Sony has been kicking butt in the console space since day one. They came out of the gate swinging with the PlayStation in 1994, then managed to top their breakout success with the legendary PS2. The PS3 got off to a rough start but regained its footing and ended the generation on a high note. Currently, the PS4 is rocking in sales, but will soon leave the spotlight as the PS5 comes out sometime within the next two years.
One feature of the company's consoles that remains recognizable is the controller. They undergo minor adjustments each generation, but the core design stays intact. Fans still know nothing about the PS5's design or controllers, but one can bet it'll look similar and be called the DualShock 5. When the time finally comes for its release, here are ten improvements we desperately want to see.
10 Replaceable Parts
These controllers are durable—many gamers have probably dropped them several times from a foot or two above the ground without them shattering into a million pieces —but certain parts wear down after years of use. Analog sticks lose their padding and triggers start sticking into their slots. Some people can live with these signs of aging, but those that want an efficient controller have no choice but to purchase a new one. Several high-end third party controllers allow for replaceable parts, so Sony would be wise to take some influence from this idea.
9 More Comfortable Triggers
Making the R2 and L2 buttons triggers was a good step up from them simply being buttons. It helps exponentially in shooters, since that button is typically used for firing a weapon. However, they could certainly stand to be a little more comfortable.
Some gamers rest their pointer finger underneath it when playing, which can cause irritation. Maybe the controller's geometry should be more even throughout, or some padding could be placed underneath. A minor issue, but one that none the less should be addressed.
The touch pad was one of the biggest additions to the DualShock 4. If the PS5 wants to one up its older brother, its controller is going to have to add something big too. Instead of a touch pad, why not put a whole screen on that bad boy? Think of all the possibilities one could have with a small display on the controller. Games could give players the option of removing the hud from the television, instead putting it directly on the DualShock. Having a non-intrusive hud is vital to a smooth gaming experience, and this would help exponentially.
7 Compatibility With The PS4
Controllers aren't cheap and there is no reason to think Sony's next generation console will break that trend. With such a high price point expected, gamers are going to want a lot of bang for their buck. A way to significantly increase the controller's worth would be to make it compatible with the PS4.
This way, households would have an additional controller for couch co-op experiences, and it could replace any older, more broken down DualShock 4s people may be holding onto. It may hinder some desired new features, but it would be a worthwhile venture to make it close enough to its predecessor for this to work.
6 Pressure Sensitivity
This feature was actually on the PS2 and PS3, but was taken out of the PS4. It makes sense on some levels, since few games utilized it in the first place, but it is important to bring back if this generation is intent on leaning into backwards compatibility.
Most of the Metal Gear Solid games utilize the feature for the firing mechanic. Press the button lightly to simply hold the weapon, and press it harder to shoot. The cult classic brawler The Bouncer depended on it for its fighting. Light taps of the face buttons did a certain move, while heavier presses activated stronger attacks.
5 Longer Battery Life
Maybe Sony doesn't see this is an issue, figuring that each household has a plethora of micro USBs just floating around, but gamers have noticed how much shorter the DualShock 4's battery life is compared to the PS3's remotes. DualShock 3 and Sixaxis will net between fifteen to twenty hours of playing before needing to charge, while its younger sibling only lasts about six. People cannot go through an extended gaming session without having to charge up their controller. It's pretty weak and needs some tweaking on their next remote.
4 Wireless Chargers
It's amazing how crazy modern technology is. Tell someone twenty years ago that people will one day have the ability to charge phones wirelessly, and they would say to put all your ideas together for a science fiction novel. This technology is a reality however, and becoming more common every day. Sony ought to look into giving the DualShock 5 this functionality to get rid of wires altogether. It would also remove the need for extending the battery life if it could start juicing up its battery without the player having to get up.
Console price is something taken with serious consideration. Companies have won and lost generations based on a console's low or high cost. After people gasped in awe at the PS3's initial $500 and $600 price tags, Sony knows they can't launch with something like that again. The controllers however, keep getting more expensive. DualShock 4s usually go for between fifty and sixty dollars. Not only that, but they are rarely ever on sale. If someone wants to buy three extra controllers for some local multiplayer, that's an extra $180 they have to spend. Cheaper controllers would encourage more people to buy more controllers.
The DualShock 4's speaker is cool, but it only allows for one way communication. If players want to communicate with the PS4 via voice, they must use a headset. The Apple TV allows people to control its functionality by talking into the remote. Sony should take a cue from them with their next remote. Not only would it improve UI functionality, but it could also come in handy for some games. It probably wouldn't be ideal for typical voice chat in game, but developers could surely find some innovative methods of implementing it into gameplay.
1 Different Models
Choice is always important for consumers. Xbox One has the super-powered One X, Nintendo Switch is getting the Switch Lite, and the PS4 has the Pro. Why don't controllers offer a similar level of choice? Why not produce a premium controller including luxury features for the gamer with a slightly higher budget? On the other hand, they could also have budget controllers for people who want to round out their collection for some four player games. Of course, they don't want to get too complicated and confuse less savvy consumers, but a little variety never hurt anybody.