PS3 vs 360 - Controller
Alright having played with my PS3 for a couple of nights now, I think I can start to make some comparisons between the two systems.
First up is the controller.
No user replace-able batteries on the PS3 controller means you are tethered to the console during installation until the thing builds up enough juice to unhook. And the bundled USB cable is SHORT. This is supposed to be a living room device and you give me a USB cable that's like 6 feet long tops? Seriously? Although there is a weight tradeoff, I will take the 360's user replace-able and standard AA batteries. Advantage 360.
The PS3 controller is CRAZY light. You would think it was just a hollow toy if it didn't work (which it does). There is seriously nothing to this thing when you're holding it. I'm sure that the lack of rumble has a lot to do with the weight. Personally my 360 controller does feel a bit heavy at times and supposedly the chatpad is not exactly going to help with that. Advantage Sony.
No rumble on the PS3 controller. Personally, rumble is a bit too immersive for me so I always shut it off. Push.
PS button versus XBox360 guide button - this works almost exactly the same way. Push down to shut off the console. Tap during gameplay to get back to the dashboard/XMB. It's all very similar. Sony does not, however, have the little pull-out blade during gameplay that the 360 has (and I love). Advantage 360.
Which controller am I? MS handles this with a ring around the guide button so all you have to do is look down and it even shows you what quadrant you're in if you're playing split screen. Really cool. Sony's indicator is on the top of the controller (4 red LED's) so you actually have to turn it over to see which one you're hooked into. Advantage 360.
R1/R2/L1/L2 on PS3 vs triggers and bumpers on 360 - I haven't yet played a game that actually use the triggers yet but they feel really nice. First of all, Sony has finally bowed to peer pressure and put triggers on their controllers in place of the R2/L2 buttons. The feel is quite nice but it's not as thin as the 360's trigger and it's got a bit nicer of a feel to it. Gameplay will tell how good it really is, but I'll give the edge to Sony on this one.
Analog sticks. Here's one of the big differences and it's really hard to get used to. Sony's analog sticks have always been side by side. MS' sticks are offset. I would think during long gameplay sessions that Sony's sticks would hurt your hands but I haven't played anything for particularly long on my PS3 yet so it's a little hard to say that. The feel of the PS3 thumbsticks is quite nice - the texture is very tactile and "grippy". Push - I prefer Sony's feel but MS' location.
The 4 buttons - hard to say there's any real difference here. I guess I could give a slight edge to MS based on the fact that their buttons are raised in a slightly convex fashion while the PS3 buttons are pretty flat.
Start and Back/Select - These buttons are a bit wonky on the PS3. They have a nice soft feel to them, but they don't always respond unless you really mash them. Advantage 360.
Overall, I would have to say that MS got it right where it counted but Sony's feel is extremely nice. Advantage clearly goes to 360 overall for pure gaming but the lack of weight and nice tactile analog sticks and triggers on the PS3 make it a close call for me.