PS5’s DualSense Controller is a game changer, literally


One of the most anticipated launches in gaming this year is in the rearview. No, we’re not talking about the Xbox Series X but its counterpart: the yin to its teraflop yang. The highly anticipated PS5 has finally dropped. And though its preorder launch had its hiccups that frustrated droves of would-be PS5 gamers, the next-gen console is enjoying rave reviews, proving to be a rare bright spot of 2020. In fact, Sony is spinning its wheels to keep up with demand as more and more gamers clamor to get their hands on the company’s latest console.

As reviews continue to pour in, a couple of early takeaways come into focus. First, despite Microsoft claiming for months that its Xbox Series X will be a gaming marvel, the most powerful console in the history of ever, early game tests show the PS5 outperforming its Microsoft opponent. Secondly, along with PS5 making the most of its apparent graphics disadvantage, Sony’s new controller is revolutionizing the way games are made and played.

The PS5 DualSense controller is a game-changer, literally, and it’s an integral part of PS5’s early success.

Showing Off Its Features

To date, there’s no better example of what the DualSense controller is capable of than “Astro’s Playroom.” No, it’s not a Triple-A title like “God of War” or “Metal Gear Solid.” In fact, it probably wasn’t on many gamers’ radars before the console launched. Rather, it’s a fun and addictive platformer preloaded onto PS5s. And, most importantly, the game was designed around Sony’s new controllers, playing out like a subliminal advertisement of the vast potential of DualSense controllers.

During the game, immersive sounds from footsteps to raindrops and everything in between is simulated via haptic feedback, further plunging anyone in the room with a controller in hand into the gameplay experience. The feedback also initiates with astounding accuracy. And the key to doing this was to reorder the game development process. Simple, right?

Changing How Games Are Made

Before the introduction of the  DualSense controller, audio designers would wait until game visuals were generated before working their sonic magic. But in order to deliver the immersive haptic feedback capabilities of the new controller, the wizards behind “Astro’s Playroom” introduced audio designers much earlier in the process. Haptics are based on audio waveforms, after all. The audio waveforms are then translated into vibration and initiated with fluid ebbs and flows throughout the game. The result is an unprecedented gaming experience.

A Tough Call for Game Developers  

Including games like “Astro’s Playroom” in the PS5 launch was a no-brainer for Sony. The game was developed by Sony through Worldwide Studios and it was a surefire way to show off the new controller’s capabilities. But for game developers launching titles across platforms, like, say, “Call of Duty,” the prospect of designing a game to amplify features unique to a specific console is a bit trickier. Still, if a fun platformer like “Astro’s Playroom” is only scratching the surface of the DualSense’s capability, odds are more game makers will want to test how to utilize the technology with future titles.


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