Meet the PlayStation 5 controller ‘DualSense’


Since the announcement that the PlayStation 5 would use a new type of feedback, a new type of controller optimization, and brand-new features, Sony has kept the lid on what the hardware would actually look like. Now, meet the PlayStation 5 controller, DualSense, a beautiful blue on white controller that departs from the traditional matte black appeal.

Since the announcement of the PlayStation 5, we’ve been head over heels digging up every bit of information that we could. We’ve gathered information from exclusive interviews on Wired, to breaking down, internally anyway, Mark Cerny’s GDC speech that would talk about the PlayStation 5’s hardware capabilities allowing for cutting-edge graphics without the need for massive amounts of high-end hardware.

But the thing we wanted to know about the most? The PlayStation 5 controller, which Sony’s very own Senior Vice President of Platforming & Planning, Hideaki Nishino, revealed earlier today via the PlayStation Blog. It’s an interesting read, which we plan on discussing just a bit, but there’s something you need to know: This is a massive departure from the PlayStation branded DualShock series we’ve come to know and love for around twenty or so years.


The PlayStation 5’s DualSense Wireless Controller will feature a rather common design with the DualShock 4

Now, here we are, a brand-new controller line called DualSense, one that changes everything we’ve come to love about the classically designed controllers. While it still has the look of the PlayStation brand in some way or another, it’s taken a lighter approach. Sony has opted to follow through with their Glacier White controllers, giving us a white with a black appearance that’s ultimately highlighted by trims of blue along the sides of the touchpad.

The D-Pad and thumbsticks largely remain in place, not giving much change on Sony’s approach while aiming for a more ergonomic design, reducing wrist strain and hand strain when playing games. The front L/R buttons remain, for the most part, identical to what they were while the triggers themselves (as pictured below) remain largely unchanged in their design as well.

The PlayStation DualSense wireless controllers headset port is also intact at the bottom of the controller, not changing too much about it except for the PlayStation DualShock 4 Wireless Controller’s lightbar has been removed – somewhat – for two lighting slivers on the top, adding more battery life to the overall design. You’ll even notice that the DualSense Wireless Controller has moved from Micro USB to USB-C for faster-charging capabilities.

Sony has already revealed that the speaker on the controller will also allow for deeper immersion. The Features of DualSense and the capabilities of the PlayStation 5’s Tempest 3D AudioTech could and will give us mindblowing experiences with some of the PlayStation 4’s games, which will only – at launch – be the top 100 games.


Common features as the share button return, but so does several new features including haptic feedback and adaptive triggers

One of the big departures is that the DualShock feature will no longer be apart of Sony’s PlayStation brand moving forward. The company has opted for a much more immersive experience with haptic feedback, allowing players to feel a new level of powerful sensations when the controller vibrates. It’ll allow for different types as well, mimicking, to an extent, what fans love about the Nintendo Joy-Cons and their HD Rumble feature.

Along with a more in-depth and more immersive experience coming our way, Sony has also taken things a step further with the L2 and R2 buttons becoming adaptive. What this means is that the buttons will feel the tension on the triggers, allowing you to have better responsiveness out of the buttons themselves. When you lightly pull on one? You may knock an arrow, slowly drawing it based on the amount of pressure on the button.

In turn, the trigger buttons will also feel when you are ready to fire based on your actions, allowing you to get more responsiveness out of the actions your characters will perform in their respective games. To ensure that all of this would work out, however, Sony did have to change the angle of how the controller’s grips are positioned as well as the controller’s overall design.

It’s not bad all things considered and it gave their hardware engineers and design teams a lot to work with, which is where the DualSense’s bulky appearance comes into play, but delivering the same size and experience that the DualShock 4 has to offer. While it does look like a beast, Sony has ensured that it hasn’t changed in size, if all that much and it will offer us a rather immersive experience, including a longer battery life than we have experienced before.


DualSense’s create button will replace the Share button altogether for content creators, plus there’s a new built-in microphone in the controller

For content creators like our team, we’ve used the Share button quite a bit. It’s how we snag our screenshots, how we capture our footage for YouTube videos and how we tend to stream the games we do. The new “Create” button will allow players to create new content, making it easier for them to do what they must but also enjoy the convenience of a brand-new controller design.

There’s even the option to chat for just a moment with the built-in microphone, which was originally opted out on the DualShock 4 and implemented into the PlayStation Camera. It’ll help with communication, but Sony still suggests a full-blown gaming headset like the PlayStation Gold Wireless Headset for those long-seated sessions.

For the buttons, you’ll notice there is no longer a “Share” button as we had with DualShock 4. Don’t worry – it’s not going away. In fact, we’ve built upon the success of our industry-first Share button to bring you a new “Create” button feature. 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.

DualSense also adds a built-in microphone array, which will enable players to easily chat with friends without a headset – ideal for jumping into a quick conversation. But of course, if you are planning to chat for a longer period, it’s good to have that headset handy.


What else is there to know?

Not a lot really, Sony has revealed what they can about the controller outside of battery life, duration, and what kind of accessories that will be available for the PlayStation 5’s DualSense controller. You can surely expect to hear more about it soon. If you haven’t, check out Mark Cerny’s deep dive below about the PlayStation 5’s hardware build.

The PlayStation 5 is set to launch in Holiday 2020. Currently, we have not heard if plans have changed due to recent events.

Disclaimer: All photos are the property of Sony and the PlayStation Brand.

About the Writer(s):


Dustin is our native video game reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable.  You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook where he interacts with his followers quite a bit!

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