PS3 Controller Design is a Ripoff!

I have but one bookcase in my room which I used to store my manga, comics and such. The bottom shelf has always stored my large collection of almost 10 years of GamePro magazines. Lately my comic and manga collection has grown larger, and I stopped subscribing to GamePro over a year ago. So I packed up the magazines, and I’m getting ready to sell the whole collection on ebay.

While sorting out those old GamePro magazines I stumbled upon something very interesting. In the labs section, on page 30, where they review new hardware accessories, of the March 1997 issue #102 there is a small box containing a review of a third party PlayStation controller. The box is titled “The Alps Adventure” and it is a review of a controller simply called “The Gamepad” that is made by Alps Interactive. The picture and text of the review follow.

It looks like a batarang, but fear not, hardy PlayStation gameplayers. The Gamepad by Alps Interactive is anything but sinister. The cool, sleek design is actually very functional, with extra-long, rubber-coated handles for a sure grip and a responsive, thumb-friendly direction pad rather than the four buttons as on the stock PSX controller.

Some downsides are the closely spaced teardrop-shaped action buttons and the triggers, which seem more spread out than on the standard controller. Sill, The Gamepad is ready to help gamers kick some butt–even if it’s not in Gotham City.

I think it is obvious to everyone that this is almost identical to the PS3 controller designs we’ve seen around the web. I couldn’t confirm the current status of Alps Interactive with a brief web search, but I did find this site selling the controller and giving it high praise.

Like others I am skeptical of whether or not the PS3 controller will actually be comfortable to hold and use. But based on a couple reviews of the original I think that it might actually be comfortable despite it’s misleading appearance. Assuming the reviews are to be trusted. Sony had better hope that the patent holder for the gamepad doesn’t come looking for them. I think they have enough lawsuits on their hands already.

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21 Responses to PS3 Controller Design is a Ripoff!

  1. Keith Cody says:

    I own one of these. It’s a terrible controller. Because of it’s design, I found it impossible to finish Tomb Raider one. The angle of hand grips changes the relationship between the D-pad and your thumb. On most PS controllers, to move to the right you move you thumb to the right. But on this controller, you have to move you thumb out more than you do to the right. It’s more of a push. It’s really difficult to master. You find yourself going and diagonals a lot more than just left or right. Really, it blows.

    Mine is for sale if anyone wants to get a handle on what the PS3 controller “may” be like. I hope it’s not this.

  2. Aj Collins says:

    The company doesnt even exist anymore!! Im shure that Sony got the rights to make it if someone owned the rights.

  3. strife says:

    are you serious? if you look at any history of controllers you can see that its all based off of previous generations of controllers. Shouting that its a ripoff is lame, of course its going to resemble whatever. What do you think people said about the first ps controller?

  4. ps3 says:

    is it possible that sony acquired this company? is it possible that your acusation of “ripoff”, is in fact not? perhaps sony acquired this company in order to use the controller?

    you should really look into this before you post something as a ripoff

  5. hahaha says:

    hahaha

  6. Daine says:

    thatzs reely great

  7. Jordan says:

    Yes, the design is fantastic, actually. I’ve used the controller in question. The PS3 controller looks a bit streamlined… but otherwise the design is largely unchanged… dow n to the “teardrop buttons”.

  8. TJ says:

    I did a quick search and found thier old website on http://www.archive.org. I happened to find a few things about it.
    a 3D view of the controller.
    http://img504.imageshack.us/my.php?image=alpsgamepad5xx.gif

    and a full webpage.
    http://web.archive.org/web/19980209231958/http://interactive.alps.com/index.html

  9. cvncpu says:

    wow, I am sure that the PS3 devs are totaly unoriginal, and they were left with no choice but to rip off some lame ass 3rd party controller that no one has ever seen before

  10. linead says:

    It sort of looks like it, not a great deal though.

  11. Si Brindley says:

    “I think it is obvious to everyone that this is almost identical to the PS3 controller…”

    Almost identical? *Hardly* identical. Both controllers are like PS2 controllers but with extended wings, forming a boomerang shape. That’s where the similarity ends.

    Different colours
    Different D-pads
    Different shaped wings
    Different in the centre
    Different position of Select / Start
    One has two analogue controls.

    In short: What are you on about!?

  12. ProZaC says:

    Its a good chance that Sony owns part of this company, or at least has some sort of contract with them. These days, Alps seems to make a lot of touchpad pointing devices for laptops, and the Sony VAIO im typing on right now has one. I’m too lazy to look into the matter further :)

  13. lee says:

    lol,what a joke,all controllers are based on older versions..duh

  14. Not a rip-off at all when looking at both in 3-D.

  15. BobbyChristopher says:

    The controller for ps2 looks like this thing, but the coin has two sides. Yea the controller design looks like the Alps version, but just think of what features the ps3 controller has. It has bluetooth and much other things. Alps is dead as I understand, and Sony is to the point where they can care less. One of their devs coulda made a brand new style controller, but was probably like “Yo, screw this dude, lets revive the old Alps throwaway model and trick it out.” Regardless, ps3 is gonna be awesome. So for the guy who said the devs suck for Sony? No dice.

  16. BobbyChristopher says:

    *ps2 – ps3
    *edit

  17. mrhurtalot says:

    omg its got shoulder buttons. RIPOFF OF SNES!
    omg its uses up down left right! R/O of NES!
    omg it plugs in!? RIPOFF of the POWERCABLE!

  18. matt says:

    ps3’s controller is a rip or they did buy the company out. lots of people think the ps3 controller is crazy yet these guys were still ballsey enough to do it 8 years back. this idea is really original, i doubt sony pulled it out of their ass.

  19. Chad says:

    I own two of the Alps controllers (the special edition red and the standard blue) and they are the most comfortable controllers I have ever used. The D-Pad took awhile to break in, but once it was there wasn’t anything smoother or better for d-pad sweep moves for Street Fighter, etc. If the PS3 controller is based on the alps controller I would be really pleased. I would still be using the alps controllers today if they had the analog sticks, etc. required for todays PS2 games. I do still get it out when I want to play some old fashioned street fighter because there just isn’t anything better, IMO.

  20. eddie says:

    the ps3 controller looks tight and very comfortable you could tell it looked small how close the buttons where and love the design i don’t no y people are hatting on it i think the xbox controllers kinda suck even the 360 they have the buttons spread and its small

  21. J says:

    Alps still exists. They make trackpoint doohickeys for Dell laptops.

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