Last Updated: April 9th, 2013

Native PlayStation DualShock game controller support is a feature Sony fans have been clamoring for on Android for some time now. So long, in fact, that there's a very popular app devoted strictly to making this possible for rooted users. But requiring root access is definitely a major roadblock for some people, and an official solution from Sony has remained elusive - until now.

A video of the soon-to-be-released Xperia SP phone shows off built-in DualShock 3 pairing functionality, and it seems to work great.

The catch is that in order to pair the controller, a USB OTG cable (and USB host support on the phone itself) is required initially. Because the DualShock 3 controller doesn't pair using the standard Bluetooth method, a wired connection must be established on first-use. Thereafter, the controller will automatically connect via Bluetooth to the paired smartphone (with controller mode enabled) when it's powered on. The DualShock 3 is set up to use Android's standard controller API (present since Android 3.2), and should work with any Android game that is listed as having controller support.

What remains unknown is when - or if - Sony will be bringing this functionality to other Xperia devices, namely the Z and ZL. The SP is a mid-range phone headed for a number of international markets, including the UK, but it seems unlikely Sony would keep such a desirable feature locked up exclusively in a comparatively mundane handset. Or maybe they would - we are talking about Sony after all.


David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • jm9843

    Pairing the Dual Shock 3 to the OUYA uses the same procedure.

  • http://twitter.com/Darkmyth_pt Darkmyth PT


  • http://twitter.com/misterE33 Mr E

    Sixaxis works fine for me, but it's nice to see official support. If they play it right, I still think Sony could really make huge inroads if they push gaming-centric smartphones. I nearly got an Xperia Play but felt it was held back by mid-range specs and lack of 4g (which was new at the time), not to mention the seeming lack of game support and odd touch analog sticks (but still better than all touchscreen). On the flip side, I'd seriously consider getting a Vita if it could be used as a full cell phone.

  • VoiceofSky


  • J√≥zsef Borics

    This feature is already available on the Xperia Tablet S. Maybe I missed something but I haven't seen it mentioned in any press release or review about the XTS so it was a pleasant surprise when I tried to hook mine up to a DualShock controller and realised it is natively supported. I would be surprised if newer Xperia devices such as the Xperia Z, ZL and Tablet Z didn't have native DS3 controller support.

  • GazaIan

    Technically you should be able to do it without an OTG cable, you just need to use sixaxis pair tool to change your client bluetooth mac address to the one on your phone. If the Xperia devices record the controller and won't accept it until it has done the pairing itself, then that sucks.

  • Floss

    I would kill to not have to root my phone just to use the playstation controller :(

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeanpierre.haines Jean-Pierre Haines

    well the Xperia T get this update