We’ve seen projects on the internet where people play around with their rooted Android phones and found a way to pair up a wireless controller to gain better control of some of their games. The idea really took hold once racing games and first-person-shooters arrived on the platform and today, since Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, its easy to pair up a Bluetooth controller to your phone for some console-like magic. But Playstation fans left out with the discontinuation of the Xperia Play wanted an easy way to use their Dualshock 3 controllers on their phones without having to root them. Well, Sony’s come to the table, it seems and will debut the tethering feature with the new Xperia SP.
Sony’s method, documented in the video below, requires you to tether the controller with the USB OTG cable and navigate deep into the phone’s settings to activate it. The controller then pairs up wirelessly and will pair up to the phone whenever Bluetooth is turned on and the controller is powered on. Sony’s working on getting the controller to also navigate around the Android interface, but for now it works solidly with Android games from the Play store that have controller support as well as games bought from the Playstation Mobile store.
There’s a chance that Sony will make this feature available to other Xperia mobiles from 2012/2013 and that could include the Xperia Z and T, both very popular models that have had good sales numbers so far. For now it’s just the SP and I’m betting it’s Sony’s way of trying to get the PSP owners to pick one up. Gameplay over Bluetooth with the Dualshock 3 is fluid and not only do the games look great, but there’s no discernable lag. For those of you still annoyed by the PSP Go, getting a Xperia phone with Dualshock 3 pairing might be a good idea, particularly because it’s not just a games console.