This morning, as part of IGN’s Summer of Gaming, Geoff Keighley took the limelight in his own home to showcase the next evolution in the way we control games. Taking an exclusive look alongside Keighley, the live stream gave viewers an intimate look at what’s to come for the DualSense. With the launch of the Playstation 5 still many months away, this fresh personal look at the method of playing games is key to the experience many will hope to capture this fall.
Immediately, Keighley took notice of the physical differences between the DualSense and the DualShock 4, with the overall shape and weight dominating the discussion. The DualSense appears and is shaped much like the Xbox One controller, with a heftier design and overall much more centered weight compared to its predecessor. One of the long criticisms of the DualShock 4 is the weight and light feeling it leaves the player with compared to similarly styled controllers from competitors. The DualSense seeks to rectify this and bring PlayStation to the forefront of pushing controller boundaries.
With that said, the internals of the device seems to expand and develop unfamiliar areas of play never experienced by any other hardware type. The largest change exemplified heavily in this demo was the active tension trigger system that delivered specific pressure upon activation. Similar to analog triggers in a GameCube controller, these buttons will specifically respond to in-game actions and experiences that translate from the screen to your hands. Keighley likened the effect to the tension of a bow pulling back, and we can expect to see this feature cross over in any title PS5 will have to offer. In the same vein of translating experiences, the sound and audio that plays through the controller are much clearer and louder than the PS4.
In this showcase, Keighley took a special look at Astro’s Playroom (a specific demo edition labeled only for Keighley himself). The brief introduction viewers witnessed was cute, colorful, and full PlayStation flair; it showed how some features will interact with the controller. The features and additions are a cool introduction to what the PS5 offers, but the title is light and players will have to wait and see what triple-A studios can add to the robust PlayStation 5 gameplay. After a short play-through of a few locations, Keighley introduced Eric Lempel, the senior VP at PlayStation, to discuss more about the design philosophy behind the console’s controller.
While the details were sparse, with no official statement regarding price or pre-order dates, Vice President Lempel still discussed why this extreme change in the DualShock department was necessary. Both PlayStation and Sony continue to value and observe the generational gap in consoles; thus, to have a true PS4 successor, they crafted a freshly designed and modernized look. To deliver on that full next step, the DualShock needed to retire. While many believe the time for generational gaps in gaming to be over, Sony is still a firm proponent of that belief. Lepel also mentioned how the name of the controller comes from the human body’s various innate senses. With this bridging the gap between sight, sound, and now more immersive touch sensations, PlayStation seeks to have the DualSense deliver on much more than just playing games.