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Meet DualSense, the brand new controller for the PS5

Published Apr 7th, 2020 4:36PM EDT
PlayStation 5 controller reveal
Image: PlayStation

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  • Sony unveiled the design of its new PS5 controller on Tuesday afternoon.
  • The DualSense builds upon the design of the PS4’s DualShock 4, but has several notable changes that were necessary in order to incorporate some of the new features.
  • Those features include haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, and a light bar you can actually see.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

Less than a month after Sony walked us through the system architecture of the PlayStation 5, Senior Vice President of Platform Planning & Management Hideaki Nishino gave us our first look at the controller that will ship with the new console. The brand new DualSense wireless controller has a dramatically different design than that of the DualShock controllers that arrived alongside the PS2, PS3, and PS4. Nishino says that Sony is preparing to ship the DualSense out to developers, but wanted to give the PlayStation community a sneak peek first.

This is our first time seeing the DualSense, but we already knew about some of its key features. For example, the wireless DualSense will be the first PlayStation controller to have haptic feedback, “which adds a variety of powerful sensations you’ll feel when you play.” Adaptive triggers have also been incorporated into the L2 and R2 buttons, so you’ll feel the tension as push down to, for instance, draw a bow to shoot an arrow at an enemy.

Image source: PlayStation

In order to include everything it wanted to, the design team had to change the angle of the hand triggers and make subtle changes to the grip. The DualSense is an upgraded DualShock 4 at its core, but there were certain changes that had to be made in order to bring the controller into the next generation.

The Share button has also replaced with a new Create button, but Sony wasn’t willing to share any details about how this button will differ from the old one. The DualSense also has a built-in microphone array so that you can talk to your friends without a headset. As Sony notes, this is more useful for short conversations than long, drawn-out matches, but it’s a great way to communicate quickly without fishing around for your headset.

As for the color scheme, Sony is known for using a single color for its base controllers, as it did with the PS2, PS3, and PS4, but opted for a two-tone approach with the PlayStation 5’s DualSense. The light bar has also been moved over to the sides of the touch pad, so you can actually see it when you’re gaming.

Jim Ryan, President & CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, offered his two cents on the controller as well:

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.

There is still plenty we don’t know about the DualSense controller, and Sony has yet to show us what the PS5 actually looks like, but with as quiet as Sony has been in recent months, we’ll take what we can get.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.