PS5’s DualSense Haptics Can Be Created Almost Automatically via a Game’s Sound

Aug 31
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We've written a lot about the PlayStation 5's DualSense controller lately, as many developers from both first-party and third-party studios praised its adaptive triggers and especially its haptics capabilities.

It already looks like almost every developer working on a PS5 game is interested in exploiting the DualSense feature set, which was surprising to see; after all, so many new controller features end up being abandoned rather quickly. Even the DualShock 4's motion-sensing technology was criminally underused during the PS4 generation, for instance.

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A newly published Sony document focused on detailing technologies coming straight from the company's R&D departments shines some light on why that's going to be the case for DualSense.

Yukari Konishi, Development Dept. #1 of Sony Interactive Entertainment's Global R&D Tokyo Division, explained that the engineers were able to create a method that allows game developers to generate high-quality haptics straight from a game's sound effect. This breakthrough happened after plenty of research into deep neural network technology.

Although DualSense will allow for more realistic game experiences, creators will also need more time and know-how to create high-quality vibrations. To reduce this burden, we have created a haptic vibration waveform design environment that anyone can use easily. In this way, we have not only developed a tool that allows game creators to design an impactful, natural and comfortable vibration waveform in fewer steps but also created a method of almost automatically generating vibration patterns from a game’s sound effects.

The focus of our development was deep neural network technology, but the problem was that there were few past studies that applied this technology to the sense of touch rather than to images and sounds. In the beginning, we spent many days just agonizing over the data. Later, we studied and examined different algorithms while getting advice from experts. This allowed us to automate the generation of high-quality vibration waveforms to a certain extent, making it look as if they were created manually by the creators.

That's an exciting prospect, as it should make it relatively easy for any game developer to properly use the DualSense haptics. We're very much looking forward to checking it out once the PlayStation 5 is released later this year; hopefully, Sony will make the smart decision of fully supporting all DualSense features on PC, too. After all, they're already planning to extend more first-party titles to the platform.

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