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What’s new in the Sony DualSense controller for the PlayStation 5?

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Sahil Gupta is the founder and editor of warpcore. He has spent his entire career in mainstream media including stints at Gadgets 360, BGR India, India Today and more recently the Times of India Group where he led international franchise publications like Gizmodo India, PCMag India, TechRadar India and TechSpot India. Apart from having deep insight into consumer electronics trends and tech, he's also a music aficionado and pioneered the concept of thematic indie music events in New Delhi, India's capital. warpcore is a culmination of his career which has been spent on the intersection of technology and music.

Just a couple of weeks after Sony detailed the technical facets of the PlayStation 5, the Japanese consumer electronics giant has now shown the controller of its next-generation console. While they haven’t shown off the main console, for the first time, PlayStation 5 controller has broken cover which is a bold redo of the classic PlayStation controller which has been known as the DualShock since the days on the original PlayStation in the mid-90s. The new controller also gets a new name — DualSense — is a radical departure from what gamers have become accustomed to from best selling console line in the last 25 years. This controller could be a key differentiating factor in this upcoming next generation of the console wars as both the incoming Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 are based on AMD’S RDNA 2 architecture which is basically a PC x86 platform providing a massive leap in performance over the Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro. 

  • Gone is the iconic rumble system from the PlayStation 5 Controller, which has been replaced with a more modern haptic feedback system something most people are accustomed to in smartphones. This should provide more realistic feedback coupled with the new adaptive trigger technology. The way I’d imagine this would work is when “ you’re in a racing game, if you hit the gravel trap, the triggers would perhaps get stiffer and haptic feedback would become more persistent, till you get out of it”. This would fundamentally change the way one experiences a console game. 
  • Sony also addressed the poor battery life on the DualShock 4 controller of the previous generation stating that it has figured out ways to improve the battery life. While it hasn’t given specifics, the one major change that has happened is the addition of USB-Type C which will definitely improve the charge speeds for the controller. It seems like Sony has also more or less eliminated the light bar which would also help improve battery life. 
  • Apart from this, Sony has added a microphone which will improve the multiplayer experience for those who don’t have headphones handy all the time, though Sony says that using headphones with dedicated microphones will still be the optimal experience for most people.
  • As far as design and layouts are concerned, Sony has introduced a new rounded contoured design which also comes in an elegant dual-tone finish, however, Sony sticks to its old symmetric layout for the D-Pad and joysticks. Sony is definitely trying to make this controller better for people with larger hands. You also get the old touch-bar and there share button is still there though it has been rebranded to “create” which is now not a rounded button but cut out in the actual “PS” logo shape. 
  • Last but not least is the name itself of the controller — Sony has moved away from its Dual Shock branding to this new DualSense branding which is indicative of how Sony plans on elevating sensory interactions for gamers which can also be seen in the addition haptic feedback coupled with the touch bar and adaptive triggers. The rebrand points to more. 

As of now, there are no pricing details for the DualSense controller though but one can always look towards the DualShock 4 which retails for Rs 4,299 as an indicator. Considering the new feature set — it could cost upwards of Rs 5,000. 

In terms of philosophy, the trend of the previous generation of the consoles remains — while PlayStation has been all about unique gaming experiences and developer-friendly hardware, the Xbox is more about brute force and pandering to the hardcore gamer with a high customisable Xbox experience including a cloud-based gaming aspect.

Both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are slated to be launched in November, though things could change in the light of the coronavirus global pandemic the world is going through right now. Already Sony has announced that “the Last Of Us 2” has been delayed which was supposed to be one of the launch exclusives for the PlayStation 5.

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