DualSense PS5 PlayStation 5

This week’s PlayStation 5 firmware update was also accompanied by new system software for the DualSense controller itself, but what does it actually do? Well, after some fairly strenuous testing over the past 48 hours, we can conclude that it’s changed the way haptic feedback is utilised in backwards compatible PlayStation 4 games.

Obviously, the DualShock 4 controller didn’t have haptic feedback, and its rumble was designed around two motors in the handles of the pad. When playing PS4 games on the PS5, this was replicated by a soft buzzing in the DualSense controller. However, since the update, Sony has simulated the “feel” of the DualShock 4’s rumble through its new pad.

What does this mean, in real-terms? Well, based on our experience you get the “texture” of the DualShock 4’s rumble motors: it’s a more pronounced feedback that more accurately reflects the mechanics of the company’s last-gen peripheral. Honestly, it feels vastly superior – we noticed it immediately in Rocket League, but the change is evident in other games, too.

It’s important to note that PS4 software is not designed with the DualSense in mind, so we’re not referring to Astro’s Playroom-style haptic feedback here. Instead, the company is using the technology in its PS5 controller to more accurately simulate the “feeling” of playing with a DualShock 4, so it’s closer to what the developer originally intended.

We should reiterate that the rumble in PS4 games pales in comparison to what you find in native next-gen releases. Still, this is a meaningful improvement, because it retains the authenticity of the original releases through backwards compatibility. It’s yet another under-the-radar tweak in Sony’s new system software.