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Sony's 'DualSense' controller a quaint touch for the PS5

17 Apr 2020

Sony’s new PlayStation 5 controller is a ‘radical departure’ from previous designs, but it’s all about making a ‘generational leap’ to transform the PlayStation 5 experience - or at least that’s what Sony Interactive Entertainment’s president and CEO Jim Ryan is telling the world.

This month Sony unveiled the new DualSense wireless controller, which ditches the uniform colouring seen in previous controllers and opts for a mainly white controller with a touch of black. 

While the colouring reminds us of something akin to a surfer’s wetsuit kit (or cyclist’s lycra kit), the DualSense controller looks like it has plenty to offer.

Feature-wise, it’s not too radically different from the DualShock controller, but it does add more features like haptic feedback, an inbuilt microphone array, and a ‘create’ button that replaces the ‘share’ button on the previous PS4 controller.

First up is ‘haptic feedback’, which essentially allows players to ‘feel’ more of the game, like when you’re driving a car through mud, or using the L2 and R2 buttons to draw an arrow from a bow. This ‘sensing’ feedback is exactly why the controller is named DualSense.

The next main feature is an inbuilt microphone array, which allows people to chat without the need for a headset. While it remains to be seen how useful this will be (and how much of your speech would be muffled by the sounds of your fingers on the controls), it’s an interesting concept.

The next major difference is the ‘create’ button, which replaces the ‘share’ button on the PS4. Sony will say more about this closer to the launch date.

And finally, the DualSense controller has been designed a little differently to fit in haptic feedback and other mechanical bits and pieces. 

SIE’s Hideaki Nishino says, “We changed the angle of the hand triggers and also made some subtle updates to the grip. We also took thoughtful consideration into ways to maintain a strong battery life for DualSense’s rechargeable battery, and to lessen the weight of the controller as much as possible as new features were added.”

Nishino adds that the controller went through several designs and hundreds of prototypes before designers settled on one design that combined comfort and ergonomics for gamers of all hand sizes.

“We want gamers to feel like the controller is an extension of themselves when they’re playing – so much so that they forget that it’s even in their hands!”