Sony, still very much enjoying drip-feeding us all the information on the PlayStation 5 has finally shown off something that’s not just a bunch of numbers on a graph. The DualSense is the official follow-up to the DualShock 4 and it looks like it’s packing some heat.
While we still have no idea what the actual box for the PlayStation 5 will look like, we actually have some information (and visuals!) on the next best thing: the controller. The DualShock series of controllers have become iconic to the PlayStation brand with the previous iteration, the DualShock 4, being a pretty snazzy piece of hardware if you could overlook the disappointingly low battery life.
Having said that, the newly unveiled DualSense wireless controller, the first official Sony controller to move away from the DualShock name since the PlayStation 1, looks like a robust combination of familiar elements and new features. Most importantly: It looks HOT.
So, first and foremost, it has all the buttons you’d expect from a PlayStation controller. All the bumpers, direction buttons and face buttons with the usual shape markings that Sony’s been using for decades. Beyond the expected, the DualSense will be incorporating haptic feedback mechanisms for more precise rumble and vibration sensations and adaptive triggers “so you can truly feel the tension of your actions, like when drawing a bow to shoot an arrow,” writes the official blog post announcement. Basically, the triggers will be stiffer or lighter to pull depending on the action they’re tied to in-game. A bow will be tougher to pull back than the trigger of a gun, and the L2 and R2 buttons will reflect that.
The “share” button from the DualShock 4, which Sony loves to punt as being extremely innovative back in 2013, has been changed to a “Create” button so that you can…make stuff, I guess? “With Create, we’re once again pioneering new ways for players to create epic gameplay content to share with the world, or just to enjoy for themselves. We’ll have more details on this feature as we get closer to launch,” reads the announcement post.
The last new addition is a built-in microphone array, meaning that you’ll be able to chat to friends in-game without an external mic or headset. You should probably have one anyway but at least that’s cool for quickly and spontaneous discussions.
Perhaps the most obvious change is the colour scheme and we can envision more than a couple of fanboys complaining about how it looks too similar to an Xbox controller in some ridiculous attempt to continue “The Console Wars” that should never have been started in the first place. The two-toned white and black look, with the former definitely playing a more prominent role than the latter, is a big change for PlayStation which usually sticks to solid black for its controllers. We’ll bet that there’ll be interchangeable faceplates or a range of colours to select from at launch. While the white does look really clean and cool, it’s prone to get exceptionally grubby very quickly especially with your sweaty gamer palms.
That’s what we know about the DualSense controller right now but with the projected launch of the PlayStation 5 looming ever closer, it feels like there’s new information being released every week now. Is it some kind of focused marketing strategy or just playing catch-up to Microsoft? Only time will tell.