PlayStation 5’s controller is in for some big changes

Eric Abent - Oct 8, 2019, 1:50 pm CDT
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PlayStation 5’s controller is in for some big changes

Slowly but surely, Sony is beginning to release more details about its next console, which was confirmed as the PlayStation 5 today. While lead architect Mark Cerny hasn’t been super specific about the console and we still haven’t seen it in the flesh yet, we learned some exciting things about Sony’s next-generation console today. Some of those things, interestingly enough, have nothing to do with the console itself, but rather with its controller.

Cerny notes in an interview with Wired that the PlayStation 5 controller doesn’t have an official name yet, though most of us are assuming that it’ll follow the same naming trend as Sony’s consoles and be called the DualShock 5. Regardless of what it’s called in the end, it’ll have some capabilities that the DualShock 4 doesn’t have.

For starters, Sony says that it’s dropping the more conventional rumble features from the controller in favor of haptic feedback. With this, Sony says that players will be able to feel a much broader range of sensations while playing games, which will hopefully help with immersion. On its own blog, Sony says that the DualShock 5’s haptics will make something like colliding with a wall during a race feel much different than tackling someone in a football game – sensations that would feel more or less similar with standard rumble feedback.

Wired notes that the prototype DualShock 5 it used for demos also comes with improved speaker, which works side-by-side with the controller’s haptic feedback. We’ll also see the PS5’s controller outfitted with what Sony’s calling “adaptive triggers,” the resistance of which can be changed depending on what you’re doing in the game. So, drawing back a bow will feel different than accelerating in a car or firing a gun.

With all of these features considered, Sony says that they can “produce a powerful experience that better simulates various actions.” The company also notes that developers are already using early versions of the PS5’s controller, so hopefully we’ll see some games that take full advantage of its capabilities at or near launch.

While this all sounds great, we probably shouldn’t expect the DualShock design to change drastically in the jump to the PlayStation 5, as Wired says that the prototype it used looked a lot like a DualShock 4. Obviously, a prototype is a prototype and not necessarily representative of the finished product, but given that Sony has never strayed too far from the original DualShock’s design, it likely won’t begin to here.


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