Geoff Keighley Shares His Impressions Of PlayStation 5’s DualSense Controller


You know your console is surviving the hype when fans are intimately curious about getting any sort of news. With the PlayStation 5 being one of the more secretive consoles in recent history, Sony was cagey about even showing the design of the console off until last month. While the actual price and release date for the next generation hardware has not been confirmed or even hinted at by Sony beyond a vague Holiday 2020 window, more details on the console are popping up from the strangest of places. Today, Geoff Keighley hosted a livestream on thegameawards' Twitch channel to show off a hands-on of the new controller and share his thoughts on Sony's new DualSense peripheral.

Spec-wise, the DualSense is a larger shift from last console generation's DualShock 4 than what Microsoft is doing with the Xbox Series X controller. The lightbar has been repositioned to either side of the embedded touch pad and the Share button has been rebranded to the Create button. The DualSense's charging port has been changed over to a standard USB-C form and while the controller does feature a 3.5mm headphone jack, it will also have an integrated speaker and microphone design. Most unique of all to the design of the DualSense is the addition of haptic feedback through the use of voice coil actuators rather than your standard rumble motors.

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So, what does Geoff Keighley think about the new DualSense controller? To quote the Dorito Pope himself, we found a few choice quotes from his brief hands-on with the PlayStation 5, DualSense controller, and Astro's Playroom.

As you push down on the controller, there's tension in the Adaptive triggers and it's programmable. Imagine pulling this down and feeling the pressure of a bow and arrow. Or in an action game, pulling this [trigger] down and feeling active reload points. Designers can create tension points as you pull [the trigger] down at certain percentages and give the player feedback. That's a unique sensation that's going to have a big impact in the longer term on gameplay.

PlayStation had rumble for quite some time but the haptics add another layer to the experience. It isn't just one rumble point so it's not just on or off. There's the ability to create other sensations.

The other thing that I've noticed is that the speaker in the DualSense feels like it has much more range as the PlayStation 4 speaker and it often ties directly into what's happening with the haptics. At least in Astro's Playroom, there's much more variety in the types of sounds. I'm sure every game will use it differently or not so much. At least in this demo, you really do sense that there's a lot going on with the haptics and there's sound that ties into it. When you combine that with the Tempest 3D engine in PlayStation 5 for the speakers and get a harmony between the controller sound and what's happening in the PlayStation 5 is really, really unique and interesting.

Compared to the DualShock for PlayStation 4, it definitely weighs a little bit more but doesn't feel substantially heavier. If anything, it actually has a little bit more heft to it in a good way. It feels more structured and centered. It feels good to me.

You can check the full replay of Geoff Keighley's hands-on with the DualSense controller above. The PlayStation 5 and DualSense controller will both launch later this year during Holiday 2020, with both pricing and final release date still to be confirmed by Sony. According to Sony, they don't plan on opening pre-orders on the PlayStation 5 at a moment's notice. There's plenty of buzz about even when pre-orders might open up but Sony plans to drop a formal date in the near future and we'll be sure to let you know when to anticipate camping outside your local GameStop or get ready to F5 Amazon's store page.