Sony Interactive Entertainment may have been criticised for being slow out of the gate with official information on the PlayStation 5, at least in comparison with Xbox, but it's certainly making up for it now.

As well as unveiling specifications and a whole load of technical jargon during its deep dive online event on 18 March, it has now formally unveiled the PS5 DualSense controller.

Veering away from the DualShock moniker used since the very first PlayStation joypad, this new controller represents quite a departure for the company.

Here we look at its different aspects and features (based on what we know already) and make a judgement on what this means for the final console design.



Essentially, while it may not look it from an initial glance, the DualSense controller is based on the PS4's DualShock 4 - easily the best controller in PlayStation's history so far.

Yes, the colour might have changed - to a two-tone design - and the bulk seemingly increased and rounded off a little (to, almost, Xbox-form), but the thumbsticks are in the same position and there is still a touchpanel at the top. A lightbar returns too, albeit either side of the touchpanel rather than on the top.

What this means for PSVR owners, we're not so sure. SIE has said in the past that PSVR will be supported by PS5, with older headsets backward compatible, but with no top lightbar on the controller, it not likely that will work with the camera. Could it be that there are plans to switch to full motion sensing instead? We shall see.

Haptic feedback

One new feature added to the DualSense controller is haptic feedback. Instead of just the plain old rumble pack found in controllers across many generations of gaming, the DualSense will give a player a tangible feedback to better immerse him or her in a game.

As Sony says on its blog, it "adds a variety of powerful sensations you’ll feel when you play, such as the slow grittiness of driving a car through mud".


Adaptive triggers

Along with haptic feedback, the new controller adopts adaptive triggers for the L2 and R2 buttons.

These also introduce content-related feedback and finer control, such as when you are pulling the trigger of a gun on screen, or pulling back a bow to fire off an arrow.

Battery life

Another biggy for the PlayStation team was to improve the battery life in the latest controller. That's perhaps one of the DualShock 4's main caveats and it's great to hear it is being addressed.

There is no word yet on how large the battery is, or how long it might last, but the slightly bulkier design of the new controller is partly as a result of cramming in a bigger battery. And that's great to hear.

No "Share" button

As previously rumoured, the Share button has gone. However, it has been replaced with a new "Create" button feature.

Not much is know about this functionality as yet - we'll update when we know more.

Built-in microphones

One thing that will please multiplayer/social gamers no end is the new facility to chat in-game and with other players without the need for a headset - especially for short periods and when voice audio quality isn't that important.

The DualSense will come with its own microphone array built into the controller. We wonder if this might also be a signal that the console could be compatible with voice assistants, such as Alexa or Google Assistant? Maybe even its own voice recognition system (better than the one Sony has dabbled with before)?

What this means for PS5

While we still haven't seen anything official on the PlayStation 5 console design, this controller points to at least one key factor: it'll be two-tone and, most likely, mainly white with black flourishes.


And the design notes aren't a million miles away from the devkit imagery that keeps popping up. We doubt it will look exactly like that, but could be close.

We'll likely find out for sure very soon, as we suspect the DualSense controller unveiling is just a taster for what's to come.