The next-generation PlayStation 5 controller, officially titled DualSense, was revealed by Sony earlier today. The DualSense controller’s design doesn’t vary all that much from the DualShock 4, but there are still a few noteworthy tweaks and changes that allow for new functionality and enhanced comfort.
Many of the controller’s new features have been detailed by Sony in the past, but this is the first time we’ve gotten to see the final design of the DualSense controller, sporting an eye-catching black and white color scheme. Haptic feedback is one of the major new additions of the DualSense controller, adopting new vibration techniques to convey in-game sensations like driving a car through mud. The L2 and R2 buttons are now adaptive triggers, allowing you to feel tension as the triggers are pulled, which will greatly enhance the feeling of drawing a bowstring or similar actions. The Share button returns under a new name: the Create button. The Create button will pioneer “new ways for players to create epic gameplay content to share with the world,” although Sony is withholding further details until closer to launch.
Another key addition to the DualSense controller is the inclusion of a built-in microphone, allowing players to chat with friends without the need for a separate headset or microphone. It likely won’t serve as a complete replacement for dedicated gaming headsets (Sony still recommends you “keep that headset handy”), but it will provide players with the opportunity to jump into a quick conversation or make a quick callout in a multiplayer match even without a connected headset.
Aesthetically, the DualSense controller differs quite a bit from the tried and true form factor the DualShock controller has stuck to for four generations. Traditionally, DualShock controllers are a singular color, but the new DualSense controller adopts a two-toned black and white color scheme. The DualShock 4 lightbar returns, although it’s placement is a bit different, now sitting on each side of the touchpad rather than the top of the controller. The build of the controller itself takes after the larger designs of other contemporary controllers such as the Xbox One controller and Nintendo Switch Pro controller in order to achieve a greater level of comfort. Despite design changes, the DualSense controller retains the rechargeable battery of the DualShock 4. Also, while it’s not officially confirmed at the time of writing, the controller appears to feature a USB-C port for charging based on the images released by Sony. Several recent controllers, including the Xbox One Elite Controller Series 2 and the Nintendo Switch Pro controller, have adopted USB-C as a charging standard, so it only makes sense for a next-generation controller to follow suit.
Sony believes the DualSense controller will open up new avenues for interaction with PlayStation 5 games thanks to its new suite of features. “DualSense marks a radical departure from our previous controller offerings and captures just how strongly we feel about making a generational leap with PS5,” says Sony Interactive Entertainment President and CEO Jim Ryan. “The new controller, along with the many innovative features in PS5, will be transformative for games – continuing our mission at PlayStation to push the boundaries of play, now and in the future.” The DualSense controller will launch alongside the PlayStation 5, which is still currently scheduled to launch this Holiday despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic delaying other upcoming Sony projects, including The Last of Us Part II.