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SIXAXIS batteries not swappable, but Sony will replace controllers for free

After having printed so many negative stories about Sony lately -- concerning its battery debacle, Blu-ray delays, and factually-questionable marketing, to name a few -- we're overjoyed to report on a company policy that will be sure to please gamers planning to pick up a PS3. Yesterday it was revealed that the wireless (and rumble-less) SIXAXIS controllers would not sport user-replaceable batteries, and given the fact that lithium ion cells only have a finite number of charges in them, it seemed that users would have to shell out $50 every time one of their gamepads crapped out. Not that this is necessarily a huge deal in a world where $300 iPods are also considered disposable, but it would still be kind of a slap in the face after throwing down $500 or $600 for a console with a purported 10-year life span. Well Sony feels for you starving gamers, so even though the party line is that "it'll be many years before there's any degradation in terms of battery performance," a spokesperson confirmed to that "we will be providing a service to exchange these items." Unless the service consists of an CSR giving you directions to the nearest GameStop, it would seem like Sony is planning on replacing dead controllers for free, which is a pretty nice feature in this world of planned obsolescence. Congrats on making the right decision here, Sony -- now is there any way we can get you to reconsider tossing a few decent cables into the box as well?

[Via Joystiq]