Sony has officially announced the PS5 controller, dubbing it the DualSense controller, and it looks radically different from the company’s previous designs. It’ll launch alongside the PS5 console before the Christmas holiday this year.
The PS5 controller design reveal includes some of what the leaks predicted: adaptive shoulder button triggers with haptic feedback, a built-in microphone so you can talk to friends without having to wear a headset, and a new ‘Create’ button that replaces the PS4 Share button.
In addition, Sony is moving the previous DualShock 4’s LED Lightbar from the top of the controller to the surrounding of the touchpad on the PS5. It’s supposed to give the LED a larger look and feel, according to the company.
What’s interesting (and going be divisive) is the DualSense two-tone color scheme that’s black-and-white and devoid of color on the face buttons. Triangle, Circle, Square and Cross (or X) are still here, but they don’t sport their usual hues.
Sony says that this is a “radical departure from our previous controller offerings and captures just how strongly we feel about making a generational leap with PS5.” The black-and-white design is likely to extend to the PS5 console, which is different than the usual black color Sony has chosen for its console launches since the PS2.
Sony hasn’t revealed exact PS5 controller specs, and there are a number of details we’re eager to hear about, including the expected battery life. It did say, however, that the team made sure “to maintain a strong battery life for DualSense’s rechargeable battery, and to lessen the weight of the controller as much as possible as new features were added.”
Cut to the chase
- What is the DualSense? Sony’s next-generation PlayStation 5 controller
- When is it available? Holiday 2020 (to coincide with the release of the PS5)
- How much will it cost? TBC
PS5 controller release date
Sony finally revealed the DualSense Controller to the world in a PlayStation Blog post on April 7, 2020 – giving us our first glimpse of the next-gen gamepad.
The Sony PS5 controller will release alongside the PlayStation 5 during the “Holiday” 2020 period – so sometime between October and December.
We’re expecting that the DualSense PS5 controller, like the DualShock 4 before it, will work not only on the PlayStation 5 but also with PC.
PS5 controller price: not confirmed, but this is our prediction
A price for the DualSense PS5 controller has not been confirmed yet, but with the PS4 controller retailing for around £40/$50/AUD$80, we expect the DualSense to be just a bit more expensive – we’d predict around £60/$70/AUD$120.
This is pure speculation at this point, based solely on the confirmed features and Sony’s previous price strategy for controllers. It’s likely Sony will confirm the PS5 controller price in the coming months ahead of launch.
PS5 controller features: haptic feedback, Create button and audio jack
The formal reveal of the DualSense confirmed what we’ve heard about the PS5 controller features for a while. Haptic feedback will replace the DualShock 4’s rumble technology.
While the rumble technology seen in the PS4 controller vibrates intensely during particular in-game events, it wasn’t particularly fine-tuned to the player’s experience. Haptic feedback simulates touch, meaning the controller will output vibrations or movements to replicate a real-life touch experience. This aims to improve the controller’s feedback and therefore player’s immersion.
The PS5 controller will also feature adaptive triggers which Sony says have “been incorporated into the trigger buttons (L2/R2)”. These adaptive triggers will allow developers to program the resistance of the triggers to simulate actions more accurately.
There’s no Share button on the DualSense controller, but there is a Create Button, and it’ll perform the same function and more. “We’re once again pioneering new ways for players to create epic gameplay content to share with the world, or just to enjoy for themselves,” is how Sony describes it. Expect more on this as we get closer to launch.
The PS5 will still feature an audio jack, too, so you can plug in your own headphones and headsets. This was tweeted in response to a user question by PlayStation project manager Toshimasa Aoki (their account isn’t verified, though, it’s worth noting):