Since the introduction of the DualShock controller for the original PlayStation in 1997, each of Sony’s subsequent consoles has carried the naming convention into the next generation. There was the Dualshock 2 with the PlayStation 2, the DualShock 3 with the PlayStation 3, and the DualShock 4 with the PlayStation 4. Now it seems that tradition will end with the PlayStation 5 and the newly unveiled DualSense.
Sony’s next-gen controller, the DualSense looks a lot like the progeny of a DualShock and an Xbox controller. Revealed on the PlayStation Blog, the wireless DualSense appears a bit bulkier than its DualShock 4 cousin, and it looks more boomerang-shaped than a controller patent filed in Japan last year thought to show the then “DualShock 5.”
However, Hideaki Nishino, Senior Vice President, Platform Planning & Management for Sony Interactive Entertainment, said that the development team worked to create a device that felt both well-made and light.
… we had to consider how the components would fit into the hardware, without giving it a bulky feeling. Our design team worked closely with our hardware engineers to place the triggers and actuators.
The designers were then able to draw the lines of how the exterior of the controller would look and feel, with a challenge of making the controller feel smaller than it really looks. In the end, we changed the angle of the hand triggers and also made some subtle updates to the grip.
The DualSense follows in the footsteps of what seems to be Sony’s primary ethos with the PlayStation 5: providing players with greater immersion. The controller features haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, two things we already knew about.
Instead of the relatively simple rumble players have become accustomed to over the years, the DualSense provides a far wider breadth of tactile variations. One example given by Nishino mentions “the slow grittiness of driving a car through mud.”
Focused on providing developers with more control over the sensory aspects of their games, the DualSense looks to open new doors of feedback, especially through its haptic feedback “L2” and “R2” triggers, which have the ability to increase or decrease tension, for example.
The share button featured on the DualShock 4 is in a similar area on the DualSense, but it’s now called the “Create” button. Nishino teases in the PlayStation Blog post that it wants players to have more control over how they create game-centric content, such as videos and screenshots. However, he did not share anything concrete beyond that.
A microphone is also built into the DualSense to give every player the ability to chat with their friends. Specific details about the microphone’s quality were not provided, though Nishino did admit that a headset would be better for group chat or long periods of use.
We still have a lot more to learn about the PlayStation 5 ahead of its Holiday 2020 launch window. While Mark Cerny, PS5 lead system architect, recently shed light on the system’s technical specifications in what was meant to be a GDC presentation, we still don’t know exactly what the console looks like or how much it will cost.
Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more on the DualSense and the PlayStation 5 as we learn more.