Sony Unveils The PS5's Controller
Updated: May 7
Sony has revealed the controller for the upcoming PlayStation 5.
Named the DualSense, the controller aims to improve on its predecessor by integrating a microphone into the gamepad itself, and by utilising haptic feedback.
The news comes by way of the PlayStation Blog where Senior Vice President of Platform Planning & Management, Hideaki Nishino unveiled the first piece of Sony's next-generation hardware.
"We’ve reached an exciting milestone with PlayStation 5, as we’re starting to ship our new controller in its final design to developers who are implementing its unique features into their games", wrote Nishino.
"But first, we wanted everyone in the PlayStation community to get a first look at the DualSense™ wireless controller, and hear our vision for how the new controller will captivate more of your senses as you interact with the virtual worlds in PS5 games."
In terms of features, the blog post cited the introduction of haptic feedback as a main attraction for players:
"After thoughtful consideration, we decided to keep much of what gamers love about DualShock 4 intact, while also adding new functionality and refining the design.
"We had a great opportunity with PS5 to innovate by offering game creators the ability to explore how they can heighten that feeling of immersion through our new controller. This is why we adopted haptic feedback, which adds a variety of powerful sensations you’ll feel when you play, such as the slow grittiness of driving a car through mud."
"We also incorporated adaptive triggers into the L2 and R2 buttons of DualSense so you can truly feel the tension of your actions, like when drawing a bow to shoot an arrow."
In its design, the DualSense has a bulkier look than previous PlayStation controllers, which many have said is not dissimilar to an Xbox controller, or the Pro controller for the Nintendo Switch.
The DualSense will make slight adaptions to the DualShock 4's "share" and "options" buttons, as the share button will now be dubbed the "create" button, and the word "options" has been replaced by a hamburger menu icon.
Nishino also added that the controller will have a built-in microphone "which will enable players to easily chat with friends without a headset" but he further adds that the next-gen controller will be compatible with headsets.
Other changes that can be seen through further examination of the released images include a USB type C charging port, an adaption of the DualShock 4's light bar to line the sides of the touchpad, and the loss of the PlayStation button's circular design for an outline of the PlayStation icon's shape.
The DualSense also appears to have grip patterns on the undersides of the handles and on the outer rims of the analog sticks.
This will be the first PlayStation controller to launch with the console that has a dual colour scheme. This has led some to speculate that the console's colour scheme will echo the DualSense's black and white hues.
SIE President & CEO Jim Ryan was also quoted in the PlayStation Blog post, saying "DualSense marks a radical departure from our previous controller offerings and captures just how strongly we feel about making a generational leap with PS5.
"To the PlayStation community, I truly want to thank you for sharing this exciting journey with us as we head toward PS5’s launch in Holiday 2020. We look forward to sharing more information about PS5, including the console design, in the coming months.”
Just when I begin to think Sony might have no clue what they're doing when it comes to the PS5, they pull this wee number out of the hat.
Firstly, thank Kratos we're getting some concrete news about the next PlayStation. Secondly, thank Shuehei that Sony revealed said news in a sensible way - ie, not via a Mark Cerny computing lecture. Thirdly, thank Aloy or Nathan Drake or whichever PlayStation god you want because this controller is stunning!
The main word that comes to mind about this controller design for me is "opportunity".
Opportunity for a myriad of colour schemes, opportunity for brilliant gamefeel, opportunity for the lightbar to actually be a relevant feature of the controller, opportunity for a somehow even more ergonomic feeling controller than a DualShock 4.
Haptic feedback is exciting for so many ways, mainly the added feeling it will bring to playing a game. So many of Sony's first-party studios are the upper echelon when it comes to creating good game feel. Adding more specific vibration feedback will only improve that. Think about how good the feeling of recalling Kratos' leviathan axe is without it. Now imagine a world where drawing each of Aloy's numerous bowstrings will feel totally distinct. Sony integrating haptic feedback is making me even more excited to play the sequels of some of PlayStation 4's best exclusives.
Alright, admittedly I am a little sad to see an initial iteration of a PlayStation controller not use the classic colour schemes for the face buttons. Admittedly, I'm feeling a little dissonance because the line of the DualShock has ended. It has to be a little sad for long-time PlayStation fans that this piece of technology that has allowed them to step into incredible experiences and memories is now a thing of the past. Fine, you may say it's just a naming scheme that we're losing, and I take that point. I am definitely more hopeful than mournful because DualSense is a fresh update to the name, and moreover, this controller looks like if Mjolnir was a gamepad.
Hopefully, as we say farewell to traditional colour schemes, the share button, the DualShock name, and a further farewell to the start and select buttons that won't be seeing a return, we welcome a new piece of technology into the fray. One that will unlock countless numbers of truly excellent PlayStation experiences for years to come. Does this signal a brand new start for PlayStation? We'll have to wait and see.