Our last PS5 video was quite a special one, because you see we got our hands on the world’s first actual photo of the PlayStation 5 dev kit! Our video actually got picked up by quite a lot of tech websites, which never really happened before, at least not to the same scale so thank you all for your support!
But now, get those snacks ready and here’s the video and article that I promised you, focused just on the PlayStation 5 controller!
If you’re a gamer then you’ll definitely enjoy this article. And if you’re not a gamer well, keep reading anyway because the PS5 will indeed be a truly revolutionary device, not just for playing the most graphically advanced games, but also for watching 4K and even 8K movies.
When playing a game there are three very important parts of every game, in my opinion at least.
1. The Story
2. How that story is being played?
3. What the story is being played with?
Now personally, I’ve always preferred a gaming controller to a mouse and keyboard. Yes a mouse is more accurate, but a controller is much more comfortable and you get motion controllers, vibrations and even touch input, all of which immerse you so much more in the game, than a regular mouse and keyboard can.
The 1st PS1 controller, the original DualShock was one of the most iconic controllers to ever be released. It had dual joysticks, symmetrical buttons which I’ve always preferred, and vibration feedback, which back in 1997 was a huge deal.
The DualShock 2 which was released with the PlayStation 2 back in 2000, wasn’t really that big of an upgrade. It had pretty much the same style design, just a bit slimmer, a bit lighter, and came in black but all the main buttons were actually pressure sensitive. So the more you pressed the triggers for example, the faster your car would start driving and things like that.
Then came with the DualShock 3 with the PlayStation 3. With this we got the first big change in a Sony controller. You see this was Sony’s first fully wireless controller, it featured 6-axis motion sensing which was basically a gyroscope that could sense the direction and the orientation that you held the controller at. With this you could play certain games that way and even use the controller itself as a racing wheel, really cool stuff! It also featured a miniUSB port for charging and connecting it to other devices, such as the PSP or even a full PC by using some 3rd party apps!
And then in 2013, when the PlayStation 4 was released, we got an even bigger update to Sony’s line of game controllers, the DualShock 4. Not only did the DualShock 4 feature the 1st big design change in a Sony controller, but it also came with a ton of major features.
The start and select buttons were replaced with Options and Share. We also got a built-in speaker for some sound effects that the controller would play for when let’s say, you were reloading a gun. We also got an actual touch-pad on the controller, which would not only be used in games but also in the web browser as a mouse and it was also it’s own pressable button. We got redesigned joysticks that were now concave rather than convex. It came with a massive light bar on the back for not only giving you a visual feedback of what was happening in your game, if the light went red for example, you would know that your health has reached a critical point, but that light was also used for 3D depth tracking for the PlayStation Camera and the PlayStation VR headset which was released later on. We got a microUSB port from the miniUSB that we had before, and we even got something that was by far my favourite feature, a 3.5mm headphone jack! Yes, you could now plug in any headphones that you wanted directly into the controller itself! How amazing was that?
So yes, the PS4 controller, the DualShock 4, was the biggest change ever that Sony had made. So now what do we know when it comes to the DualShock 5, the PS5’s controller?
Well, we’ve actually had a few leaked images that give us a glimpse at the PS5 controller.
This first one was posted by Ray Sekiro on Twitter and this one shows a very weird looking controller.
Probably the first two things that you’ve noticed are the weird indented shape on the bottom, as well as the integrated display panel. But there’s quite a few more things that do stand out. The directional arrow keys on the left have now been redesigned. They’re slimmer, a bit taller and the arrow symbols are now on the inside of the keys, rather than on the outside. The PlayStation square, circle, triangle and X buttons seem to be the same as before, maybe a bit more raised, but it’s quite hard to tell from this image. The Share and Options buttons are now horizontal, rather than vertical and it seems like we also have two instead of just one speaker grills on each side of the display. And I’m not sure how well you can see this but the L1 and R1 buttons seem to have been redesigned as well and they’re much larger now. It also appears that the 3.5mm headphone jack and the proprietary connector or at least a USB type C port seem to be located on the bottom of the controller, just like on the PS4 one.
Now let’s talk about the two elephants in the room. The Display and the Shape of this controller.
So when it comes to the display, the whole idea behind it is for it to be an upgrade to the touch panel that we had with the PS4 Controller. Personally I can definitely see this happening. That display would allow you to see certain elements of a game, such as the inventory or the in-game party or chat. I do think that that would be a very useful thing to have, since at the moment if you want to chat with your friends via text, you would connect your phone to the PlayStation, but that does take some time and typing using the joystick is just a nightmare. So something like this would speed up the typing process by a lot.
The only question is, what impact will this have on the battery life? Well it should have quite a significant one. Considering that the PS4 controller is pretty well known for a not so great battery life, I don’t think things are looking that great for the PS5 controller.
However, if you look at the Nintendo Switch Pro controller, that is by far the best controller on the market when it comes to battery life right on par with the Xbox One Elite 2 controller, both offering a staggering 40 hour battery life.
But even 10 hours would be enough, as long as Sony managed to add everything that they want in this controller, and I would say that that’s perfectly doable. Especially considering that the PS4 controller uses Bluetooth 2.1 and nowadays we have Bluetooth 5.0 which is significantly more power efficient. Add this to more efficient batteries and chips and I would say that 10 hours with that included display is doable.
Now when it comes to the shape, yes it does look to be extremely uncomfortable judging by how the bottom bit is lower than the top portion. I could be wrong, but I would need to hold it in my hand to see for myself how comfortable it really is.
However, something that you should keep in mind is that this is not the final version of the PS5 controller. No, this is very likely a DevKit controller that would work alongside the developers kit that I showed you guys exclusively in a previous video. So make sure you watch that one, in case you want to learn more about the actual PlayStation 5, as this is mostly about the controller itself.
So the final version will be more polished, with a thinner design, and possibly without that indented part towards the bottom.
Now, when I first saw that image, I did consider the fact that it might be a very well done render. However, I don’t think this is the case for two reasons.
The first one being that we make 3D renders here at ZONEofTECH as well, like the PS5 one that you’ve seen. That was very well done and it’s also an extremely difficult shape to do, so if the controller image is a render, it’s probably the best one that I’ve seen.
Secondly, there were actually multiple leaked photo of this controller, from many other sources and they all look the same. Twitter user Tidux posted an image that shows this PS5 controller, and we have another image that was posted on Reddit, that again shows the same controller from a different angle. The image has been taken down from Reddit but you can see it on hothardware.com here.
Now they could all be renders made by the same person that decided to share it with random people but I don’t think that’s the case. If we take a look at an actual photo of a real PlayStation 4 dev kit controller, you can see that even this one had that big, thick and chunky form factor, and we all know how much thinner and sleeker it got with the final unit. However, the main characteristic of the controller still remained. Things like the overall design from the front, the button layout, the touch bar and even the light bar. Even though it did look more squared off in the dev-kit model.
Now we have actually made our own PS5 controller 3D model. It’s a blend of the PS4 controller and the PS5 dev kit controller.
So we still have overall the same PS4 controller design, just with slightly longer handles. We do have the built-in display, the horizontal Options and Share Buttons, the light bar on the top which we’ve actually made bigger than on the PS4 one, for even easier tracking from a greater distance. We’ve implemented the dual speakers to the side of the display, and the 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom. We did actually removed Sony’s proprietary connector, in favour of just the USB type C port on the back and that’s pretty much it!
You can see how similar it looks to the PS4 controller, yet how it incorporates the brand new features, such as the display, the speakers, and also a very unique feature that I haven’t mentioned before.
So Sony has had another interview with The Wired, back in early October, where they not only confirmed the name of the PS5 which, surprise surprise is indeed PlayStation 5, but they also confirmed the release date, Holidays 2020 alongside some exclusive details about the PS5 controller.
Mark Cerny, the lead architect on both the PS4 had the PS5, had an interview with Peter Rubin of the Wired, and Mark actually handed Rubin a PS5 controller, which according to Peter, looked very similar to the PS4 controller. According to Mark, it would be a next-generation controller as well, a change as big as the PS4 controller was from the PS3 controller.
Apparently Sony will now have a voice assistant similar to Siri, Alexa or Cortana, built into the PS5, and the controller will also have a built-in microphone to pick up that audio.
The second change that was officially confirmed are adaptive triggers that can offer varying levels of resistance based on the weapon that you use. So you’ll be able to feel the tension increasing as you pull the arrow back in a bow and different weapons having different feels on the trigger, really cool stuff!
And the third officially confirmed change would be a haptic engine. This would be similar to what modern smartphone use today but basically on steroids. You’ll be able to feel not just vibrations but also certain elements in a game. Peter was saying how he played a platformer game and he could actually feel things such as sand, mud, and ice on the thumbsticks. He could feel the haptic engine and the triggers offering a different type of resistance based on the environment that he was in, in the game. Peter was also shown a new version of Grand Turismo Sport running on the PS5 and he said he could fee the difference in terrain when he was driving on asphalt to when he came off the track and onto grass, sand, gravel.
If this is all true then this is incredible! I am really excited for that, although I believe the competitive gaming community would be a bit frustrated with having joysticks that constantly feel different based on what you touch and what you pick up. But this will definitely be something that the developer can enable or disable and tweak to their liking.
Also USB type C is confirmed for the next-gen PS5 controller, which was quite expected, and Mark Cerny also confirmed the existence of a larger battery. He also confirmed that the controller is indeed heavier than a PS4 controller but still lighter than the current Xbox Controller.
With all of this in mind I am very excited for the new PS5 and really excited to check out the new controller and see if all the rumours are true. Let me know in the comments what you guys are excited for with the PS5!