Sony revealed what they are calling the DualSense wireless controller which will come paired with each PS5 when the console launches later this year.
The controller is busy to look at it, that’s not altogether a bad thing but certainly, it’s a departure from the traditional simplistic look that Sony have traditionally adopted.
Two colours, black and white, with the same blue lightbar visuals that this time are placed on either side of a largely unchanged touchpad.
Prior to the reveal, some speculated that the next controller could forego the touchpad entirely as it was largely unused by a lot of developers on the PS4. Sony has decided to stick with it, and in all honesty, it’s probably the aspect of the new pad that remains the same.
Gone are the colours of the four facing symbols, they’re now clear white/grey and the same for the D-Pad which has a slight, albeit cheaper looking design feel.
The back triggers are where it gets really interesting this time around. The R2 and L2 triggers are both adaptable and will be programmed to work differently with different games, something Sony says will make gamers more immersed in what they’re playing, using the example of the tension felt when drawing a bow to shoot an arrow.
The haptic feedback exceeds just the triggers and takes on the whole controller, providing sensations the gamer can feel in their hands, Sony using the example of the slow grittiness felt when driving a car through the mud.
Form factor and size-wise, whilst they might say it’s designed to feel less bulky in the hands, first impressions are that the controller will be the direct opposite, a big plastic and surely heavier form factor from Sony this time around.
The share button is now called the ‘create’ button and the controller also features a built-in microphone, USB-C port for charging and a slight rework of the analogue sticks.
Is the DualSense Controller Needlessly Radical In Design?
Sony themselves say that the DualSense represents the most radical departure from previous controllers in the PlayStation stable. They aren’t wrong, and whilst this isn’t close to the worst moments in product reveals by Sony, there is a sense of 2005 about all of this.
Remember the infamous boomerang controller originally slated for the PS3 way back when?
In terms of simplicity on the eye, Xbox surely takes the win on the controller battle heading into the next generation.
In contrast, the DualSense looks needlessly radical and points to just as striking a console design when, for the first time, it’s likely that Sony goes with a largely white look for the PS5 box.
If nothing else, what Sony revealed today signals that they’re serious about making all aspects of their new console feel, and look, like a big leap from the current into the future.
Whether that means a controller that will feel good in the hands, and develop games for, remains an interesting scenario still to play out.