We got a first in-depth look at the PS5 DualSense controller today, courtesy of Geoff Keighley. The DualSense was previously revealed via the PlayStation Blog, but we haven’t seen it in action until today’s stream. In addition to demoing the controller, Geoff showed a side-by-side comparison of the DualShock 4 and DualSense, which put the differences between the two into perspective.
The most noticeable difference between the PS4 and PS5 controller, aside from the noticeable design changes, is the size. The DualSense appears a bit larger than the DualShock 4 (not as large as rumored), though some of that is due to perspective. The PS5 controller’s grips are angled outward more so than in previous pads. The new design is reminiscent of the Xbox One controller, so it’s naturally wider than the PS4 pad. Geoff also explained that the DualSense is heavier than the DualShock, but that it feels substantial as opposed to weighty.
Under the plastic, the PS5 controller features a higher fidelity speaker compared to that found in the PS4 and also has an integrated mic (which you can blow into like the original Famicom P2 controller). The L2 and R2 shoulder buttons have also been enhanced with haptic feedback, which can create tension against a player’s fingers to simulate gunfire or the pulling of a bowstring. The main rumble feature has also been upgraded to use more versatile haptic motors, which will give the controller a more extensive range of vibration functionality (probably like the Switch’s HD rumble).
Overall, the DualSense is the biggest departure in PlayStation controller design since the original DualShock was introduced for the PS1. That form factor has served Sony well, and it remains to be seen if the new features coming with the PS5 controller will be widely used, or if they’ll be largely ignored as we’ve seen with the DualShock 4’s touchpad and speaker.
No firm release date has been set for the PS5 and its accompanying controller, and no pricing is yet available. With the data we have now, we can assume the console will launch sometime in mid-November.