I feel like that’s the lead for everything PlayStation 5. So much of what is coming with this next generation of console, is all led behind this seemingly drastic change to its controller.
The DualShock is now the DualSense.
I was lucky enough to get to check this out with the PlayStation 5 console thanks to PlayStation NZ. Starting with the DualSense, it suitably looks much different to what we’ve seen. A change in visual aesthetic definitely separates this new “way to play” from its formers. An astro-white colourway is accentuated by blacks and blues, which standout against the darker DualShock controllers. The analog sticks feel familiar, yet unalike. Lined by new textures, the grooves for the thumbs also feel slightly improved and more comfortable. The buttons had a good mechanical feel to them, and the options and capture buttons have a good “click” to them.
“But the haptics?”
We’re getting there, but we just have to quickly touch on a bit of CHONKERS. The touchpad is given a slightly wider berth, yet adds to the overall look. This may be thanks to the grips also being given more room to breathe, which leads to a better feeling controller. It’s hard to discern through text, which I think is something Sony have been doing their best to convey, but you honestly just have to…use the DualSense to understand.
“BUT THE HAPTICS.”
To get to the background of how this is utilised, I have to mention the game I got to play with the DualSense; Astro’s Playroom. Hopefully you’ve seen headlines about how it’s this wonderful love letter to the PlayStation family. And as a free first title, it is said to stand alongside the likes of Wii Sports, or Alex Kidd for us Kiwis.
In Astro’s Playroom, you not only get to enjoy a fantastic action-adventure platformer that shows off the PlayStation 5’s power (those water effects!), but also how the triggers work. Yes, our L and R buttons and triggers are back, but they carry a lot of the haptic function players will experience.
But WHAT is haptic?
Basically it’s technology that can stimulate the sense of touch and motion. And the reason the triggers…”shoulder” this responsibility, is how much of the sensation is delivered through them. While the earlier levels of Playroom won’t give you this, later hopper-like levels start to really show it off. Delivering this feel of direction and power utilised for the jump, it was all delivered through the trigger. Then a section that interacts with pulling a lever, and crushing an object to receive in-game coins, really brought it home. The best I could think of describing it, was it had a CRUNCH to it. You could tell what the interaction was, and how it felt. I enjoyed the section so immensely, that I stayed there doing these simple interactions due to this haptic feedback.
And that’s just the start.
For a demo of the title, Astro’s Playroom is sure to please first-day buyers. As for the console itself, its look isn’t as overwhelming as one thinks. If anything, it’s impressive how this MASS assists with the overall design and that fan configuration. I couldn’t hear ANYTHING coming from the PlayStation 5. And it wasn’t until I mentioned load times, that my friends from PlayStation NZ realised THEY hadn’t noticed it. Every large, beautifully animated section loaded instantly with no slow-down, while Fast Travel simply stood-down for the briefest of moments as you jumped back to a previous area. The SSD definitely performed the way they’ve been touting it, and the console itself is definitely asking to be fleshed out further, especially with whatever the home screen is going to be.
Play with no limits is coming.
And I certainly can’t wait to dig further into the beast that is the PlayStation 5.