What to Expect from Sony’s DualShock 5
With the PlayStation 4’s end on the horizon the focus is shifting to the PS5. With a new console generation upon us, it’s enough to make a person wonder exactly what the next controller will be like.
Case in point: I’ve found myself wondering exactly what we are going to expect with the announcement of the PS5 DualShock 5 controller. We recently saw our first details on some of the new features we can expect, but let’s see what is confirmed and spend a little time imagining the possibilities while we wait.
The First DualShock 5 Details Surface
In November of 2019, we’ve had not one but two new patents surface regarding controllers. While one of them (detailed below) is pretty much what we expected, this latest one is a head-scratcher. Take a look:
Once again, LetsGoDigital has come through with a breakdown of the patent from Sony.
Don’t be terrified by the look of the design here, the consensus is that this patent is more about the technology they could put into their future controllers than the actually look and feel of them.
The patent discusses an ability to connect to multiple devices via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, along with the ability to transfer data across these connections. The presence of a screen also hints at some sort of portability or remote play angle.
Additionally, the patent goes into specific geographical capabilities, such as showing you directions. Surprisingly it also has information on a fingerprint sensor and heart-rate monitor.
Taking all of that in, I can’t tell if this patent is for a controller or PlayStation’s version of a Fitbit. As I mentioned earlier, it’s likely that this is a patent that secures some new technology concepts and how they could be incorporated into a controller’s design.
Let’s move on to something a little more familiar, shall we?
In November of 2019, a patent surfaced that many believe to be the basic design of the DualShock 5. Here’s a look with a comparison to the DS4 design on the right:
Looking at this patent, the DualShock 5 design looks quite similar to the current layout. I halfway expected this, but there are some key differences:
- The touchpad is larger in the left design (The DualShock 5)
- The lightbar seems to be gone entirely
- There arfe new inputs on the bottom of the controller between the analog sticks
- The controller seems larger overall, with more pronounced triggers
Now, we did hear that the DS5 would be larger than the prior version, but that it would still weigh less than an Xbox One controller. Personally, I think a bulkier design would make the controller more comfortable.
And, of course, there’s the matter of new features that Sony has already confirmed.
We all recall when Wired magazine broke the news earlier in 2019 that Sony was working on a next-generation console. Well, they are back again with a new post that came out October 8th, 2019.
In this post, Mark Cerny and Sony revealed new details, including confirmation it’s called the PlayStation 5 and it’s coming holiday 2020. As part of this reveal, new details about the next generation controller came to light as well:
- The triggers will have variable resistance, which allows developers to simulate the feel of something like pulling back an arrow in a bow. This also could affect how it feels to shoot different types of guns.
- Programmable voice-coil actuators in the handles provide haptic feedback far beyond what traditional rumble offers. This will allow you to feel different surfaces in driving games. Combined with a higher quality speaker, it can also help you feel surfaces like mud, sand, or water when you’re moving through the game world.
- USB-C charging is the new type of connection, with a longer battery life as well. The controller will be heavier, but not as heavy as an Xbox One controller with batteries, according to Sony
As part of the demonstration, the author of the post asked Sony about recent patents, like the one we reported on suggesting PS5 could have a voice assistant feature. Sony declined to comment, saying that patents are sometimes used in products or not.
Cloudy, With a Chance of Gaming
Among the new DualShock 5 details, patents have been coming along at a steady clip throughout 2019. While they are no guarantee of any developments, they provide great fodder for speculation.
In early October, a German website called Techtastic, spotted a new patent for “a controller device for user interactivity with a server of a cloud gaming system.”
The concept is a controller that sends signals to a remote server and essentially controls a game remotely and ideally without lag of any kind. Now, there’s always a chance that this would be exclusively a PlayStation Now controller, and something Sony sells aside from the PS5. This would make it more like a Google Stadia competitor than anything.
The idea isn’t too far-fetched, especially when you consider the fact that Sony recently changed their PS Now pricing to include more affordable rates and a free trial for new members. Thanks to the success of Xbox’s Game Pass, it’s clear Sony wants a piece of that subscription pie.
All of that is fine with me, so long as we get our normal controller on the PS5, crazy haptic feedback and all.
Leaked DualShock 5 Prototype: Real or Fake?
As new rumors continue to roll in, the latest is a supposed look at the DualShock 5 alongside a PS5 dev kit. Take a look:
— 无 Ray Sekiro – ラヤン (@SUPERSONIC4k) 27 March 2019
While it certainly looks convincing, Kotaku’s Jason Schreier commented on a ResetEra thread that his sources confirmed that the images are fake. Even so, the possibility of a touchscreen on the new controller is something we’ve discussed before.
Most gamers don’t like the sound of it because it could drain the battery. While that’s fair, the addition of a screen on the controller could really add to the gameplay if used properly. Some examples would be displaying your inventory, the mini-map, or even having characters communicate to you via the screen.
The Dreamcast was the first system to include a screen in it’s controller, but others like the Wii U have done so too. Time will tell what the final design holds, but for now we can confirm that this controller design is a fake.
PS5 – Dualshock 5 – Star Wars Battlefront
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DualShock 5 will be the first touch-based PlayStation controller
Back to speculation! Let’s imagine that Sony decides to really change things.The DualShock 5 may not have any buttons; rather, it could have touch-based buttons akin to a gamepad layout you may find in an iOS game. However, when you press a button on the DualShock 5, it is going to simulate the feedback that players feel whenever they press a button on a traditional controller.
For example, when you press ‘X’ to jump, the controller will provide a sensation into your thumb that makes it feel as if you are actually pressing the button due to the controller simulating the weight of the button and the mechanism that allows the button to be pressed. In a sense, the DualShock 5 simulates not only the controls of a gamepad, but also the depth in which we use the controls.
The DualShock 5 will keep the classic shape of the DualShock line, yet the area in which the controls lie will be one single screen. The controller’s screen automatically displays the current, traditional DualShock 5 layout whenever your PS5 is powered on, and if a game needs to use a specific controller layout (or add a new button altogether), you are notified via the controller before playing the game.
Learning more about what each button does is simple as well, as you can press the ‘Help’ icon in the top right corner of the controller at any time. To ensure players do not accidentally press this icon during gameplay, the ‘Help’ icon is only accessible when pressing the ‘Start’ button.
DualShock 5 charges itself via Wi-Fi
Guess what? As long as your PS5 has an active Wi-Fi connection, your DualShock 5 controllers will automatically charge themselves once they reach a certain threshold.
The charge of your controller can be accessed via a menu on the controller itself, and you can choose whether you want the controller to charge at a certain point during the night (e.g. you can have your controllers charge fully when you are asleep), or you can have them to charge in-game once they reach a certain percentage. What does this mean for you? You will never have to worry about your controller dying in the middle of a game ever again!
Don’t you hate it when you get a text message or a phone call while you’re playing a game? The DualShock 5 will be able to display your text message on the screen of your controller (or on the screen of your television – you can change the option in the menu), to which you can speak , it will type your message onto your smartphone. Say, ‘Send’ (or another custom phrase, you can change this is the settings), and the DualShock 5 will communicate with your smartphone and send the text message.
Alternatively, you can pause the game, read the text message on the DualShock 5’s screen, and text back on the device itself. In a sense, the DualShock 5 acts as a ‘middle man’ between your ‘smart’ devices and you.
What about a phone call? You can choose to take the call through your controller, to which you will be able to hear and speak with the caller by holding your controller. Don’t want everyone to hear your conversation? You can reroute the call to your headset device, to which you can speak with the caller using your preferred headset while you use the controller. In fact, if you are playing with a party on your PS5, you can actually have the caller speak to all of them in-game!
Don’t want your party to listen to your conversation? You can go into private mode and speak with your caller via the headset.
Want to stream music from your smartphone to your headset or even the external speaker of your controller? You can do this as well. The DualShock 5 will have an ‘external apps’ feature, which you can use certain apps on your mobile devices for use with the controller.
For example, if you want to listen to Pandora all day through your Turtle Beach headset but your iPad is in another room, you can allow the controller to communicate with the iPad and stream Pandora into your controller, which you can hear with your Turtle Beach headset.
Sharing is more powerful than ever
Sure, you can share your gameplay with others with the PS4, but with the PS5 you are going to be able to share your gameplay with literally any streaming service of your choice – simultaneously! In the settings menu of your DualShock 5 controller, you can state that your gameplay is streamed to any streaming site of your choice. For example, with one press of the ‘Share’ button, your gameplay can be streamed to Facebook, Twitter, Google Hangouts, Twitch, UStream, YouTube – and people from these sites can communicate with you in real-time!
The DualShock 5 will be able to stream comments from specific streaming websites to your mobile devices. For example, if you want to see comments from Facebook and Twitch, you can sync your mobile device to your PS5 controller and watch the comments stream straight to your mobile device. You can also comment via your voice or by typing on the mobile device itself.
In short, the DualShock 5 will be unique in that not only is it the first fully-virtual PlayStation controller, but it takes advantage of existing technology so you can have the best experience in gaming.
These are our DualShock 5 theories, but what are yours? What would you like to see in the new PlayStation DualShock 5? Share your thoughts below!