PS5's controller DualSense is one of the biggest innovations Sony is bringing to next-gen. Naturally, there are lots of questions floating around about the PS5's pad, including its features, price, and battery life. As part of our PS5 guide, we're going to tell you everything we know about the PS5 controller so far. However, if you're looking for information on PS5 backwards compatibility, check out the following guide: Can You Use a PS4 Controller on PS5?
PS5 Controller: What Is It Called?
We were almost certain the PS5 controller would be called DualShock 5, following in the footsteps of all Sony's other pads. However, we were proven wrong. The official name of PS5's controller is DualSense.
PS5 Controller: What Does It Look Like?
Again, we believed Sony would stick to its tried and tested design, but DualSense breaks the mould with its flashy appearance. You'll see all the official images so far within this guide.
The first thing you'll notice about the PS5 controller is its two-tone colouring. Usually, Sony's pads stick to one colour -- typically black -- but with DualSense, white is the dominant colour, while black is the secondary colour. The grips, face buttons, and touch pad are all a pure white, while the shoulder buttons and the lower middle of the pad are black.
The DualSense controller is also a little bigger than we're used to, resembling the design employed by the Xbox Series X controller. Thumb sticks remain symmetrical where they've always been, while the touch pad has been expanded slightly. The face buttons -- Triangle, Circle, X, and Square -- are largely the same, although have lost their iconic colouring in favour of a sleek grey. The PS button is no longer circular, but takes the shape of PlayStation's logo. The light bar, which used to sit atop the DualShock 4 PS4 controller, has been moved and refined around the touch pad.
The Share button has been renamed the Create button, and the Options button has a new symbol too. L1 and R1 remain largely unchanged, but L2 and R2 have been smoothed out to a degree.
PS5 Controller: How Much Will It Cost?
To be honest, we don't know yet. Of course, the PlayStation 5 will come with at least one DualSense controller when you buy your console, but we aren't sure how much they will be on their own. Considering that official PS4 controllers have an RRP of $59.99, we imagine the cost will be about the same or maybe slightly higher. We'll update this guide when we know more.
PS5 Controller: What New Features Does It Have?
Sony has officially detailed some of DualSense's next-gen features.
Firstly, the PS5 controller will replace regular rumble with far more advanced haptic feedback. Instead of the whole controller vibrating as we've all become accustomed to, it will be capable of providing a wide range of different tactile sensations. For example, if you're playing a platformer and you're running around on ice, you'll be able to "feel" that the surface is slippery. Testing out a version of Gran Turismo Sport running on a PS5 dev kit, Wired's Peter Rubin explains he could feel the difference of two different surfaces simultaneously. "Driving on the border between the track and the dirt, I could feel both surfaces," he said. Haptic feedback should make for much more effective immersion.
Next up is adaptive triggers. The L2 and R2 buttons on a PS4 pad are fine, but what if you could feel the resistance of a taut string on a bow, or the clink of pulling the trigger on a gun? That's what the DualSense PS5 controller will be able to provide. The triggers on the PS5 controller will "offer varying levels of resistance" to further cement you in the game's world. This combined with the haptic feedback should achieve some pretty amazing results.
DualSense also replaces the PS4 controller's Share button with the Create button. We don't know too much about the difference here, but Sony says it will provide "new ways for players to create epic gameplay content to share with the world".
The PS5 controller also has a built-in microphone, located at the bottom of the pad. This will let players communicate with each other in online games even if they don't own a headset. We imagine you'll also be able to use this microphone for voice commands. Don't worry -- there's also a mute button in case you don't want your pad picking up your vocals.
PS5 Controller: Where to Buy It
It’s currently not possible to buy the DualSense PS5 controller as Sony has yet to make PS5 pre-orders available, but be sure to bookmark this page and we’ll update as soon as we learn more.
PS5 Controller: Battery Life
We hope the DualSense controller will have a longer battery life than the PS4 pad does, but we don't know for sure just yet. Sony's statement on the PS5 controller's battery life sounds promising, at least: "We also took thoughtful consideration into ways to maintain a strong battery life for DualSense’s rechargeable battery," the company says. It will also have a more up to date charger cable; you'll charge the PS5 controller with a USB Type-C connector.
Are you looking forward to getting your hands on the PS5 controller? Check out our PS5 guide, and then let us know in the comments section below.