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DualSense: All the latest news, specs and more for Sony’s PS5 controller

Compared to its rival, PS5 has been dishing out announcements at a much slower pace. At the time of writing we have a concrete idea of its internal specifications alongside a solid glimpse at the console’s controller. It’s a stark departure from previous iterations, so it’s time to dive in and go over everything we know about the Dualsense. 

While Sony hasn’t been quick to the draw for revealing hardware – with Xbox Series X being months ahead in that department – the new DualSense controller has definitely made a statement upon its arrival. It’s colourful, bright and very different to PlayStation controllers of generations past. 

Along with the interesting aspects of the controller itself, the DualSense has a ton of implications for the PS5 console and overall experience – from reimaging voice chat to the console’s aesthetics. Read on for a Trusted Reviews guide on everything we know about the new PS5 controller. 

Related: PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X – Which next-gen console is right for you?

DualSense

What is the PS5 DualSense controller?

In simple terms, the DualSense is the new controller design for the upcoming PS5 console – replacing the DualShock 4 and standing in for what we thought would be called the DualShock 5. It’s a striking departure from previous designs, and arguably a welcome one at that. 

In more abstract terms, it’s a radical rethink for Sony’s controller formula and a great indication of what the PS5 itself could look like. It remains unclear whether the Dualshock 4 will also work on PS5, but given the similar layout, we wouldn’t be surprised if it does. 

PS5 Dualsense release date – when is it coming out?

It will launch alongside the PS5, and will likely be available to purchase individually alongside it if you fancy picking up an extra pad. It’s worth noting that back in 2013 when the PlayStation 4 launched, you could find controllers on shelves long before the console itself. So, if history repeats itself the same could happen here.

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DualSense

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DualSense price – how much will the PS5 controller cost?

No word on the price of the DualSense controller (or, even, the PS5 itself just yet). The DualShock 4 has retailed at around £45-£55 ever since its inception – with discounts often available across numerous retailers.

Upon the release of the new PS5 DualSense controller, it seems unlikely that it will cost less than the current DualShock 4 – so, expect a price of £45 or higher. Here’s hoping for a bunch of attractive colour variants too, especially ones which take advantage of the two-tone design. 

DualSense features – What’s new with the PS5 controller?

The new DualSense has four standout tweaks when it comes to new features – the shoulder buttons, the new lightbar, an integrated microphone array and the Create button.

The shoulder buttons are one of the few things that Sony had mentioned ahead of this PS5 reveal – stating how the PS5 controller would incorporate haptic feedback far beyond anything console gamers have experienced before (via Wired). 

Bethesda SVP Pete Hines recently waxed lyrical about this new addition:

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The lightbar seems to have gotten a downgrade for the PS5. The, definitely too bright, lightbar was used in conjunction with PSVR but, with the light not moved to a subtler position underneath the trackpad, this feature seems to be no more.

The PS4 and DualShock 4 controller took a bit of a leap of faith adding the Share button and, while it hasn’t set the world on fire, the inclusion does seem justified. With PS5, Sony looks to build on this with the new Create button. Sony says Create will bring “pioneering new ways for players to create epic gameplay content to share with the world.”

The new PS5 DualSense controller looks set to abandon the need for a headset for casual players. The DualSense will include a new built-in microphone array that lets players chat with friends simply through the controller itself. Sony does recommend still using a headset for longer periods, however. There’s also a mute button on the controller, to hopefully give you some peace of mind.

Related: Read our full Final Fantasy 7 review

DualSense

DualSense design – What does the PS5 controller look like?

You can’t talk about the new DualSense controller for PS5 without mentioning the design, which is the talk of the console gaming world right now.

For DualSense, Sony has dropped the all-black design that its consoles have released with since the PS2, also opting for a two-tone design that it has never explored as a default colour scheme. 

The new controller ditches the long-running colours on the face buttons. Instead, choosing to go for white buttons featuring a muted grey colour. The buttons themselves appear transparent rather than the matte black design they’ve had in the past.

The overall shape of the DualSense also represents a big departure from previous DualShocks too – potentially explaining why it isn’t simply named the DualShock 5. The design is a bit more, dare I say, Xbox-like. While it is far from looking like a straight-up copy of the Xbox controller design, it definitely seems to have added a bit more of the chunky-style and a more angular shape.

The thumbsticks of the DualShock 4 represent my own biggest bugbear with the PS4’s controller and, thankfully, if you look closely at the DualSense, it does seem like the PS5 controller will feature a slightly refined design. Ideally, this will be a new and more durable material.

Related: Read our full Resident Evil 3 review

DualSense release date – When does the new PS5 controller come out?

Despite the current global pandemic, the PS5 remains scheduled for a Holiday 2020 release date. As such, this is when the DualSense controller will also be released.

DualSense battery life – how much will the PS5 controller cost?

The DualShock 4 far from had the best battery life among modern controllers and the lack of a battery pack that allowed for inserting rechargeable batteries meant you were stuck with what Sony gave you.

While a replaceable attachment for rechargeable batteries doesn’t seem to be on the way with the DualSense, Sony seems to know that PS4 fans weren’t too happy, saying: “We also took thoughtful consideration into ways to maintain a strong battery life for DualSense’s rechargeable battery.”

The DualSense is joining modern smartphones and laptops by opting for USB-C for charging. The change is a logical move given the wider tech industries shift towards the connector as standard.

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