The major innovation Pelican's adapter has over others out there is an integrated PS button on the converter itself. This means users can bypass the annoying "hit the PS button," message on PS2 games by doing just that, no matter what kind of special controller might be inserted. The PS button functionality also allows users to assign the PS2 controller to any controller slot -- a must for multiplayer games. So far so good.
The unit advertises Guitar Hero support in big letters on the packaging, so we switched the unit over to its marked Guitar Hero 2 mode for a test. We were already prepared for a less than perfect experience -- as the unit's instructions explain, GH2's hammer ons/offs simply don't work with the adapter, a major blow for expert strummers. What's more, the on-screen colored gems don't light up when you push in the frets, removing an important visual cue for finger placement. The loss of these important features made playing on the PS3 significantly tougher than playing on the PS2. Still, the fact that we were playing Guitar Hero on the PS3 at all was something to get excited about.
Further testing on other games revealed a surprising omission: the Pelican adapter does not support force feedback. This is a bit shocking, considering numerous online reports
confirm that older USB/PlayStation controller adapters support the rumble functionality just fine. While the Pelican adapter provided responsive, lag-free input from our old DualShocks, the lack of rumble made us wonder why we weren't just using a Sixaxis. Less surprisingly, special controllers for games like Taiko: Drum Master
didn't work with the Pelican adapter, though all the DDR
mats we tried worked perfectly.
While it's far from perfect, Pelican's PS2 to PS3 controller adapter remains, for now, the only way to play Guitar Hero
on a PS3. When combined with another USB converter
for rumble support and a memory card adapter
for old saves, you just might be able to get rid of that PS2 for good. And really, isn't that the dream of every PS3 owner?