The PS5 DualSense controller promises a new dimension in immersionPlatforms: Sony PlayStation 5
PlayStation was proud to reveal new details about the upcoming a DualSense controller for the PlayStation 5, the first time PS has ditched the DualShock brand since that brief and unfortunate foray into Sixaxis territory before quickly replacing it with a DualShock 3.
Thankfully, the DualSense looks like a far more experience-centric device than the maddeningly unintuitive Sixaxis offering a broad range of different features to expand your immersion in the games you play.
Brian Horton, Creative Director for Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales said “The haptic feedback precision allows us to do all sorts of new things. In Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, we’ll be hinting to players which direction attacks are coming from by providing haptic feedback from the appropriate direction on the DualSense wireless controller”
A game controller that actually creates the sensation of Spider-Sense? This lifelong Spider-Man fan is beyond excited.
He would go on to say, “as you hold down Square to do a Venom Punch, you feel Spider-Man’s bio-electricity crackle across from the left side of the controller, culminating in the right side on impact.”
Having a rumble feature is one thing, and it has served us well over the years, but having more detailed responses specifically programmed for the controller is another level of immersion. This is very exciting.
The enticing new functionality of the DualSense did not stop there. Dinga Bakaba, Game Director for the recently delayed Deathloop had this to say about the DualSense’s adaptive triggers, “Deathloop being a first-person shooter, we do a lot of things to make weapons feel differently from one another. One I like is blocking the triggers when your weapon jams, to give to the player an immediate feedback even before the animation plays out, which prompts the player in a physical way that they have to unjam their gun.”
A trigger that actually responds like a trigger during a malfunction? That could really add to the intensity of a shootout.
Kenji Kimura, Director of Ghostwire: Tokyo praised the DualSense’s haptic feedback and how it offers a more nuanced experience for gamers: “The haptic feedback, in comparison to the vibration function of previous generations, allows us to utilize a much wider range, starting from a very strong vibration that is much more powerful than before, down to extremely light vibration. This way we can offer players very detailed, “textured” nuances.”
He would go on to explain this has changed how developers approach the feedback function, “Because of this, our approach is different – it isn’t a transient or a constant vibration level anymore, it allows us to meticulously adjust the feedback throughout the game.”
Any tech advancement that opens up new possibilities for developers is always exciting, it does not have to be as wildly different as the Wii, something as simple as a refinement of existing ideas like controller feedback can open up entirely new gaming possibilities.
Gavin Moore, the Creative Director of SIE Japan Studio, currently working on the Demon’s Souls remake, would elaborate on this by saying “With the DualSense wireless controller and the power of haptics, we can make the combat [in Demon’s Souls] feel grittier, darker, and deadlier. Now you feel every blow as you strike down your enemies and cast each spell. You’ll experience the force of a titanic boss’ attack as you pull off a well-timed guard. Metal strikes metal when your foes block your attacks or you block theirs. That extra sensory feedback through the controller allows you to know your attack hit home and your perfectly-timed parry was a success, so you can react faster and more decisively.”
And the immersion would not end at mere combat, Moore added “We can also turn the simple act of pulling a lever to open a gate into a sensory experience. This is something that rumble could never do. It could never replicate the feeling of metal striking metal or fire crackling in your hand as you conjure magic. Haptics [are] integral to the experience, to immersing the player in the world and adding to the gameplay. The visual, aural, and tactile working together takes this new generation of gaming into the future.”
You can read even more reactions to the DualSense from developers behind Horizon: Forbidden West, Ratchet & Clank, Godfall, and Gran Turismo at the official PlayStation Blog.