Sony revealed the controller for the PlayStation 5 today. It was assumed the controller would continue Sony’s naming tradition and be introduced as the DualShock 5, but that’s not the case. The controller for the PS5 will be called the DualSense in reference to the new technologies that are being introduced with it.
The DualSense PS5 controller is the first significant departure in form for Sony since the introduction of the original DualShock in 1997. That iconic form factor has held true over four console generations with only minor changes. The DualSense looks like an amalgam of the DualShock 4 and Xbox One controller, with both the handgrips and shoulder buttons curving into the main body.
The color scheme of the DualSense is a big change from the DualShock family as well. Since the PS2, each launch controller has been solid black, but the DualSense features a two-tone design. The controller shown in the reveal is white and black, and it can be assumed this will be the model that comes with the PS5 on launch. However, it’s likely that we’ll get to see a wide array of color variations as time goes on, just as we did with the PS4.
With the DualSense moniker, Sony hopes to express that this controller is meant to give players an expanded range of tactile interface compared to the DualShock 4. The highlight here is the adaptive L2 and R2 triggers, which include haptic feedback. So, when you’re playing a game with a bow, you can feel the tension on the string, or the grit of the road if you’re racing.
The general button layout of the PS5 controller is similar to previous Sony products, but there has been one major change from the PS4. There is no longer a Share button. In its place is now the “Create” button, which hints at expanded social sharing and gameplay recording functionality. Another big addition is a microphone array that has been added to facilitate chatting without a headset. Not mentioned in the reveal blog, the DualSense appears to charge via USB-C, which is an appreciated update as well.
The DualSense is a design that seems outside of Sony’s comfort zone, and Sony Interactive Entertainment President & CEO Jim Ryan has this to say about it:
“DualSense marks a radical departure from our previous controller offerings and captures just how strongly we feel about making a generational leap with PS5. The new controller, along with the many innovative features in PS5, will be transformative for games – continuing our mission at PlayStation to push the boundaries of play, now and in the future. To the PlayStation community, I truly want to thank you for sharing this exciting journey with us as we head toward PS5’s launch in Holiday 2020. We look forward to sharing more information about PS5, including the console design, in the coming months.”
It’s exciting to finally see the PS5 controller, especially after Sony has been relatively coy about sharing visual details about its upcoming console. We can assume that the coming months will open the floodgates, and we’ll get a full PS5 reveal sometime soon.