Strap yourself in, brace, and prepare to have your brain exploded out the back of your head. It’s the new controller for the PS5, and it is everything you thought it would be. Plus, several unexpected features that will probably be entirely ignored by developers.
The new controller is called the DualSense, and based on initial impressions, it seems designers clearly had instructions to ‘create something that looks futuristic.’ Those designers delivered in that department, at least in terms of aesthetics. In terms of basic functionality, everyone using the new controller, be it to play GTA 6 or pokies, will certainly feel right at home. Which is to say, things are extremely familiar.
So, in a nutshell, you’ll still feel like you’re using a PS controller, only it’ll feel like you’re playing games in the future! In the future with a controller design from the past.
The controller is sleek, flashy, and a few comparisons to the animated character Wall-E have been thrown around. Though, and this will no doubt come as a shock, the design still has all the same buttons in the same place.
Although those previously-mentioned designers followed the instructions to adopt an overall futuristic visual overhaul, they clearly didn’t have permission to add buttons, or move any that already existed. This almost suggests that the design of game controllers has been perfected long ago, and there really isn’t any need to make adjustments.
But lest we get carried away, there are a few added extras to be discussed.
Some of the new features for the controllers sound interesting, while others are likely going to be overlooked by developers after the first wave of games.
The first feature is advanced Haptic Feedback. The PS4 controller used Rumble Technology, which generally just vibrated during key moments of the game. Truth be told, it wasn’t exactly mind blowing. But hush your mouth, Haptic Feedback is here, and games will never be the same. Haptic Feedback is a more fine-tuned vibration system, similar to that used in mobile devices. According to SIE CEO Jim Ryan, it completely changes how you experience games. Imagine a wider variety of vibrations in your hands than ever before. The future is here.
Another new feature is Adaptive Triggers. This may be interesting, depending on how the technology works, but might also be nothing more than a mild novelty that quickly becomes redundant. The idea is that the triggers, L2 and R2, can be adjusted to offer more or less resistance, depending on how developers choose to implement the feature. Honestly, we’re willing to bet that this a feature that will be ignored. After all, how many gameplay instances can you think of where a tighter trigger would have blown your mind? Not many, right?
Other, more straightforward features include an audio jack and mic built into the controller, as well as a ‘create’ button that replaces the ‘share’ button.
With the new controller design being revealed to the world, fans have already had a chance to scrutinise, analyse, and go moggy. As would be expected, some of the design choices have got fans up in arms. But this being 2020, the hordes of naysayers were expected.
However, one point of criticism being widely discussed is worth mentioning.
It has been a PlayStation tradition that controller buttons were colored, which helps match them to on-screen prompts. For example a screen prompt would show a red circle button that needed to be pressed, and that same button could quickly be found on the controller, given the matching colour scheme. It is a small, but smartly thought out design choice, and certainly one that went a long way to helping newcomers get familiar with controls. Removing the colour scheme seems like nothing more than overlooking this previous decision, especially since there is zero tangible benefit to removing the colors. Though, it has also been mentioned that there will be 30 different collector’s edition controller colour schemes available. Some of these include the previous colored button controller design. But everyone not getting a collector’s edition will just have to settle for the standard colorless design, which does seem like a bit of a slap in the face.