Good news for PS3: The rumble is back and a God of War - type Heavenly Sword is amazing!
After rumours and denials came confirmation.
Sony has confirmed it is releasing a DualShock 3 wireless controller for PlayStation3 and it includes the useful rumble feature we know so well and loved in the PS2 controller.
Although the new console controller had wireless and a six axis motion feature, the lack of rumble for PS3 was a shock as it followed legal action against Sony by a company called Immersion claiming to have the patent for it. Sony was ordered to pay the company US$90m. The matter has now been settled.
The official line for the late emergence is that PS3 designers have managed to find a way of combining the new controller with the tilt sensor, which had prevented it from including the vibration feature. It combines wireless functionality, motion sensing, and the vibration features now.
The new controller will be out in November in Japan and I think we will see it sometime early in the new year. EA's PS3 Burnout title - Burnout Paradise, out next year, will be one of the several dozen games announced to make use of the rumble.
It was disappointing to hear the news that Sony's virtual community being rolled out for PS3 - a kind of Second Life thing called Home - has been delayed and won't be out til sometime in the first part of next year.
It's good that Sony is getting it right and fixing what must be improved but it needs to move quickly if it wants to show that a PS3 online world is a point of difference since Microsoft has been getting its online play right for a long time now with Xbox Live.
One game that I'll be keen to try the new controller out with is Heavenly Sword, PS3's first really big title, released on Friday.
I've been playing it for hours and continue to be impressed especially with the stunning graphics. It has the battle feel of God of War - comparisons with this title are inevitable - and the sound and ambience of the underrated PS2 Japanese fantasy and puzzle-driven title Ico.
Andy Serkis (the voice of Gollum in"The Lord of the Rings") gives a standout performance as an evil King Bohan and the sound and music is as good as it gets.
The story isn't the deepest but the graphics are incredible: bodies are far more realistic than expected - their faces with realistic flesh tones on cheeks and details of features like eyebrows, eyes and mouth.
This game's other highlight is the combat system which involves three different stances with their own set of moves and combinable routines to tackle every enemy. This enables non-stop action.
It's a great game that I just want to keep playing. Just a pity it's reasonably short. I guess that means a Heavenly Sword II!
MadGamer rating: 9 / 10
How important do you think the rumble feature is for a games controller?