When Sony first announced the Dualsense, I was skeptical. I have heard many claims of game-changing haptics over the years, and none of them have really delivered. It’s not to say that rumble effects haven’t gotten significantly better since the early days of the N64, just that they have yet to achieved the sort of fully immersive, game-changing status I’m always led to believe they will. Now that the thing is finally in reviewers hands, however, the buzz is beginning to start. And I’m getting cautiously excited that this is going to be the controller that finally delivers on its promises.
Let’s take a look at a viral video from Norwegian games writer Erik Fossum showing just how much resistance you can get from a Dualsense trigger:
Every PS5 comes pre-installed with Astro’s Playroom, designed to show off the Dualsense and all its capabilities. It’s getting good early impressions, with the sense that you have to actually play it to believe it. This is one of the issues with marketing a feature like this during a pandemic: it’s easy to imagine a bunch of PS5s in GameStops and Best Buys across the country that would let people feel this for themselves, but…not right now.
I don’t have a PS5 to mess around with here, so I’m watching these impressions on social media like everyone else. Still, it’s exciting in a way I didn’t necessarily expect. For the most part, I’m expecting new games with better performance and, somewhere down the line, more expansive worlds that take full advantage of SSDs. For more reasons than we can really count, this console transition is going to be one of the smoothest in history.
This, however, is a generational leap sort of thing. A feature absent from the previous generation that changes the way it feels to play a game on a new console, and something that would have been impossible if Sony had the same commitment to compatibility that Microsoft does. There are arguments on both sides of this, but the excitement over the Dualsense shows the power of believing in generations, to paraphrase Jim Ryan.
The only problem here will likely be one of implementation: while we can expect Sony’s first party offerings to make extensive use of all the options the Dualsense has on offer, we can probably also expect multi-platform developers to lean a little less heavily on its unique features. Smaller developers probably won’t do nearly as much with it, but that’s the way it goes. Regardless, it’s made me way more excited to get my hands on this thing, in a more literal sense than usual.