Pelican's PS2 to PS3 Controller Adapter Hands-On

One of the main complaints about PS3's backward compatibility for PS2 games is the inability to use custom PS2 controllers like the DDR dance pads and the Guitar Hero guitars. For $14.99, Pelican gives you a cheap way to get your old controllers to work with your old games on your new system.

On the whole, standard PS2 controllers worked fine for us in games like Final Fantasy and Shadow of the Colossus, but for some reason one of our really old Dualshock controllers was super-sensitive when in the adapter. Using a new controller fixed the problems. The big "but" in this setup? No rumble.

Pelican's PS2 to PS3 Controller Adapter Hands-On

Pelican's PS2 to PS3 Controller Adapter Hands-On

Pelican's PS2 to PS3 Controller Adapter Hands-On

Pelican's PS2 to PS3 Controller Adapter Hands-On

Pelican's PS2 to PS3 Controller Adapter Hands-On

Even with rumble-enabled games and a rumble-enabled controller, there's no rumble to be found. Darn.

Pelican also claims that this works with both Guitar Hero 1 and Guitar Hero 2, but we only own Guitar Hero 1 (the second we have for Xbox 360), so we could only test there. The result? Fantastic. It was just like on the PS2. Hammer-ons and pull-offs worked (yeah, we can actually do these—hold your applause) and so did the whammy. When playing Guitar Hero 2, you have to use convoluted strumming and button presses in order to advance in the menus, plus, hammer-ons and pulloffs don't work. Whammy does work, however.

The adapter itself has two modes, a regular mode for standard controllers and the Guitar Hero 1 guitar, and a Guitar Hero 2 mode for Guitar Hero 2. When playing GH1 on GH2 mode, everything went to hell, but fixed itself when we set it on the correct "normal" mode.

There's even a "PS Home" button on the adapter that you need to press whenever you load up a PS2 game in order to sync the controller. It's already a pain in the ass when you have to do this with the SIXAXIS, but having to walk up to the console and press the button every time you go in and out of a PS2 game is horrible. We blame Sony for this one, since Pelican did the best they could. Luckily, hitting the analog button will bring you the PS Home menu when you're inside a game.

All in all, $14 is a cheap price to pay to get GH1 and Dance Dance Revolution to play on your PS2. But if you're looking for better Guitar Hero 2 support or rumble support, you probably want to wait for the next revision.

Update: Turns out it's actually Sony's restrictions that doesn't allow this to use rumble. Ouch, Sony. Ouch. As for Guitar Hero 2, the adapter does work for the game, but you have to go through a small setup process. We'll try and get a copy to test for ourselves.

Update 2: Hammerons and pulloffs don't work with Guitar Hero 2, but whammy does.

Product Page [Gamestop]