The PS5 is an impressive console, but I’m more blown away by the DualSense controller.
A week after I’ve gotten my PS5, it’s clear that the star of this next-gen console isn’t the console, but the new DualSense controller. Yes, the PS5 brings better and improved graphics and crazy fast SSD loading times, but that has been teased months before release so we kind of know what to expect. For the DualSense however, I didn’t expect it to be this good.
The DualSense has improved ergonomics over the DualShock 4 – there are improved grips that give you a better hold when playing. The analog buttons are still in the same place, with the same directional keypad on the left and the PS buttons on the right. You’re getting the same touchpad in the middle, a speaker below, a PS button along with a mute button for muting the built-in microphone. There’s also the L1/R1 button plus the analog L2/R2 triggers.
The overall look and feel of the DualSense are great, and I’ve never been more engaged with gameplay while using it. It’s easy to handle, it holds a decent amount of charge, and it vibrates.
But not just a simple vibration. The DualSense features haptic feedback, similar to that new vibration engine you find on new smartphone models. The past four generations of the PlayStation console featured rumbling controllers that add realism to what’s happening in the game, but with haptic feedback on the DualSense for PS5, it is taking it to a whole new level.
This means that haptic feedback can precisely give a specific vibration that is similar to real life. The hit of raindrops, the stomp of the concrete while walking, or the subtle vibration of a moving car. This feature is best demoed with Astro’s Playroom, a game that comes pre-installed when you purchase a PS5. It creatively demonstrates the best parts of the controller and what exactly it can do, from haptic feedback to the motion sensor, to the built-in microphone.
Add to that the analog L2 and R2 triggers that also use similar technology. It adds resistance that increases when you pull back on it – this works well with shooting games that add a new level of immersion to what you are playing.
These small additions overall make the DualSense the best part of the PS5, making it more than just an input device. But here’s the thing, for games like Astro’s Playroom and the launch title Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Sony intended to add these enhancements to make the game more immersive but in the end, games that support these features are entirely in the hands of the developers.
Sony hits all the right marks with the DualSense and while the PS5 is still the highlight, the DualSense deserves equal praise just for the various improvements it has gotten.
Have you tried the DualSense controller yet? What do you think about the new adaptive triggers and haptic feedback? Share your thoughts in the comments!