Analog (=not on-off) controls are pretty much a must for enjoying driving games, so it's far from a useless feature.
I have GT5 and a PS3 slim, so I went ahead and tried it just now. I remapped throttle and brake to the triggers when I got the game in order to get analog controls, and even murmured "what were they thinking" under my breath. It turns out that the face buttons are indeed pressure sensitive, which I never expected. You get passable control with them, I can keep the car at 1/4, 1/3 or 1/2 throttle fairly easily, but of course I have to watch the on-screen throttle and brake displays for that. The trigger buttons are way better, because you always know how far you've pressed them without having to rely on some in-game indirect feedback.
So I guess that settles it, the PS3 has pressure sensitive face buttons (all 8 of them), but nobody knows it. They don't work all that great, to be honest. I'm not sure when I got my ps3, about a year ago I guess. There might have been a silent hw revision since I got mine, but I seriously doubt they took out the feature. Mine is a slim so there has been no major announced hardware change since it was made.
I have no idea what technology sony uses for this, but it's somewhat promising for the MS tech. These things don't feel any different from any rubber domes when they bottom out, so the pressure sensitivity could be an add-on that doesn't change the button feel at all. Of course it would only work with keyboards where you have to bottom out all the time, so mechanicals are pretty much out. Again, they don't give you too nuanced control, but they could be used for adjusting the weight where keypresses are registered, and some scrolling/panning/zooming/moving around features.