In an international announcement on PlayStation’s official blogs, Senior Vice President of Platform Planning & Management, Hideaki Nishino unveiled the new controller for the upcoming PlayStation 5 console. Called the DualSense, rather than the DualShock 5, Nishino took some time to discuss not only the evolutionary changes of the controller but also its considerably different aesthetics and new features.
Nishino did not mince words on the DualSense’s aesthetics. “Traditionally our base controllers have a single color,” he wrote. “As you can see, we went a different direction this time around, and decided on a two-toned design.” That particularly bold choice overshadows smaller changes such as the PlayStation “Home” button being changed to what appears to be a full logo-shaped button and relocating the light bar underneath the touchpad. Visual design aside, Nishino stressed the amount of effort that went into the ergonomics of the controller, and the ultimate aim of those design choices. “We want gamers to feel like the controller is an extension of themselves when they’re playing – so much so that they forget that it’s even in their hands!”
As far as the technical elements of the DualSense, Sony has chosen to go with the USB-C standard for power and physical link capabilities. The controller has a built-in speaker, like its predecessor, but also incorporates a microphone for players who want to be able to talk to other players, and which could conceivably be used for gameplay functions in future titles. Nishino cautions that, for extended conversations, a headset will still be recommended. However, from the images, it’s not immediately clear where the headset would plugin. Nishino mentioned that Sony engineers had made efforts to ensure long battery life while keeping overall weight down.
Functionality changes within the DualSense were also mentioned. The “Share” button has been renamed the “Create” button, with Nishino promising broader abilities for players to create their own gameplay-focused content with the controller. Additionally, the DualSense will have haptic feedback capabilities, as well as adaptive triggers to help with immersion. Players will get the chance to make their own decisions about the DualSense when the PlayStation 5 launches this holiday season.