Sony PlayStation CEO, Jim Ryan, made a blog post over on the official PlayStation Blog, revealing that the PS5 will launch in holiday 2020. The lackadaisical announcement was accompanied by a few additional details relating to the DualShock 5, the next iteration of the PlayStation branded controllers.
After four generations of traditional DualShock controllers relying on built-in motorized rumble features, the next iteration will do away with the motors and instead rely on haptic responses that mold and shape the feedback based on the texture of the in-game experience.
As explained by Ryan…
“[…] we’re adopting haptic feedback to replace the “rumble” technology found in controllers since the 5th generation of consoles. With haptics, you truly feel a broader range of feedback, so crashing into a wall in a race car feels much different than making a tackle on the football field. You can even get a sense for a variety of textures when running through fields of grass or plodding through mud.”
This is similar to the technology Valve uses in the Steam Controller, which also relies on haptic feedback. It’s easily one of the best forms of rumble technology, as the experience varies per game and ranges from soft ripples to earthquake rumbles.
We’ll have to wait to find out if the haptic feedback is as dynamic as the Steam Controller or Nintendo’s HD Rumble feature for the Nintendo Switch.
Additionally, Ryan also revealed that the PS5 will feature adaptive triggers. This is something already present in the Xbox Elite Controller and other custom controllers made by modding outfits like eXtreme Rate.
“The second innovation is something we call adaptive triggers, which have been incorporated into the trigger buttons (L2/R2). Developers can program the resistance of the triggers so that you feel the tactile sensation of drawing a bow and arrow or accelerating an off-road vehicle through rocky terrain. In combination with the haptics, this can produce a powerful experience that better simulates various actions. Game creators have started to receive early versions of the new controller, and we can’t wait to see where their imagination goes with these new features at their disposal.”
We didn’t get to see what the new controller looks like and we don’t know if there will be any other changes to the core design, so we’ll have to wait for those details. However, according to the Wired piece, the speakers have been amplified and the coiled actuators for the haptics are located in the grips on each side of the controller. So basically Sony is just playing catch-up with Valve.
I imagine there will be a media showcase for the PS5 soon, but given Sony’s recent censorship-focused policies on the PS4, I couldn’t be less excited.