Meet DualSense, the new PlayStation 5 controller

PlayStation have revealed its next generation  wireless controller. Dubbed DualSense, the controller will ship with the PlayStation 5 console later this year.

The reveal came via a post on the official PlayStation blog. The post details the controller’s capabilities and the thinking behind its design.

Let’s break it down

Its overall design is a stark departure from the norm for PlayStation. The company has been happy to maintain the basic structure of the classic DualShock controller for four consecutive hardware generations.

The DualSense leans more toward what could be called an “Xbox” style design. This is not uncommon in the industry — the broad-shouldered Xbox Controller S has been a design template since the early 2000’s and many companies have taken their cues from it. Even the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller cribs from this design. What telltale factor that marks the DualSense as a PlayStation controller is the position of the control sticks, together as always, in the lower third.

The two-tone colour scheme is another first for Sony, who have traditionally preferred a matte black since the PS2 era. The touchpad returns, with the light bar now bordering that pad rather than being on the back of the controller.

New stuff, old stuff

New features include fully implemented haptic feedback and adaptive triggers on the L2 and R2 buttons for greater feedback. The post mentions the design challenges these implementations posed against maintaining a strong battery life, something that has plagued the DualShock 4 since its inception.

The Share button has been replaced with a Create button that leads to much the same functionality as exists now.

One new feature may come as a surprise — a built in microphone for voice chat. While the post mentions a headset will still be your best bet for longer conversations, the built in mic can be used to for fast comms. Given that your hands will be wrapped around the controller while you’re trying to talk, possibly muffling the mic, we think time’s gonna tell on this one.

So what doesn’t the post talk about? It doesn’t talk about price. Beyond the assurance that DualSense has been tested by players with hands of many different sizes, it doesn’t mention specific weight or dimensions. There’s no hard numbers on potential battery life, nor the kind of cable it uses to charge. For that, we’ll need to wait for more info.

The PlayStation 5 is still set to launch later this year. Whether its launch will be impacted by the global Covid-19 pandemic remains to be seen.


David Smith

David Smith is the former games and technology editor at The AU Review. He has previously written for PC World Australia. You can find him on Twitter at @RhunWords.