Sony scraps PS3 banana pad

Following global sniping from hardcore gamers and ergonomic pedants, Sony has announced it’ll be scrapping the PS3 controller above – AKA the ‘control

Following global sniping from hardcore gamers and ergonomic pedants, Sony has announced it’ll be scrapping the PS3 controller above – AKA the ‘control freak’ – and replacing it with a new design.

The banana-shaped effort above was widely panned for its obscene curvature and now its designers will return with a sequel at the E3 show in May.

The announcement was made by Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide (SCEW) President Phil Harrison, who also revealed that the console will ship region-free.

That’s right – you could theoretically pick up games on your trip to Tokyo and bring them back to play on your UK PS3. There’s no guarantee that the game will offer an English translation, mind, but it’s could be a handy feature for the globe-trotting gamer.

He also expanded on the beautifully named Playstation Network Platform, its Xbox Live-killing online service. As we revealed last week [story here], Sony will be letting games publishers run and charge for their own multimedia services on the network.

According to Harrison these extra services will include in-game auctions and subscription-based games, which will eventually be offered alongside movies and music content.

It’s likely to have some catching up to do with the Xbox 360 by then, though – Microsoft has already launched its first downloadable music vids [story here], with plenty of other content clogging up its pipeline.