This week, a patent surfaced that should give gamers there first real look at the PlayStation 5 controller, assumed to be labeled the DualShock 5. Patent leaks are nothing new for the PS5 but many of them aren’t necessarily tied to the finished console, but this controller appears to be what players will be using late next year.
The key differences with the PS5 controller are with its charging port, shape, and feature set. From a design perspective, the DualShock 5 doesn’t look that much different than the DualShock 4. The bottom grips are a little wider but not so much that any casual player would notice. What is different, though, is that the grips appear to be one solid piece, where the DualShock 4 actually had a seem towards the bottom of the grips.
The PS5 controller also reportedly has slightly shorter joysticks, but not noticeably short. Joystick length has never been an issue for PlayStation controllers in the past and it doesn’t appear that Sony is going in any radical direction. Customizable controllers like the Scuf or the Xbox Elite offer taller and shorter joysticks (also domed joysticks) to try to give players better control over their range of motion, but those types of joysticks only suit specific situations.
We don’t yet know what type of battery life that the DualShock 5 is aiming for – hopefully it is longer than the DualShock 4 – but the controller is joining the USB-C revolution. USB-C has become the de facto charging port and cable option when it comes to most technology, so it is nice to see Sony get onboard for the PS5. Being able to use the same cables to charge a DualShock 5 and a Nintendo Switch Pro controller will help cut down on clutter in gaming spaces and allow for quick interchangeability. Microsoft has not yet revealed its plans for the next Xbox, but the Elite 2 controller supports USB-C so there is a strong possibility that players will only need one type of cable to charge all of their devices. The Google Stadia controller also uses USB-C, for those curious.
On the feature side, the DualShock 5 sports adaptive controller triggers. These will allow developers to tune the tension and vibration on the controllers to better suit the experience. The example that many developers use when talking about adaptive triggers is simulating the sensation of pushing a gas pedal in a racing game. Being able to feel the give on the pedal and the sensation on the road creates an immersion that is second to none.
The PS5 controller is retaining the touch page but the surface appears to be more balanced for the front of the controller. On the DualShock 4, the touch pad extends over the curve of the top of the controller, but on the DualShock 5 it cuts over before.
There is also still a speaker on the controller, for those games that choose to use it. As long as every game gives players the option to turn off the controller speaker then there shouldn’t be much issue.
And finally, say goodbye to the light bar, as it is not on the DualShock 5 patent. Although there have been rumors of a PlayStation VR 2.0 headset for PS5, the lack of a lightbar on the controller suggests Sony is dialing back its support. Then again, the controller might have internal tracking functionality that gets the job done without a bright light shining 24/7.