Update: July 17, 2020 (1:14 PM ET): We have updated this article with Geoff Keighley’s hands-on demo of the new DualSense controller. Check it out below!
Original article: July 13, 2020 (6:02 PM ET) – The Holiday 2020 release window for the PS5 console is fast approaching. We’re hoping that PlayStation will be releasing new information about the PS5 sometime this month. For right now, here’s everything we know about the upcoming PS5 DualSense controller.
DualSense wireless controller for the PlayStation 5
People thought the upgrades to the DualShock 4 controller for the PS4 were revolutionary. Just wait until you read all the changes PlayStation has made to their next generation controllers for the PS5. PlayStation has pulled out all the stops in an effort to enhance the immersion experience for gamers.
A futuristic new look
If you compare the new PS5 controller to the PS4 controller, you’ll notice some massive differences. Below is a picture of a PS4 controller. It has a very classic PlayStation look to it. PlayStation hasn’t really deviated a whole lot in controller design for the past couple console generations.
If you take a look below at the new design of the DualSense controller for the PS5, you’ll notice just how sleek and different the new design is. For the most part, all of the buttons are in the same spot, but the overall controller is a lot smoother. The new design is very similar to a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller; I’m hoping that it will feel and handle the same way.
We also recently got our first hands-on filmed demo with the PS5 DualSense controller, as demonstrated by gaming journalist Geoff Keighley.
Immersive haptic feedback
The new PlayStation 5 controller will offer haptic feedback. What this means is that you’ll be able to feel the difference between driving through the mud and driving on a smooth road. Haptic feedback provides a much more immersive experience for players because you can feel the unique differences between various terrains.
You’ll also be able to experience haptic feedback with more than just terrains. Even movements will simulate real-life touch. For example, if you were in a burning building in a game and you reach for a doorknob with your right hand, you’re going to feel vibrations on the right side of the controller. It may not sound like much, but haptic feedback in the PS5 controller is really going to enhance player’s gaming experiences.
In the recent hands-on demo, Keighley actually used his breath on the PS5 controller to blow an on-screen pinwheel in the pre-installed game Astro’s Playroom. It will be interesting to see if that feature is incorporated into more games.
If you have a Nintendo Switch, you’ve already experienced haptic feedback – it’s that rumble you feel that varies based on how intense the situation is in your game. The Xbox Series X controllers are going to be enhancing their controllers with haptic feedback as well.
The L2 and R2 buttons on the new DualSense controller for the PS5 will feature adaptive triggers. The example that PlayStation used to demonstrate the importance of adaptive triggers was drawing an arrow. Usually in a game that requires you to use arrows, you don’t feel any difference between shooting an arrow and using the L2/R2 buttons for another task. With the adaptive triggers on the PS5 controller, you’ll be able to feel the unique tension of drawing an arrow, helping you feel more immersed in the game.
PlayStation took caution with the controller design when incorporating adaptive triggers. They wanted to incorporate the bulky trigger hardware without compromising the sleek new design. The angle of the hand triggers has been changed to help the controller feel smaller in the hand.
Create button to replace the Share button
PlayStation pleased a lot of players with the introduction of the Share button on the DualShock 4 controller. With the newest iteration, the DualSense controller, the Share button will be replaced with a Create button.
PlayStation is taking what players loved about the Share button and enhancing it with the Create button. PlayStation said that they are “pioneering new ways for players to create epic gameplay content to share with the world, or just to enjoy for themselves.”
The PS5 live event mentioned motion sensors alongside a clip of the new DualSense controller being slightly jostled. PlayStation has yet to comment further on the motion sensors and what they’re looking to do with them in the future. It’ll be interesting to see whether or not PlayStation is going to compete with Nintendo’s nearly perfected motion controls on the Switch.
Charging and battery life
PlayStation is using a rechargeable battery in the DualSense controller; while it’s nice to know we won’t have to swap out batteries all the time, I can’t wait to find out how long the battery life is going to be. PlayStation said that they thought about battery life, but they have yet to specify how long the battery life is going to be.
The larger battery will definitely make the controller heavier, but PlayStation has mentioned their efforts to make the controller as light as possible. Supposedly, the controller will still be a little lighter than a current Xbox controller with batteries in it.
Speaker and microphone
The PS5 controller will have its own built-in speaker and microphone. During his hands-on video demo, Keighley stated there is much more variety of different sounds coming from the speaker compared to the one in the PS4 controller. The sounds also can tie into the haptic feedback support as well.
Weight and other features
In the hands-on demo video, Keighley stated that the PS5 DualSense controller does feel a bit heavier compared to the current PS4 controller, but its not a substantial difference. He also feels that the PS5 controller does feel a bit heftier compared to the PS4 gamepad.
The PS5 will come with a pre-installed game, Astro’s Playroom. The game will let users get used to the new controller and its features, according to Keighley. In the hands-on video, he stated you can feel the tension in the haptic when your robot enters a sandstorm on the beach, and also hear the crispness of the sand through the speaker.
How much will the PS5 controller be?
It’s still not clear how much the PS5 controller will be. PlayStation hasn’t released the price of the new console or any of its accessories or games.
If we had to guess, we’d estimate the PS5 controller will be somewhere in the $60-70 range. The PS4 controller retails for about $50. With all of the new technological features, especially haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, it’s safe to say there will be an increase in price. We just don’t know exactly how much yet.
When will the PS5 controller release?
PlayStation has not released any information on the release dates of the PS5 console or accessories, including the new controller.
So far, the only information we have for a release date is the broad window of Holiday 2020. If our estimations are correct, we should hopefully be getting more info about the PS5 (price, release dates, etc.) sometime this month. Then, hopefully the rumors and speculations are true about the PS5 console and accessories releasing on November 20, 2020.
Can you use a PS5 controller with the PS4?
It’s expected that the PS5 controller will be able to work with PC, as well as the PS4. Although it’s worth mentioning that some of the features of the new controller will not be functional with the PS4.
For example, the PS5 games are being developed with haptic feedback and adaptive triggers in mind; PS4 games were not developed with those things in mind, so you’re not going to experience those functions while playing a PS4 game with a PS5 controller.
We’re still waiting on clear confirmation of these details from PlayStation.
Can you use a DualShock 4 controller with the PS5?
PlayStation has still not officially released any information regarding compatibility of the DualShock 4 controller with the PS5. However, since it has been confirmed that the majority of the PS4 game library will be backwards compatible with the new console, it’s safe to say that the PS4 controllers will work on the PS5 as well.
Just as I mentioned above, however, when you mix PS4/PS5 parts together, you shouldn’t expect full functionality. In this instance, if you’re using your DualShock 4 controller with the PS5, you will not experience the haptic feedback or the adaptive triggers even though it’s programmed into the game because your controller isn’t compatible with those specific features.