This Looks Familiar

This Looks Familiar
Photo: Sony

Does this controller remind you of anything?

In a blog post today, Sony released the first images of its PlayStation 5 controller, the DualSense, but its new shape makes it look closer to an Xbox One controller. Or maybe an Nvidia Shield controller. Or maybe a Scuf Gaming Pro controller.

Sony is ditching its classic, square-ish look and going with something that seems like it will fit more comfortably in your hands (and looks a little more like its rivals). Aside from adding dual thumbsticks on the PS2 and a touchpad on the PS4, this is one of the most significant redesigns the PlayStation controller has gotten in years, and I have to admit: Sony, you finally made a good-looking controller.

The PS5’s controller is less square around the middle and outside edges, and definitely more chonk where your hands normally grip. It even has a similar curvature around the outside, thicker at the bottom but curving inward toward the top. Sony finally realised that Xbox controllers are a bit more comfortable to hold, and that monotone controllers are so blasé these days. The two-toned colour scheme with matching buttons and subtle lighting around the touchpad makes the DualSense feel oh-so-modern.

Photo: Joanna Nelius, Gizmodo

Photo: Joanna Nelius, Gizmodo

From left to right: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Google Stadia controllers.

Photo: Alex Cranz, Gizmodo

Photo: Alex Cranz, Gizmodo

Nvidia Shield controller.

Photo: Alex Cranz, Gizmodo

Photo: Alex Cranz, Gizmodo

Steam controller.

Photo: Alex Cranz, Gizmodo

Photo: Alex Cranz, Gizmodo

Nintendo Switch Pro controller.

Photo: Alex Cranz, Gizmodo

Photo: Alex Cranz, Gizmodo

Scuf Gaming Pro controller.

Sony is also doubling down on the the haptic feedback feature that defined its DualShock 4 controllers with new haptic feedback points like “adaptive triggers into the L2 and R2 buttons.” The company says these will allow players to feel more life-like tension when driving through thick mud or pulling the string back on a bow. I gotta say, though, haptic controller feedback has always been my least favourite thing about PlayStation controllers. I’m just not big on the whole “lets make your hands go slightly numb every few minutes with vibrations” feel. I’ll give the adaptive triggers a shot, if only to see if they feel like what Sony says they feel like.

The ‘Share’ button is also changing. Sony is renaming it to the ‘Create’ button, but did not provide any details on how creating will be different from sharing. I doubt Sony will get rid of any of its sharing features, like gameplay clips, screenshots, and streaming to platforms like Twitch, but what will it allow users to create? Maybe a built-in photo editor like Nvidia’s GeForce Experience?

The DualSense is pretty enough and has enough new features for me to put aside my keyboard and mouse for a little while and see if I like it. Of course, we won’t be able to get our hands on it until the end of the year, but it might be worth the wait.