Sony’s native PlayStation 5 controller is called DualSense, and it takes full advantage of the possibilities presented by the next-gen console. The successor to the DualShock 4 is aesthetically distinct and ergonomically superior to the previous model, making it a more engaging and enjoyable gaming device overall.
It’s also got that cool, modern edge: Tactile feedback may help bring games to life in new and exciting ways with the help of next-gen haptics and variable trigger resistance, both of which have seen stunning implementations in recent years. The DualSense is a significant step forward in console controller design that builds upon previous iterations while also breaking new ground.
Sony Dual Sense – Design and Features
While the DualSense and the DualShock 4 are both controllers for the PlayStation 4, they couldn’t be more different in design. The dimensions of the DualShock 5 are nearly identical to those of the DualShock 4, at 6.25 by 4.22 by 2.47 inches (WDH), but the controller’s handles are longer and thicker so that they provide a more comfortable grip and better support for your hands.
It weighs 282 grammes, which is significantly more than the 215 grammes of the DualShock 4. The weight is distributed evenly, though, so it feels more natural in the hand.
Physically, the DualSense is a huge departure from the DualShock 4. After three generations of understated, single-colour Sony gamepads, the DualShock 4’s smooth curves and two-tone colour scheme (white with black accents, by default including the analogue sticks and triggers) feels like a radical departure.
The level of care and precision is astounding. From the slight outward curvature of the side panels on either side of the touchpad to the textured grip on the back panel, which is built from miniature, nearly indiscernible replicas of the PlayStation face button designs, everything about this controller is meticulously designed.
The DualSense’s design is mostly carried over from the DualShock 4, yet there are several exciting new additions and modifications to the controller that greatly improve gameplay. The new white-on-grey colour scheme and increased travel of the buttons and D-pad make them feel more responsive and less mushy than their forebears.
When you press the face buttons or the D-pad all the way in, you hear and feel a distinct click without the noise that comes with it.
The “Share” button in the middle column has been changed to a “Create” button, which brings up a system-level menu where you may select between recording a clip of what just transpired or starting a fresh recording. The DualShock 4’s touchpad is back, but this time it’s matte white and surrounded by an RGB light bar. This time around, the PS button is designed like the company’s logo and sits below the screen.
The brand new in-built microphone may be found just below the PS button. The mic, like the internal microphones in Sony’s Bluetooth headphones and the Pulse 3D headset, is hardly visible to the naked eye but is capable of picking up sounds from its immediate vicinity.
It theoretically provides more control choices in at least one game; in Astro’s Playroom, you have to blow into the mic to progress in some areas. Just below the PS logo is a narrow, clearly labelled mic mute button, in case the thought of holding a live microphone gives you the willies.
Even without The Added Functionality, Sony’s Dual Sense Remains the Best Controller Available.
When you do a 180 and head back, you’ll find that the most significant and novel modifications concern the triggers.
DualSense’s two most significant new capabilities, precision haptic feedback and the so-called “adaptive triggers,” which build resistance in them to simulate stress or otherwise provide physical feedback, are likely enhanced by the longer, deeper pull of L2 and R2. Furthermore, the triggers provide the most engaging and pinpoint haptic sensation, despite the fact that haptics is integrated throughout the controller.
As a result of their combined effects, DualSense’s triggers are its most distinctive characteristic. They’re not only important controls; they’re the major ways you get a “feel” for the game’s narrative.
The PS4’s light bar has been eliminated, and the micro USB charging connector has been replaced with a USB-C port that supports fast charging and can be inserted either way for convenience.
Nonetheless, the DualSense has not yet addressed the issue of short battery life in Sony’s controllers. A full charge, according to my tests, lasts between 10 and 13 hours, which is long enough that you won’t have to charge it every day but short enough that you’ll likely run out of juice on a regular basis if you don’t.
Finally, a 3.5mm audio connection for a wired headset and copper pick-ups for use with Sony’s charging cradle can be found on the gamepad’s underside.
Sony DualSense – Gaming
Switching from the DualShock 4 to the DualSense is a truly next-generation experience. The PS5’s enhanced appearance and additional capabilities of the DualSense are fantastic when playing some of the launch lineup, such as Astro’s Playroom, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and Bugsnax.
Forget about the additional additions; the DualSense is already Sony’s best controller. The bigger frame makes it more comfortable to carry for extended periods. When pressed, its buttons provide more gratifying feedback. Small as it may be, the rough grip is sufficient to keep your hands from slipping, even when they become sweaty. Regardless of its capabilities, it would be a significant improvement over the previous version.
However, it also performs several novel and amazing functions. Already noted is how the controller’s unique haptic feedback and “adaptive” trigger resistance work together to provide a tactile reaction that can be put to many different uses.
In Astro’s Playroom, a demo showcase showcasing DualSense’s new and old capabilities, users can see how the controller’s haptics and adaptable triggers can be put to use to enhance their gaming experiences and give them a more realistic feel.
You can feel the tension build in the trigger as Astro prepares to fire his bow or fling himself into a catapult, giving you a natural indication of the launch’s charged potential. A little later, a gigantic beast approaches Astro, and the controller vibrates to indicate its location and proximity.
The most impressive application of the haptic feedback, in my opinion, was for the sake of immersion. Feel the subway train rock and roll under your fingers in the opening cutscene of Spider-Man: Miles Morales. When it spins or shakes due to speed, the rumbling sensation lessens and then increases. Even if it’s only a fleeting sensation, as a long-time New Yorker who frequently took the train, I can relate. It blew my mind.
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Sony’s DualSense is an improvement over previous gamepads in terms of comfort during standard play, and it also introduces some fascinating new elements. It’s easy to tell the difference when games use haptics and adaptable triggers, and they promise intriguing new possibilities for gaming. The DualSense controller has all the features you’d expect from a state-of-the-art advancement, with the exception of its battery life.