The PlayStation 5’s controller was profiled in Geoff Keighley’s latest Summer Game Fest livestream, with the device being used in a couple of games to show off its motion controls and tactile feedback for future experiences. Originally revealed ahead of the official console in April 2020, the DualSense was given undivided attention as part of Keighley’s campaign for game announcements during an E3-less time.
Plastic, pristine and pearly, the DualSense is the successor the the PS4’s DualShock 4 and even takes on a new name to let gamers know it’s a different breed for PlayStation 5.
Keighley immediately jumps into the adaptive triggers, now included as a hardware feature for the DualSense. Some games would let players use both L2 and R2 with different pressures, allowing for more precise actions such as aiming or drawing a bow. The controller also features a haptic feedback feature that immerses players further into games. Its sound speaker on the front has been improved to project 3D sounds, previously seen in games such as The Last of Us and Grand Theft Auto V.
The adaptive triggers helped Keighley beat a side-scrolling minigame, which used them to fling a robot across platforms. The joysticks were also shown moving characters through a fridge, with its sounds coming through the controller like wind (or as Keighley states, is like ASMR). Games with catapulting features can also use the DualSense’s gyro to pull back and fire projectiles at enemies.
In an interview with PlayStation Marketing VP Eric Lempel, Keighley was revealed to be one of the very first players to touch the DualSense outside of PlayStation and third party Developers. It’s also worth noting that players who eventually get their hands on the controller will find it much bigger to hold, compared to the DualShock 4’s compact design. Its grips are also thicker for a “sculpted” grip, while its thumbsticks should look and feel familiar. Of course, all PS5 games will have the same Cross, Circle, Triangle and Square visual configuration.
“As we go into a new piece of hardware, it really has to check the box on a lot of different areas to fulfill those promises,” Lempel said, adding the DualSense was designed with more accessible hands in mind. The controller was also made from community-sourced feedback and suggestions from developers.
“I think what’s really unique about the DualSense is that it plays into another one of your senses,” he said, citing vision, sound and touch as three key themes behind the PlayStation 5 controller’s features.
The features will also work with a player’s own reactions as they take advantage of the adaptive triggers and sound. According to Lempel, the DualSense was given to numerous developers ahead of time as they made their Day 1 PlayStation 5 launch titles and beyond. This also let them study the controller to implement its new features with.
Keighley went deeper into the SSD features of the PlayStation 5, asking Lempel how games such as Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart could take players into a New World without loading screens.
“A lot of what you saw, jumping through those different worlds instantly, just can’t be done in most cases,” Lempel said, citing the limitations of the PlayStation 4 now being passed with fresher Technology in the PlayStation 5.
“It needs new hardware, it needs new power. So that’s something we’re looking forward to. I mean, all of these things come together and you combine that with 3D audio, with the controller, ray-tracing, these are great experiences and these developers know how to harness every piece of those features to really being you a unique experience.”
Teased earlier at the end of the PlayStation 5 reveal, Keighley also asked about the company’s new motto: “Play Has No Limits,” which Lempel said would globalize their games for everyone. Its future marketing also doubles-down on accessibility, without their brand line limiting gamers on interests or a specific niche.
“For us, it is really about speaking to innovation and speaking about new experiences that you can have with PlayStation that you never expected, and really it’s how we push ourselves” Lempel said. “We don’t constrain ourselves, we want to push the limits of gaming all the time, right up to the end of everything we do.”