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PS5 DualSense controller: What we learnt from the hands-on stream

Geoff Keighley gave us a closer look at the PlayStation 5 controller DualSense in a special livestream, showcasing pack-in title Astro’s Playroom.
PS5 DualSense controller: What we learnt from the hands-on stream

A hands-on livestream of PS5’s DualSense gave us our best glimpse yet at.the new features on the controller, along with some teasers of when to expect pricing. 

As part of Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest, the man himself went hands-on with the new PS5 controller, which was originally revealed back in April this year. 

While the presentation didn’t offer anything we didn’t know already in terms of controller features, it certainly gave us a better look at its capabilities - so let’s dive in. 

 

PS5 DualSense comparison with PS4’s DualShock

PS5 DualSense controller comparison
DualSense has some junk in the trunk (Picture: YouTube) 

As shown in an opening comparison image, the PS5 controller does possess some significant bulk in comparison to its DualShock predecessor. 

Keighley however explained that while it does weigh more, it doesn’t feel substantially heavy - so you probably shouldn’t worry about toppling over while hammering the triggers with gusto.  

 

Astro’s Playroom is essentially a PS5 DualSense tech demo

Astro Playroom
Astro Playroom is packed in with the PS5 (Picture: Sony) 

Packed in with the PlayStation 5 is Astro’s Playroom, which basically looks like a more comprehensive version of The Playroom built in to the PS4 to showcase the DualShock and PlayStation camera. 

The game utilises every function on the PS5 controller, including the adaptive triggers and haptic feedback - which as Keighley demonstrates, allows you to “feel” sandstorms and the pressure of the wind. 

It’s at this point where it’s hard to tell whether it’s simply marketing bluster, but it seems like there’s greater effort to use the controller for immersion. The sound on the in-controller speaker is also described as having better functionality, offering “more range” with simple sounds like Astro’s footsteps to the environment. 

The touchpad is also used throughout, including a moment where he zips up a frog suit and then uses the haptic feedback with motion controls to swing Astro across a level. 

 

You can blow into the PS5 controller

Just when we’d just forgotten the Nintendo DS ‘blow’ functionality, turns out PS5 is ready to bring back the bacteria spray for the modern age. 

During a demo of Astro’s Playroom, a segment is shown where you have to blow into the PS5 controller to spin a wheel. This is the future. The future is 2004. 

 

The PS5 pre-order listings won’t be suddenly dropped

PS5 console
When will we get a price? (Picture: Sony) 

At the end of the stream, Sony marketing lead Eric Lempel made an appearance to answer some of Keighley’s questions around the controller. 

More interesting however were the indications of what comes next. After rumours swirled over the past week that Sony were going to randomly drop the PS5’s price and set live pre-orders, Lempel reassured we’d be getting some notice before they’re available. 

“We’ll let you know when pre-orders will happen,” Lempel said. “It won’t happen with a minutes notice.”

This likely means the PS5’s price will arrive during a presentation of sorts, and not in a random blog post as Sony has done previously with some of its PS5 announcements. 

He also touched upon the topics of additional colours for the PS5 controller, and while he brushed off the question for a later date, it’s practically inevitable some other colours are in the works. 

Sony’s PS5 is scheduled for a holiday 2020 release, although it’s unclear when exactly they’ll address the matter of pricing and specific release dates.