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PlayStation finally developing their own customizable controller is an exciting move, so the DualSense Edge is sure to turn a few heads.
The controller comes equipped with modular joy-sticks, tunable trigger sensitivity and adjustable paddles among a host of other useful buttons and features. Compared to the original PlayStation 5 DualSense controller – you’re playing with much more freedom and customisability, though is the controller worth the price?
The DualSense Edge launches on 26th January for $199. Luckily, we were provided with a review sample ahead of time.
How does it feel?
Picking up the DualSense Edge controller is a treat. Everyone’s familiar with the strange sensation of heaviness equating to value. You pick up the DualSense Edge controller and you can really sense how much it costs.
That being said, that ‘weightiness’ isn’t too far off the original controller’s feel – which is a testament to the DualSense line. To put it into perspective, the DualSense Edge weighs roughly 325g whereas the DualSense only weighs 280g.
There’s also an ever-so-slightly rubberised grip on the inner thigh of the controller handle. However subtle it is, it’s a huge improvement over the original controller which sometimes felt like it might slip out your hands at the wrong moment.
PlayStation hit the sweet-spot with the form of the original DualSense controller – and if something isn’t broken, don’t fix it, right? Well, the DualSense Edge carries the same ergonomic form as its predecessor with a few additions here and there. But honestly, it doesn’t feel all that different. And that’s a good thing.
DualSense Edge specs
|Standard PlayStation layout, 2 x function keys, 2 x interchangeable Paddles, 2 x trigger sensitivity slider
|Wireless, wired connection
|USB-C (Power, data)
|Approx. 325 g
What’s included in the box?
Controller x 1, USB braided cable x 1, carrying case x 1, connector housing x 1, stick cap x 2, high dome caps x 2, low dome caps x 2, half dome back buttons x 2, lever back buttons x 2, instruction manual.
What’s special about the DualSense Edge controller?
Anyone experienced with competitive gaming knows just how important it is to have tight control over your input. Whether you’re using a mechanical keyboard with linear switches, or you’ve picked out the mouse with a modular DPI, being able to calibrate your controls can be the make-or-break for many gamers.
The DualSense Edge will be the first customizable controller released by Sony enabling players to have full autonomy over their controller – so let’s take a look at the newest features to be found on their latest release.
Triple mode triggers
Both the left and right triggers (L2 & R2) have adjustable trigger sensitivity modulated by a slider on the back of the controller. There’s three options for sensitivity – including the original actuation depth, a middle depth, and a minimal depth. This is especially useful in first-person shooters that demand split-second reactions as the reduced actuation force allows you to ‘pull the trigger’ much faster.
The third option with minimal depth will likely be the preferred choice for competitive gamers as the trigger then feels much closer to a button – however there’s still a slight angle of movement. This isn’t a huge problem, unless you consider other pro controllers which can switch between these two modes with ease.
If PlayStation were ever to release a second edition of the DualSense Edge controller, the ability to turn the trigger into a switch would be a highly coveted feature.
Hot-Swappable Analog Sticks
One of the most heavily anticipated features that the DualSense Edge will be offering is the hot-swappable analog sticks. Owners of modern games consoles know just how irritating stick-drift is. For the uninitiated, stick-drift happens your controller records analog stick movement without you touching it. It’s caused by dirt build-up inside the controller that accumulates over time – and unfortunately, it’s not easily fixed.
The DualSense Edge has hot-swappable analog sticks that can be easily removed, replaced, and customised. There’s a clasp on the back that releases the front face-plate, and then there’s two metal levers locking the analog stick module in place. These levers have a simple design but they carry a satisfactory weight to them – showing the level of care PlayStation have invested in this controller.
Once you lift the lever, the stick module is released and you can slide it out easily enough. It can then be swapped out for a replacement module if you do end up damaging it. You can buy replacements from PlayStation.
It’s also incredibly easy to switch out the dome caps on the analog stick. They pop out with a little force and you can insert any combination of high, low, and mid-dome caps to replace them. Experienced gamers will know just how irritating worn away dome caps can be. Plus, it’s nice to have a choice between different heights.
The hot-swappable analog sticks are one of the most useful features included in the DualSense Edge controller, as a bonus, changing them out is as satisfying as piecing together Lego.
Just below the analog sticks are the function keys – which can be customised in your PS5’s settings. You can give your controller a custom profile and you can also select a number of custom button assignments here.
The function buttons themselves have a very solid feel with a very low actuation force required. They’re also very clicky, which is a bonus for all gamers who enjoy that satisfying feeling. They’re also gripped with a very subtle ruled lining, making them easy to get hold of despite their small size.
Customer controllers are most recognisable through their back-buttons and paddles which can have hot-keys and functions assigned to them. In fast-paced reaction based games this is especially important as you can bind multiple commands to a single button.
The back-paddles on the PlayStation DualSense Edge controller are interchangeable, so you can easily switch between the half-dome back buttons and full-lever back paddles. There’s a noticeable difference between the half-dome and full-lever paddles as the former requires accuracy and force, whereas the latter is much easier to actuate.
Our initial experience with swapping the paddles out was slightly tricky. The slot you slide the button into is small and fiddly, but it is magnetised meaning that once you get the initial insert the rest is easy.
The controller will set you back $199, so you’d hope to notice its effect as soon as you load up a game. Our thoughts with the controller are that it’s mainly suited to anyone playing FPS games – so naturally we booted up Modern Warfare 2.
There’s a notable difference with the DualSense Edge triggers set to the lowest actuation force – and the effort to fire your weapons is significantly lower. However, after also fiddling around with other customizable controllers that have a slightly higher level of modularity to their triggers – you can’t help but feel that the triggers are missing that final flourish.
The other most notable difference is the analog cap heights which can be adjusted to change the amount of movement needed on the sticks. Being able to physically change your joy-stick sensitivity like this makes a huge difference in-game – furthering that much needed level of controller customisation.
The controller’s customisation is certainly noticeable in-game – but is it worth it?
Should you buy it?
The DualSense Edge is a robust controller with enough great features that aren’t just simply bells and whistles. In the end, the few hitches are minor enough to forgive for Sony’s first attempt at a custom controller.
It feels fantastic in your hands, and to be honest, we had just as much fun fiddling around with its modular parts and extremely clicky buttons as we did when we were actually playing games with it. It feels really good, and that’s the most important quality a controller should have. There’s enough carefully designed features to separate it from the original controller, while also enough similarities that it evokes an evolution of its quality.
If you’re questioning if you should buy it – the price has to come to mind. The DualSense Edge is set to cost $199 on launch, which is undoubtedly a lot to pay for a controller. But, the level of quality that it offers is far superior to its competitors. For a pro PS5 controller – the DualSense Edge should be your only option.
The DualSense Edge is now available from PlayStation.
You can also read WePC’s review of the DualSense Edge controller here.