Yesterday, seemingly just because they were bored, Sony revealed the first look at the new controller for the PlayStation 5. Coined the DualSense, the controller has certainly divided opinion on its design, it favouring a mixture of black and white over just one consistent theme. It’s a good guess that the console itself will also have a similar aesthetic.
What’s really important, however, is what the DualSense can do, and it definitely looks up to it. The lightbar has been been meshed with the big central button, and the adaptive triggers will allow players to feel the weight of their inputs more heavily when using things like a bow in the inevitable Horizon Zero Dawn sequel. The Share button is now Create, and there’s even the option to chat to friends without a headset, which is sure to be annoying in random lobbies with all the echoing.
While all of this is promising, I just have one request of the DualSense: please make it sturdier than the DualShock 4.
I often feel like I am going mad, or maybe my Gamer Grease is just too acidic, but I rarely see anyone complaining about the lack of durability with the DualShock 4. Since my first PlayStation 4 back in late 2013, I have gone through 8 (eight) controllers and none have broken due to me flinging one after getting battered by Sword Saint Isshin Ashina over and over again.
There are two problem areas with the DualShock 4 that I have noticed pretty consistently. The first is that the analog sticks wear away before too long, leaving them looking a bit worn down and not offering much of a grip. I’ve tried those replacement nubbins that go over the top that litter eBay, yet they’ve never quite been rigid enough to not pop off after an hour or so.
Another weakness of the DualShock 4 is its charging port, which seems to get looser the more you charge, though this is common with almost every similar device going. The connection has come loose on a couple of my controllers to date, meaning that I have to wrap the excess cabling around the controller and hold it at a particular angle to charge. I even have one that doesn’t charge at all.
The most annoying foible with the DualShock 4, though, is its R2 button. As I play quite a lot of competitive shooters, that thing has been damaged more than my self-esteem every time I speak in one of our YouTube videos. Half of all of my PS4 controllers have this issue, them requiring multiple presses or else they get stuck in place.
Away from durability issues, the length of charge the DualShock 4 can hold is also very underwhelming, especially when compared to the Switch’s excellent but very expensive Pro Controller. While I can get 10 hours or more without the need to charge my Pro, the DualShock 4 gets drained in under half of that. The fact that Sony didn’t mention how much playtime a wireless DualSense boasts makes me feel that it’s not a massive improvement, though the USB-C port suggests we may be looking at some quicker charging times overall.
Sony mentioned that they have had many playtesters trying the DualSense out with lots of positive feedback. For the sake of my bank account, I hope they stress test it a little better than the DualShock 4.
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