Everything we know about the new PlayStation 5 controller

Has the DualShock's time come?

Image via Sony

Sony made some waves this morning by revealing its next-generation console, the PlayStation 5, scheduled for a 2020 holiday release. Fans can also expect some innovative changes to the controller, which looks to provide a more unique and life-like experience.

Sony president and CEO Jim Ryan informed fans of the big news on PlayStation’s blog this morning, introducing two new innovations to the tried-and-true DualShock controller⁠—haptic technology and adaptive triggers.

Here’s everything we know about Sony’s new controller.

Haptic feedback

The outdated “rumble” technology, that’s been used in controllers since PlayStation 1 and Nintendo 64, will be replaced with haptic feedback.

“With haptics, you truly feel a broader range of feedback, so crashing into a wall in a race car feels much different than making a tackle on the football field,” according to Ryan. “You can even get a sense for a variety of textures when running through fields of grass or plodding through mud.”

New voice-coil actuators found on both of the controller’s grips outshine the rumble technology of the past, according to a first-look at the console by Wired’s Peter Rubin. Players running through different surfaces, such as mud or grass, will experience different tactile sensations.

“Sand felt slow and sloggy; mud felt slow and soggy,” Rubin said. “On ice, a high-frequency response made the thumbsticks really feel like my character was gliding. Jumping into a pool, I got a sense of the resistance of the water; on a wooden bridge, a bouncy sensation.”

Adaptive triggers

The trigger buttons (L2/R2) will be improved with the new adaptive trigger technology.

“Developers can program the resistance of the triggers so that you feel the tactile sensation of drawing a bow and arrow or accelerating an off-road vehicle through rocky terrain,” Ryan said. “In combination with the haptics, this can produce a powerful experience that better simulates various actions.”

This feature will also make various weapons feel differently when shooting, with tension building while drawing an arrow a far cry from the pump of a shotgun.


Even though the four previous iterations of the controller have all taken the title “DualShock,” Sony hasn’t come up with a name for it’s newest venture.

While game creators are already receiving early versions of the controller, it might be a while before fans can get their hands on it. The PlayStation 5 is scheduled to release during the 2020 holiday season, but more information will likely be unveiled in April during Sony’s reveal event.