Out of the blue on a Tuesday afternoon Sony has revealed the controller for the PlayStation 5. They have decided to call it the DualSense rather than the DualShock 5. It is inline though: DualShock was to convey the addition of rumble and Sony seems to be leaning into the senses of touch and sound with the PS5.
Right away, the two-tone color scheme slaps your eyeballs. It’s not ugly, but it certainly isn’t great looking. I decided to whip up a rough concept of the DualSense if it was mostly one color, but mucrush on Twitter shared a better mockup. I think this looks cleaner.
As for the physical design of the controller, it reminds me of a Switch Pro controller. Where the DualShock 4 was lean, the DualSense looks hearty. I love a controller with a good weight behind it, instead of feeling light and cheap. Hopefully it feels as weighty as it appears.
The sticks are in the traditional spot, which I prefer over the offset sticks of the Xbox and Switch. The touchpad is wider and has the lightbar (more like lightstrip) outlining its surface. I find it very interesting that the lightbar is not on the back of the DualSense at all considering that PS VR is compatible with the PS5 and Sony is presumably working on a PS VR 2 system. what does this mean for controller tracking for that revision?
As far as features go, Sony reconfirms the addition of haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. The haptics in the Switch controllers is fantastic and I hope Sony can replicate or even advance that quality of rumble. Rumble is well past its due for refinement. I am extremely curious to feel these motors in action.
The most glorious addition to the controller is the USB-C port. I wish Microsoft would join the USB-C train. Sony also claimed the DualSense has a strong battery life. It shouldn’t be too high a bar to reach, since the DualShock 4’s battery life is rough. There is also a microphone array in the controller, further removing the need for a PlayStation Camera. you can use it for chat; probably OS level voice commands too.
Sony closed out their blog post with a statement from SIE’s president, Jim Ryan. He said that Sony would be sharing more about the PS5, including its design in the “coming months.” He also reiterated the PS5 Holiday 2020 launch. Considering the Road to PS5 presentation was nearly a month ago, I wouldn’t be too surprised if we see the console design early next month.
While I was initially jarred by the color combination, I quite enjoy the physical design. I like the raised bumpers and triggers. The grip on the sticks will be much appreciated. As we creep closer to the launch of these next-gen systems, it is always exciting to get news. The hype train is chugging along.