In case you were worried the PS5 was going to be boring like the Xbox Series X, or that we’ve reached the epitome of controller design, Sony just shocked the world again not with a new DualShock, but with the DualSense.
Since Sony added analog sticks in 1997, the PlayStation’s controllers have seen very small, iterative upgrades. The DualShock 3’s major difference was wireless connectivity.
The DualShock 4, with its touchpad, built-in speaker, headphone jack and share button, was the biggest departure to date back in 2013. Until now.
Even though we still don’t know what the PS5 itself is going to look like, Sony has officially announced its next-gen controller. The white on black look has very strong stormtrooper vibes, and is reminiscent of the PSVR’s two-tone design.
The lightbar has been moved from the back of the controller to flank both sides of the touchpad. This should improve visibility and make the LED more subtle.
The PlayStation button has also changed. It’s now in the shape of the PS logo itself, with no circle around it.
In terms of features, the triggers will now be “adaptive”, so you can feel things like different levels of pressure for enhanced realism. They’ve also added a microphone array so you can quickly say something even if you forgot your headset.
To keep up with the times, the outdated microUSB port is finally replaced by a type C one.
The logic behind renaming the controller from DualShock to DualSense comes from removing the old rumble vibration effect and instead adopting haptic feedback technology. Haptic feedback is more similar to what we see on smartphones and should presumably allow for more realistic vibrations depending on gameplay. We’ll have to wait and see how developers take advantage of it to see if it’s a meaningful change.
The share button is now called “Create”, but likely still serves the same function. Perhaps letting you add effects to your gameplay footage or something along those lines.
If you wanted Sony to go the Xbox route of offsetting the left analog stick to the top, no dice. Sony is sticking to their symmetrical layout which its fans mostly love.
What about the PS5 itself?
Well, hopefully it will look absolutely nothing like the dev kit did. The usage of “V” as the roman stand-in for “5” was indeed clever, but that’s something to do in the logo. Not shape the entire console like a V with aesthetics from the 80s.
The console itself will likely also feature a futuristic look with subtle curves and a two-toned color scheme like the DualSense and the PSVR.
The two-toned color scheme alone is something to be excited about. This should allow for creative color combinations, either directly from Sony or third party skins.
Between the PS5 and Ryzen’s new gaming laptops with impressive stamina, the future looks fantastic for gaming.