How do you construct a greater controller than the very best gamepad that’s come alongside in years? Sony’s technique with the DualSense Edge — arriving January 26th for $199.99 — was familiarity. As a substitute of fixing how buttons really feel or the place they’re positioned, Sony’s designers took a completely additive method, making a extremely configurable model of its authentic PS5 controller that does extra whereas feeling virtually an identical.
The Edge is similar dimension, the identical form, and has the identical buttons and joysticks so far as my fingers can inform. Solely now, you get two sorts of rear paddles, adjustable hair triggers, swappable stick tops (together with the traditional PlayStation domes), the power to remap nearly each button on the controller and alter joystick sensitivity curves, new devoted perform keys to hot-switch profiles, and — get this — toolless quick-swap stick modules so you possibly can substitute a damaged joystick in 30 seconds flat.
I spent two hours at PlayStation’s US headquarters making an attempt the entire above, and except there are hidden flaws or the battery runs out mid-session, I’m fairly positive this would be the finest PS5 controller you should purchase for $200.
Let’s go down the options one after the other. I’ll let you know what I appreciated — and the place I nonetheless need extra.
In case you missed my story in February 2021, I’ll catch you up: each Sony DualSense controller is roofed in 40,000 tiny PlayStation symbols. They’re what you’re feeling while you maintain a PS5 gamepad, and right here, they really feel even higher as a result of those beneath your fingertips are made to be grippier. The triggers at the moment are stippled with the PlayStation symbols for added buy, the touchpad’s dappled with them, too, and — like opponents on this value tier — the within grips are rubber as an alternative of plastic.
I don’t suppose the DualSense Edge truly seems higher than the unique as a result of I desire the unique white buttons, and I’m not a fan of the brand new shiny, fingerprint-magnet plate atop the analog sticks. But it surely instantly feels higher, and which means far more to me.
Kudos to Vjeran for capturing the symbols in these images — I actually wouldn’t have been in a position to do them justice by myself.
Buttons and joysticks
Whether or not you liked or hated the DualSense’s buttons and joysticks, it is best to know they largely haven’t modified mechanically. I introduced alongside my PS5 launch controller from house and Sony supplied one other, and the one discernible distinction I might really feel with the DualSense Edge was that the sound of urgent a button was barely deadened. Maybe they’re extra exact, however I couldn’t inform in my demos.
What jazzed me, although, is you could now rip off the caps of your joysticks to swap in an old-school convex dome as an alternative, similar to the sticks that shipped along with your PS3, PS2, and later PS1s. The Edge comes with 4 of them at two totally different heights, although I’m positive I’d solely use one — I’m completely going to run a Frankenstein setup with one convex cap and one concave one for cozy motion and precision aiming on the identical time.
I couldn’t fairly work out what to do with the center setpoint — perhaps you’ll.
The triggers, in fact, now have three setpoints — and I shortly discovered myself having fun with hair triggers in Name of Obligation, the place time to set off is clearly crucial. Whereas setting the set off for a shorter throw does disable Sony’s superior “adaptive set off” function that makes use of tiny motors and a worm drive to generate an actual sense of stress and resistance, you possibly can simply get it again by setting the triggers to a full throw once more. It’s your selection.
Plus, you possibly can program each set off’s endzones to nonetheless many levels you want if you would like sooner response with out altering their bodily profile.
The paddles are model new for Sony, however for those who’ve ever touched an Xbox Elite controller, you in all probability know what they’re like — good, inflexible, cool to the contact scoops of metallic that relaxation beneath your fingers, which may simply be dropped into the again of your gamepad or yanked for those who’re nervous they’ll get in the best way. You additionally get a pair of little half-dome paddles that positively keep out of your manner on the danger of requiring you to achieve for them (or relaxation your center fingers on them) when it’s time to duck, roll, leap, or no matter else you map there.
On the subject of these joysticks, I’m actually impressed with how really straightforward they’re to swap. It does take a small quantity of fingernail to achieve the recessed sliding button to pop off the quilt, however then it’s only a flick of a metallic lever and the joystick module pulls proper out. It’s unimaginable to suppose you’ll have the ability to repair a damaged or drifting stick for $20 by shopping for a brand new module at retail, no transport required, and there’s area within the case to hold an additional, too.
Me, I want Sony had chosen Corridor Impact sensor joysticks to start with so drift won’t ever be an issue. (The Sega Dreamcast had them 23 years in the past.) Alas, Sony tells me you’re nonetheless getting potentiometer-based joysticks right here, and it wouldn’t even start to speak about the potential for extra components for the Edge. I’d wish to see Corridor Impact modules and a few totally different stick tops, too.
You may map nearly each button on this controller to every other button — save the touchpad and system keys like PlayStation and Share, all of which you’ll not less than flip off to keep away from any butterfingers incidents. You may even disable the beginning / choices button and put it on, say, a meaty press of your proper analog persist with keep away from by chance evoking a recreation menu. And, you possibly can alter the complete response curve of your joysticks, and set their internal deadzone, plus decrease your controller’s haptic suggestions if it’s throwing you off your recreation.
Why deviate from the norm? Any variety of causes, and Sony makes it straightforward to experiment for your self by letting you leap from a recreation immediately into controller profile programming and instantly again once more, and you may immediately swap again to default controls anytime you need. Once I let chaos prevail by swapping my D-pad and face buttons, that got here in actual helpful.
Swapping profiles is as straightforward as holding down both of the 2 new Operate keys beneath the analog sticks after which tapping a face button. You may have three customized profiles saved to the controller at a time, plus the default PlayStation controls, every mapped to one of many controller’s Cross-Sq.-Triangle-Circle face buttons for straightforward entry. There’s even a easy LED sample beneath the touchpad that will help you know which profile you’re on, although its easy 1-Four dot readout in all probability isn’t a adequate reminiscence assist for me.
I made a decision I wished a slow-moving sniper profile and a quick-response shotgun one in Trendy Warfare II, however I didn’t must pause my recreation to change: Fn + Sq. and Fn + X let me hot-swap between them so I might change my playstyle as quickly as I picked a unique weapon up off the bottom.
It can save you a complete of 30 totally different profiles in your console, however you don’t want to depart them there — Sony imagines you can take the DualSense Edge to a match, plug it in along with your bundled USB cable, and have your three saved profiles able to go within the controller’s inner reminiscence.
And Sony confirms to me you could take them to PC, too — as lengthy the sport and / or recreation platform help them, which could take a bit of work because it isn’t precisely the identical as a DualSense. “Present PC video games that help the DualSense wi-fi controller as we speak may also help the DualSense Edge wi-fi controller by way of a developer-implemented replace. Please keep tuned for extra data as we’re working with our improvement companions,” reads a part of a press release by way of PlayStation spokesperson Ken Zhang.
As customizable as it’s, I really feel like Sony’s simply scratching the floor right here. Perhaps I’ve been spoiled by the Steam Deck, however for me, a totally customizable controller is one that allows you to map a number of buttons to every button, allows you to set turbo buttons, program multistep macros, and add gyroscopic aiming to any recreation. The Steam Deck is my favourite place to play Genshin Affect now, streaming from my PS5, as a result of bows are a lot simpler to intention when you may have a gyro in your aspect.
The case, just like the controller, has additional options.
Case and equipment
The DualSense Edge could value $200, however you’re not simply getting the gamepad. Not solely do you get the aforementioned 4 metallic paddles and 4 convex analog stick tops but in addition it comes with a 2.8-meter (round 9-foot) braided USB-C to USB-A cable, a intelligent locking adapter that retains that cable securely connected to the gamepad (we yanked it, it’s agency), and what seems like a high quality hardshell case with sturdy zips. It seems like a bit of bags, solely PlayStation-themed.
The case additionally has a giant Velcro passthrough window on the prime so you possibly can cost the controller with out unzipping it, and there’s even a spot for an analog stick module if you wish to carry an additional one in case of breakage. You’ll have to purchase one your self for $20, although, because it’s not included within the package deal.
Whereas the controller doesn’t include its personal charging dock, it is best to understand it’s received the identical copper contacts on the underside to simply slide it into the identical official Sony charger you is likely to be utilizing along with your DualSense, and it’s received the identical 3.5mm jack do you have to need to plug in a headset. In reality, it’s simpler to make use of a headset than ever: maintain down on the brand new Operate keys, and you may simply elevate and decrease headset quantity with out ever diving right into a menu.
Aside from, you realize, sturdiness, there’s only one huge query on my thoughts concerning the DualSense Edge, however it’s one which’ll have to attend for a assessment — I didn’t get time to check the battery life, and I fear as a result of Sony isn’t prepared to speak numbers in any respect.
The corporate is just saying it is going to have “reasonably shorter” battery life than the unique DualSense. Right here’s Sony’s full assertion on that, by way of spokesperson Zhang:
The DualSense Edge wi-fi controller’s working time is reasonably shorter than the unique DualSense wi-fi controller as a result of we’ve included many extra options inside the identical type issue and ergonomic design as the unique DualSense controller. We wished to strike an excellent steadiness between wi-fi working time and delivering sturdy, high-performance options. Moreover, the longer USB braided cable can be nice for aggressive gamers preferring taking part in with a wired connection to keep away from wi-fi interference – this feature preserves battery life.
We’ll hopefully have the ability to offer you solutions there in a full assessment. The rest you’d wish to know? Hit me up within the feedback, and we’ll do our greatest as soon as we’ve received one at house.