On Wednesday, Sony unveiled the DualSense Controller for the PS5, and it’s the most significant divergence from the past designs with the most polarising changes being its dual-tone look and curved silhouette.
While the controller’s design may be the standout change, Sony has also thrown light upon the various new features it offers. These include a new haptic feedback engine, a built-in microphone array, adaptive triggers for the L2 and R2 buttons and a modification to the Share button from the DualShock 4.
Here we discuss the differences between the new DualSense Controller and DualShock 4 and see how Sony has built upon the last generation device.
Sony mentions in their blog post that with the DualSense, their main focus was on how they could improve upon the design of DualShock 4 to help them include all of the new additions they wanted to make.
Another goal they wanted to achieve was to make the controller feel smaller than it looks. This thought process behind the controller’s design prompted its curvier silhouette, a change in the angle of the hand triggers and subtle variations to the grip. Also, the light bar now flows around the touchpad rather than sit at the top as it did with the DualShock 4.
Over the years, users have often expressed dissent about the DualShock 4’s poor battery life — about four to eight hours per charge — but this may not be the case with the DualSense.
“We also took thoughtful consideration into ways to maintain strong battery life for DualSense’s rechargeable battery, and to lessen the weight of the controller as much as possible as new features were added,” Sony explained.
Buttons, Triggers and Analog Sticks
The DualSense controller has a button layout that will be all too familiar for older players, but it does consist of subtle changes to its look and feel. The analogue sticks now have a new texture — a knurl — along their edges, and the D-pad buttons seem to be more angular towards their ends and have a glossy finish.
A change that Sony highlighted was the renaming of the Share button to the Create button, and more information about it will be revealed later by the company. The Share button that was first featured on the DualShock 4 brought functionality allowed users to share screenshots, clips of recorded gameplay and conduct a live broadcast with the press of a button. So, for those of you who utilise this feature, keep your eyes out for what Sony has in mind.
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As mentioned earlier in the article, the DualSense controllers feature an in-built microphone array, which aims to allow players to partake in short conversations without the need to have a dedicated microphone — the case until now. The new controllers are also said to come with improved speakers.
The speakers on the DualShock 4 have been used in-game for short audio cues which usually provide tips or aim to increase the level of immersion. The cues at the start of Call of Duty and when perks are activated is quite neat, which leaves looking forward to what game developers will have to offer.
As expected, the DualSense controller features a USB C port which is in-line with the tech-industry wide adoption that the standard has received over the last few years.
The DualShock 4, on the other hand, features a micro-USB port which can be used for OTG connections and charging the device. DualShock 4 also has an EXT port and 3.5mm jack at the bottom. These are used to connect the controller to charging docks, headphones and the Back Button Attachment that Sony made available earlier this year.
There was speculation that the DualSense controller does not have a headphone jack — oh no, another device bites the dust?! — but Sony’s wording in their blog post and Toshimasa Aoki’s tweet — a Product Manager at Sony — confirm its presence. The availability of an EXT port is still in question, but its removal would not make sense, and its absence would only hurt Sony.
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A 20-year-old with an interest in technology and video games. When not doing anything related to either of these you will find him with his books, educational or not.