The controller is probably the gamers’ most important tool. The controller that was first released for the original PlayStation back in December 1994 has remained largely unchanged in design through the release of the PS2 and the current PS3 to become a classic and instantly recognizable to gamers the world over. Despite its iconic status, some PS3 gamers prefer the feel of the the Xbox controller in their hands and, while there are plenty of third-party controllers floating around, there are few that cater to this market as well as the Raven from Nyko.

Maybe it’s my oversized paws or the fact that I purchased an Xbox before a PS2, but I have to admit I have always preferred the slightly larger controller available for Microsoft’s consoles – the S, not the bulky original Xbox controller. Although I own both a PS3 and an Xbox 360, that preference has often been a deciding factor in opting for a multi-platform title on the 360 over the PS3 version. Nyko’s Raven controller could help even the playing field by providing a distinctly Xbox-like controller for Sony’s console.

Like the Xbox controller, Nyko’s Raven sports a bit more bulk to wrap your mitts around than the PS3’s DualShock controller and swaps the positions of the directional pad and left analogue thumbstick around. The stumpy triggers of Sony’s DualShock controller have also posed problems for yours truly by providing a less than adequate surface area in particularly intense gaming moments, so the Raven’s angled triggers that are designed to keep fingers from slipping off also sound like a welcome addition. The Raven features the full array of buttons and a Soft Feel surface covering its entire body. It also comes with full multi-axis motion and rumble support.

The only downside is the use of USB dongle for wireless communication instead of Bluetooth like the DualShock, but with a range of 25 feet (7.6m) it’s only a minor annoyance. The built-in lithium-ion battery provides up to 25 hours of game time and can be recharged through any Mini USB cable or Nyko’s Charge Base 2.

Of course, gaming controllers are a personal preference and many are happy with their DualShock controllers just the way they are, thank you very much. In the future maybe Nyko will bring out a controller for the Xbox 360 fashioned after that iconic design to appeal to those gamers.

The Nyko Raven is available now for an MSRP of US$34.99.

Via OhGizmo!