PlayStation 5: DualSense Controller Review

PlayStation 5 DualSense controller Review: A revolutionary next-gen gaming experience
The true star of the PS5: The DualSense controller provides an innovative gaming experience. (Image credit: Sony)

In North America, the PlayStation 5 is already available, but in Europe, we have to wait until November 19 before we can launch the new console generation. We've already tested the new PS5 DualSense controller extensively and can tell you our impressions.

Players in Europe are looking across the pond with weeping eyes because the PlayStation 5 has already been launched in the United States, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea. One of the biggest innovations of the next-gen console is the DualSense controller. We have tested the gamepad extensively and come to the conclusion: This is true Next-Gen!

Detailed view of the PlayStation 5 DualSense controller
The DualSense is the best gamepad Sony has ever created. (Image Credit: Sony)

The DualShock becomes The DualSense

Since the introduction of analog sticks, the controllers of PlayStation consoles have changed very little. This is different on PlayStation 5, where the innovative DualSense on Sony's next-generation console succeeds over the DualShock series.

The new name says it all: While the vibration function was the highlight of the "Shock" controllers, the current version wants us to feel games. This actually works and sometimes feels indescribable in the game. It's hard to put into words how good it is - you have to experience the PlayStation 5 DualSense controller for yourself.

At first glance, it is noticeable that the gamepad is a little heavier in your hands and slightly larger than its direct predecessor. The Japanese have also made some changes to the design, which makes the DualSense look futuristic and strange.

The DualSense controller with its corresponding charging station
The futuristic design pleases. But the real innovation slumbers under the hood. (Image credit: Sony)

We can say that the new gamepad fits perfectly in your hand, even after a few hours of playing time. Thanks to its rubberized surface (which, when you look closely, reveals the four PlayStation icons), the DualSense always offers a secure grip, even in heated battles. The quality of craftsmanship is once again beyond reproach. Every millimeter feels high-quality.

The most important changes that make the gamepad so unique can be found under the hood. And by that, we don't mean the USB-C port for charging the batteries or the increased battery capacity that can last up to 15 hours in-game mode (depending on the game).

Vibrations you can feel!

Even with the vibrations, which have been an integral part of controllers since the N64 era, a lot has changed. Be it explosions, hits, or a gravel road in racing games, the DualSense controller vibrates all too familiarly in our hands - but Sony goes much further with the new gamepad.

An excellent example is the PS5 launch title Astro's Playroom, which is pre-installed on every PlayStation 5 console. The title is designed to put the new possibilities of the controller in the right light (which it does brilliantly). No matter if we walk through soft sand, the rain trickles onto our robot, or when pulling a cable in the game: The vibrations feel different every time. It goes even further because not only the intensity can be felt better with the DualSense controller, the vibrations can also "wander" across the gamepad.

We were surprised when we felt in our hands how a wind coming from the left moves over our hand and felt it leave the gamepad on the right side. As already mentioned: The feeling can hardly be put into words.

The resulting immersion turns even such a simple tech demo into an impressive gaming experience. Imagine you are walking with your character through a landscape and there's a thunderstorm. Thanks to the new possibilities of the DualSense, lightning, and thunder are not only audible or visible but can also be felt in your hands. Amazing!

The Triggers are a Game Changer

Another exciting innovation of the DualSense controller is adaptive triggers (L2 and R2). These two buttons also react to what is happening on the screen. For example:

If you play Call of Duty: Modern Warfare on the PS4 and fire an assault rifle, you press the triggers with the DualSense controller, you can feel a certain resistance. When we fire an arc in Astro's Playroom, the shaking of the string is felt in the triggers. In some areas we control a robot on a spring: Here we have to push the triggers down harder with a lot of resistance to tension the spring and then jump again. Other games, like Demon's Souls or The Pathless, don't incorporate the new adaptive triggers that much. Even developers have to learn how to use the new technology first.

NBA 2K21 also makes use of it. You feel a resistance when you put your foot down and have to press the triggers much harder to get past your opponent. The adaptive triggers also simulate the endurance of your player: The more tired your player is, the harder you have to push the triggers down to be able to sprint. It will be especially exciting to see what future PS5 games will get out of its technology.


The DualSense of PlayStation 5 is the true next-generation feeling for us. While the console itself is more focused on meaningful improvements, the gamepad revolutionizes the way we experience games. What was previously only graphic effects or atmospheric sequences can now be felt with the DualSense.

This allows us to dive even deeper into the respective gaming experience and "feel" PS5 games more intesely than ever before. However, only the future will really show what potential lies dormant in the new gamepad - especially the haptic feedback, which racing game fans already know from the best steering wheels.

PlayStation 5 DualSense Controller Unboxing
The DualSense provides a new, incredibly intense playing experience. (Image credit: Sony)

Apart from the new technology, the DualSense controller also cuts a fine figure. Thanks to the additional weight and larger dimensions, connoisseurs of the previous models will have to get used to it.

We are really taken with the revolution in our hands and currently consider it the coolest and most important unique selling point of the PlayStation 5.

What do you think about the PS5 controller? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter. Read more about gaming and esports on EarlyGame. We'll tell you what the tech sites are saying about the Xbox Series X.

Original article written by EarlyGame's Philipp Briel.

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