At long last, and with relatively little ceremony, Sony has officially unveiled the DualSense; the all-new controller which will accompany the PlayStation 5 when it launches later this year. Building upon the base of the DualShock 4, the DualSense features new buttons, greater audio integration, and haptic feedback, among other things.
DualSense: The All-New PS5 Controller
The announcement of the new DualSense PS5 controller was apparently made by Sony earlier today because the company has now begun to ship their new controller’s final design to developers. (It’s possible that the company is anticipating, and thus pre-empting, possible leaks.) Whatever the case, gamers have finally gotten a look at what the PS5 controller will be like; much sleeker than the DualShock 4, but with a fairly similar button arrangement. Notably, the controller’s light bar is no longer on the top, but rather is now on the sides of the touch pad.
“After thoughtful consideration,” explains Sony; “we decided to keep much of what gamers love about DualShock 4 intact, while also adding new functionality and refining the design”. Indeed, the DualSense does seem to be more of a refinement of the DualShock 4 than a revolutionary new design. However, it does boast some impressive new features which aren’t immediately obvious. The first of these is haptic feedback, so that touch is something which plays a more important role. Additionally, the L2 and R2 buttons feature adaptive triggers so that players feel more tension when using them.
The DualSense controller will be the standard controller of the PS5 when it launches this year, sometime in “Holiday 2020”. In an official statement about the DualSense, Sony CEO and President Jim Ryan, writes that the controller; “marks a radical departure from our previous controller offerings and captures just how strongly we feel about making a generational leap with PS5. The new controller, along with the many innovative features in PS5, will be transformative for gamers – continuing our mission at PlayStation to push the boundaries of play, now and in the future.”
New Microphone Array and the “Create” Button
Given the PS5’s focus on audio technology, what with the console’s revolutionary new Tempest Engine, audio integration also plays an important role in the DualSense’s design. The controller includes its own in-built microphone array, for instance, removing the need for gamers to use a headset. However, it’s worth noting that Sony does state that; “if you are planning to chat for a longer period, it’s good to have that headset handy;” suggesting that this microphone may be a useful option but not a true replacement for headset mics.
One of the features removed from the DualShock 4 in the DualSense’s design is the Share button. Instead, the controller features a “Create” button. Sony doesn’t go into detail about what this will do, indicating instead that they will release details closer to launch. However, they do suggest that it offers; “pioneering new ways for players to create epic gameplay content to share with the world, or just to enjoy for themselves.”
Finally, in their announcement blog, Sony does briefly mention both weight and battery life. However, they don’t go into details about either of these aspects. “We also took thoughtful consideration into ways to maintain a strong battery life for DualSense’s rechargable battery,” they explain; “and to lessen the weight of the controller as much as possible as new features were added”. Presumably, these two elements will be at least the same as the DualShock 4, if not slightly better.