lots of vendors are competing hence the choice. It is this choice which I think is a good thing even though it may introduce incompatibility/instability.

          Apple has a strong business model but it is not for everyone. Rather than berate one or the other, peop

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You don't jailbreak an Android phone. You root it which is usually pretty simple. For my GT540 I simply Googled it.
      - Enter the code '3845#*540#'
      - Select the option 'Module Test', then 'Stability Test' then 'Enable Root Permission'
      - You will now be prompted for a password - enter :SWIFT::GT540:
      - A toast message will briefly appear saying 'OK' - your root access is now enabled!

      That's all there is to it.

    • by Boycott BMG (1147385) on Monday August 08, 2011 @03:00AM (#37019662) Journal

      But then I ask something like, "Can I replace the 'telephone' app freely then?" and they nod eagerly and say, "Yep, you totally can, you just jailbreak it like this and-" ...

      If you mean the dialer app, then yes you can replace it, without rooting. In fact, there is very little you must root to do. Off the top of my head I have only had to root to do the following:

      Install custom ROMs/patches.
      Run a personal firewall/ad blocker.
      Run a wireless tether app that doesn't require that I pay the phone company extra.
      Run a VNC server.
      Run a program that over/underclocks my phone.

    • Well I would argue that the iPhone doesn't "just work". There are plenty of apps that have weird bugs out there, just as in any other environment.

      People state the "just works" property because they have no interest in the fancy features a smartphone gives you. As they stand from production Android and iPhones can be categorized as being feature phones. It's not until you start tinkering that the "smart" part comes out.

      I love tinkering with my phone, and "jailbreaking" is not so much the word for getting roo

    • The biggest misconception with Andriod is that its only better for tinkerers. I have one and have never rooted or done anything fancy to it, but I still prefer it. Why? If I do decide I want to tinker or mess around with something, I have that option even without root. Apple is about the Jobs Way or the Highway. To put it simply, I don't like being told what I can and can't do by an obsessive control freak. That aside, I multitask extensively and Apple's definition of multitasking, after testing, make

    • by jittles (1613415)

      My second question is...

      Awesome! Is there an iPhone port of this?

      There probably will be an iPhone port for this. But guess what? You're probably going to have to jailbreak your phone to use it!

  • ... had it running more than a year ago already (http://tomasz.sterna.tv/2010/02/play-games-on-nokia-n900-with-ps3-sixaxis-controller/). I used to run C64 games on it using Vice - my own portable C64 game console for hotels, when used in combination with the N900 video cable. Only issue was mainly that you had to configure the keys correctly, and that some games would need some patience in that configuration.
  • >"You can now use the PS3 Sixaxis Controller on Android phones and devices."!

    Except not unless you are rooted. Throw away 90% of devices out there.

    Or if it is an HTC. So throw out another 50% of devices out there.

    Or a newer Samsung. So throw out another 15% of devices out there.

    And there is no point if it is not a higher-end device capable of playing good games. So throw out about 70% of devices out there.

    Not much left!

    • by nordah (1365739)

      Or if it is an HTC. So throw out another 50% of devices out there.

      I'm on a HTC Hero... rooted, and running aospCMod (AOSP 2.3.4 / CM7+ (Gingerbread)). I don't have a Sixaxis to test the actual hardware, but the compatibility checker indicates that my phone is compatible.

      So maybe not completely "throw out another 50% of devices out there." Mod'ed HTC's may be good to go, and a mod'ded phone is guaranteed to be rooted.

  • however it is incompatible with most HTC devices and some newer Samsung devices due to the need of specific Bluetooth protocol

    That's true if you are using a sense based rom, however if you are rooted, there's a good chance you are using an AOSP (android open source project) ROM, such as Cyanogenmod 7 that does have the bluetooth support needed.

    Also wanted to note that controller support for android isn't exactly a new concept. The wiimote has been able to be used for quite a while. However support for a pla

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