Gaming on Android devices has come a long way in the past several months, but it can be quite difficult to adapt to touch-screen-only gaming. During intense games, I tend to be pretty heavy-handed, which makes me a bit nervous when the my controller is also the screen, so I would love to have a way to enjoy games on my phone or tablet without destroying the display. Fortunately, Dancing Pixel Studios created an app that allows you to use a Playstation3 six axis controller over Bluetooth. Read on to find out more.
Before we get into the details of this app, there are some caveats to be aware of. Below is an insert take directly from Dancing Pixel's website:
Important - Due to the non-standard protocol that the controllers use to communicate with the host, this application requires root access. Additionally, it is incompatible with most HTC devices and some newer Samsung devices. This is due to the required bluetooth protocol not being implemented on these devices. We are actively looking into a work around, but currently the only solution is to install a custom firmware, such as Cyanogenmod, that supports the required protocols.
Fortunately, there is an easy way to ensure your device's compatibility: grab Sixaxis Compatibility Checker from the Android Market. Once you know whether or not your device is compatible, here are the full instructions:
- Download and install the application from the Android Market. It is highly recommended that you first download the 'Sixaxis Compatibility Checker' app to make sure your phone is compatible before purchasing the full application.
- Tap the 'start' button and wait for bluetooth to initiate. If you get an 'Error: Missing required protocol' message, your device is not supported.
- If not already done, you must manually pair the controller with your phone. This can be done using 'SixaxisPairTool', or with 'MotionInJoy' or the linux utility 'sixpair'. Your phones bluetooth address should be shown at the bottom of the main application window and will look something like 1A:3C:13:00:21:C2; you need to enter this number into the 'SixaxisPairTool' as shown. This process only needs to be done the first time a controller is used on a different device, so if you only use the controller on one phone, you will only need to do it once.
- Once paired, unplug the USB cable and press the power button on the controller. If successful, the lights on the controller will stop blinking and a single light will remain on.
- If you are running the compatibility checker, and pressing buttons on the controller results in button presses showing up in the app, congratulations, you can now download the full app.
- Tap the 'Change Input Method' button and select 'Sixaxis Controller'. You should now be able to use the controller in any games or applications that support key bindings, such as many emulators.
- Subsequent controllers can be added at any time by pressing their power buttons.
- You can change the fallback input method and key mappings in the applications settings.
Here is a video of SixAxis Controller in action:
And another one:
The app is $1.73 in the Android Market, and you can grab it by hitting the widget below. If you decide to give this a go, let us know your results!