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The DualShock is the iconic and critically acclaimed PlayStation controller on which Sony has based all of its subsequent controller designs. The DualShock was developed by Sony for use with the original PlayStation and released in Japan in 1997. The PlayStation's original controller lacked analog control and force feedback. The 1999 game Ape Escape was the first to require a DualShock for play, and Sony quickly adopted the controller as the PlayStation standard, packing it in with subsequent versions of the console.

The PlayStation 2 version of the DualShock was known as the DualShock 2. Though its outward design remained the same (other than a shift from grey to black), the controller integrated pressure-sensitive face and shoulder buttons.

Sony caused a stir prior to the release of the PlayStation 3, first by showing a radically redesigned DualShock that many commentators derisively described as a boomerang. The new design was either loved or hated by Playstation 3 followers. This design was scrapped before release, however.

The original PlayStation 3 release saw the replacement of the DualShock with the SIxaxis, an outwardly identical controller that inwardly lacked force feedback due to an ongoing lawsuit over the vibration copyright with hardware company Immersion. Instead, the Sixaxis featured an accelerometer that sensed motion input. Sony finally released a revised version of the SIxaxis that included force feedback support, not surprisingly dubbed the DualShock 3, in 2008. The first software to support DualShock 3 technology was a demo of Gran Turismo 5 Prologue which was released on the Japanese PSN Store on October 20, 2007.  Initially, the DualShock 3 controller was released in Japan on November 11, 2007 in black only and didn't reach North America until April 5, 2008 and Europe until July 2, 2008 (UK July 4, 2008). By this point, most existing PlayStation 3 titles had been updated to support the controller. 
 
The PS3 firmware v1.94 was released to add support for DualShock in PlayStation 3 titles and support for compatible PSOne and PlayStation 2 games was added later in v2.00.

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