Dualsense Controller – One minute review
The DualSense is not only the best controller Sony has ever put its name to, but also that rare gaming input device that feels truly innovative. In fact, you get the DualSense controller as standard with every PlayStation 5 console.
A pleasingly sturdier beast than its predecessor, the DualSense surpasses the PS4’s DualShock 4 in every way imaginable, finally giving PlayStation owners a controller to rival Xbox’s offerings. Of course, it would be remiss to talk about the PS5 controller without mentioning its great app: the haptic feedback.
Created by the company behind Nintendo’s Joycon HD Rumble, DualSense’s haptic feedback uses incredibly precise vibrations to simulate on-screen events by sending intricate reverberations across your hands. From the trickle of water droplets gently pattering across your palms to the tactile resistance of the new adaptive triggers when you pull back a bowstring, the aptly named DualSense enhances immersion in a pleasingly tactile way.
That said, it’s no longer Sony’s only official PS5 controller option. The DualSense Edge was announced at Gamescom 2022’s Opening Night Live presentation and will launch in January 2023. Similar to the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller and Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2, the DualSense Edge offers a number of premium features that you won’t find on the regular option, so it’s worth taking a look.
Either way, it’s hard to really overstate the importance of Sony’s new immersive technology, and while the packed Astro’s Playroom software does show some potential, we have no doubt that the PS5 launch games are just the tip of the spectrum. iceberg of what haptic feedback will do. bring to the table.
At a time when most controllers offer repetition rather than innovation, Sony’s DualSense is the rarest input device – one that feels truly exciting.
DualSense wireless controller: price and availability
- DualSense wireless controller price: $69.99 / £59.99 / AU$109.95
- Available in eight different colours
The PS5 DualSense controller costs $69.99 / £59.99 / AU$109.95, but as you’d expect, every PlayStation 5 comes with a controller in the box.
However, if you want to indulge in a local co-op (or need to buy a replacement), you can always buy an extra DualSense. While the PS5 has seen stock issues worldwide since launch – which seem to be abating as of late – the DualSense thankfully appears to be largely available in both the US, UK and Australia.
In addition to the original white variety, we’ve seen Midnight Black, Cosmic Red, Nova Pink, Starlight Blue, and Galactic Purple with the space theme. There’s also Gray Camoflague and a God of War Ragnarok-inspired design, which we detailed below.
DualSense wireless controller: design
- The most comfortable PlayStation controller yet
- Textured handles provide a firm grip
- Satisfying weight makes it feel premium
At first glance, the PS5 controller looks like little more than a slightly futuristic redesign of the DualShock 4.
Giving up the PS4’s all-black grunge aesthetic in favor of a slick white body accentuated by matte black analog sticks, the DualSense is a surprisingly attractive controller in real life. While it has a new PlayStation symbol embossed Home button and the aforementioned built-in microphone (along with a handy mute button), aside from the swapped share and home buttons, you’d think this was just a bigger version. of what came before.
But look a little closer and every aspect of the DualShock 4’s chassis is elongated. This time around, Sony has packed most of the controller’s length into the grips, resulting in thicker and longer grips – and the result is the most comfortable PS controller to date. Speaking of the grip, these elongated handles are now also textured and feel nice when resting against your fingers.
This newly textured grip also means your controller will stay firm – even if you happen to find yourself in a particularly sweat-inducing multiplayer session. If you look closely at these little textured symbols that make up the DualSense grip, you’ll find that each side is made up of a small collection of symbols from the PS face button.
What is a controller without buttons? While the DualShock’s buttons were usable, the buttons on the DualSense are vastly improved over Sony’s last-generation offerings. These clear plastic face buttons have a clean, glass-like aesthetic and feel much more solid than the DualShock 4. It may sound like a fairly minor improvement, but it all adds up to an impressive package: a controller that feels sturdy and durable.
This feels even more important considering that the biggest complaint players had with the DualShock 4 was the flimsy analog sticks. The first iteration of these controllers saw the felt nubs wear away quickly, leaving many gamers with chipped, worn analog sticks only months later. Sony wisely opted for a concave design for its sticks, following the much-improved analog sticks that come with the DualShock 4 controller. So far they feel much firmer.
At launch, the DualSense was only available in white and the DualSense looked pretty sleek in its current two-tone configuration. Since then, Sony’s colorful blue, pink and purple PS5 controllers have launched alongside a midnight black variant, special edition God of War Ragnarok DualSense Controller and more.
From the textured grips to the satisfying weight, the DualSense feels like a controller designed to make long gaming sessions as comfortable and immersive as possible.
DualSense Wireless Controller: Performance
- Haptic feedback and adaptive triggers are immersive innovations
- The battery life is a bit disappointing
- Built-in microphone
As we mentioned above, the haptic feedback is the real star of the show here. What’s impressive about the technology is that haptic feedback somehow reverberates throughout the entire controller, and the adaptive triggers are already being used in some pleasantly different ways. From the colorful adventure Bugsnax transforming the right trigger into an authentically rigid camera shutter, to the silent thump of sand that reverberates convincingly around the controller during Astro Playroom’s ‘Bot Beach’ level, this impressive technology feels truly thrilling.
Immersive innovations aside, the DualSense feels like a controller built for convenience. Not only is it much more comfortable than the DualShock 4, Sony’s PS5 offering even has a built-in microphone, a pleasingly solid D-pad and no longer ruins your game with a blinding light. While the touchpad and headphone jack return almost untouched from the previous generation, the micro-USB charging cable has unsurprisingly been replaced by a more modern USB-C port.
The only downside to PlayStation’s next-gen offerings is how long you can use the DualSense. While not terrible, the battery life is somewhat disappointing, as Sony’s PS5 controller only offers about nine to ten hours of playtime before you need to plug in the charging cable. Compared to the staggering 30 hours you get with Nintendo’s brilliant Switch Pro Controller, 10 hours doesn’t feel like a great feat.