Sony decided to shadow drop its new controller for the highly anticipated, PlayStation 5. While this reveal has somehow managed spawn a mini console war, there is no denying just how stunning the new controller is to look at. But Sony has done more than just give us some eye candy, with the DualSense, but also a feature-rich controller that boasts more utility than ever before.
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The first thing you will see is the striking two town colour options. We get a white controller that has black accents and subtle lighting. The controller is actually based on the PS4’s DualShock 4, but has received a growth spurt to compensate for all the new hardware inside. The controller has been extended and rounded off more, giving it an appearance that many feels resemble the Xbox controller, but the thumbsticks stay true to tradition. The touch panel looks much larger, with the lightbar facing the players this time around.
There is no denying that seeing this controller for the first time invoked an emotional response for both fans of the PlayStation and tech-heads everywhere. There seems to be a divide in regards to how it looks, but we are just glad to see the controller undergo such an impressive design evolution.
A feature that PlayStation mentioned in the past was haptic feedback on its upcoming controller. This is one of the main reasons that the controller is as big as it is. Instead of the conventional rumble packs we have in most controllers, the DualSense promises tangible feedback, giving players a better sense of immersion. Sony uses the example of feeling the “grittiness of driving a car through [the] mud.” A sneaky Gran Turismo teaser?
Sony decided to incorporate adaptive triggers for the L2 and R2 buttons. The best example we have been given is that it mimics the tension of drawing a bow or firing a gun. This could easily be used to give the sensation of pressing the accelerator peddle, or even something as small as opening doors.
The biggest concern lies in how powerful these triggers are. Too strong and it will become an annoyance to players, too weak and it will feel like a gimmick that wasn’t executed well.
Many people asked for larger batteries in the DualSense, as one of the main drawbacks of the DualShock 4 was having to recharge it all the time. The larger design of the DualSense means we will see a bigger battery, but that is most likely to compensate for the hardware upgrades within the controller. Since there is no official word on how big the battery will be, we will have to see if there will be a dramatic increase to battery life, or if the controller will be crippled by its hardware.
Remember that “share” button we are used to mistouching on our current controllers? Well, it’s being replaced by something called the “Create” button. Sony says they will give us more on everything it can do at a later stage, but it is most likely an evolution of what we currently have on the PS4. Streaming may take some priority this time around, with a better set of tools for editing saved clips.
Built-In Microphones and 3.5mm Audio Jack
Probably my favourite feature of the lot – the built-in microphones. If Sony implemented anything close to what they have in their headsets, this could potentially be a gamechanger for those who prefer not to use headphones while gaming.
The now confirmed 3.5mm audio jack is for those who don’t find that feature useful. Hopefully, this makes a large majority of people happy. There are still wireless headsets that will most likely be supported by the PS5 if this isn’t your cup of tea either.
So What About The PlayStation 5?
The PlayStation blog mentions that the features of DualSense will pair well with the PS5’s Tempest 3D AudioTech, giving players a “new feeling of immersion to players.” Outside of that, we know that the console may sport the snazzy two-tone colour scheme that the controller features. There may be more colour options at launch, with more to come as time goes on, but that’s as far as it goes for concrete design cues. We still can’t rule out the possibility of the console closely resembling its dev kit counterpart. That design leaves a lot to be desired, but hopefully, Sony will reveal something better looking.
We will definitely see first-party studios taking advantage of the various features the controller has on offer, but there are many ways third-party developers can improve on their games by adopting these features. The console will have to launch before anything else can happen, but this is a very exciting venture in just how Sony can use hardware features to make their games even better.