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Sony finally reveals the new PS5 controller

Following years of speculation, Sony has finally unveiled the new controller for the PlayStation 5.

Hideaki Nishino, Sony's senior vice president of platform planning and management, broke the news via the PlayStation Blog on April 7. Called the DualSense, Sony has designed the new controller to "captivate more of your senses as you interact with the virtual worlds in PS5 games." These features will work in tandem with PS5's Tempest 3D AudioTech to deliver a far more immersive experience than players have encountered in the past.

The DualSense draws on the success of the DualShock 4 wireless controller, which launched alongside the PlayStation 4 in 2013. The PlayStation 5 controller maintains aspects players loved about the DualShock 4, while refining the design and adding new functionality. 

To heighten the sense of touch in game, DualSense utilizes haptic feedback to deliver a variety of sensations that mimic the actions you perform. Adaptive triggers incorporated into the L2 and R2 buttons will also up the tension as you perform actions like drawing a bow to shoot an arrow.

A "Create" button replaces the "Share" button pioneered by the DualShock 4. Though the details remain vague, Hideaki stated Sony is "once again pioneering new ways for players to create epic gameplay content to share with the world, or just to enjoy for themselves." More information about the feature will release as the PlayStation 5 launch approaches.

Players looking to engage in quick conversations with friends can take advantage of the DualSense's new built-in microphone. While you'll likely still want to use your headset for longer conversations, the feature should streamline communication, especially when you just want to have a brief chat rather than an extended exchange. Despite the potential convenience, some Twitter users have expressed concerns about the microphone remaining on at all times and listening in on their conversations without their knowledge.

DualSense has some noticeable design differences that distinguish it from its predecessor. Instead of a single base color, the new controller has a two-toned design. This aesthetic is complimented by a pop of color from the light bar, which has shifted from the top of the controller to both sides of the touch pad. 

According to Hideaki, the team "went through several concepts and hundreds of mockups" over the course of multiple years before settling on the final design. In an effort to achieve better ergonomics and maximum comfort, the DualSense endured rigorous rounds of testing by gamers with a broad range of hand sizes. Overall, the company seems to have targeted immersion and longevity with its newest controller.

Sony Interactive Entertainment President & CEO Jim Ryan also weighed in on the unveiling. "DualSense marks a radical departure from our previous controller offerings and captures just how strongly we feel about making a generational leap with PS5," said Ryan. "The new controller, along with the many innovative features in PS5, will be transformative for games – continuing our mission at PlayStation to push the boundaries of play, now and in the future."

The DualSense unveiling has spawned a variety of reactions, including some unanticipated twists. Though you would expect "PS5 Controller" or "DualSense" to be trending on Twitter, "Xbox Controller" has shot to the top of the trending terms list as many gamers have noted the design similarities between the two. Beyond this, the community seems divided between lovers and haters, with users referring to the design as "lowkey fire" and "lowkey trash" in the same thread.

One of the biggest question marks centers on the DualSense color palette. Several PlayStation adepts have already asked to see the controller in black, with classic colors or configurable colors for the buttons and light bar. Given the DualShock 4 eventually released in a variety of shades, users will likely have some of their wishes granted, though not necessarily at launch. Despite the mixed reactions to the white, many gamers seem happy about the DualSense's more futuristic look.

Based on the black and white palette, commenters have suggested the PlayStation 5 will adopt a similar aesthetic. According to Jim Ryan, you can expect more information about the console, including its design, in the coming months. 

The PlayStation 5 is slated to launch in the Holiday 2020 window. Sony continues to assure gamers that the next-gen console will hit its release target despite the impact of the coronavirus on the gaming industry, a sentiment reiterated by Ryan at the close of the DualSense reveal.