PlayStation is jumping into the world of professional controllers with DualSense Edge. I had a chance to test the new gamepad and it feels like a comprehensive hobbyist controller that’s easy to customize on the go.
The DualSense Edge feels and looks almost identical to the DualSense controller. Tomamasu Mizuno, lead product manager for DualSense Edge assures me that this was a deliberate decision so as not to offend players who have spent hundreds of hours with the standard DualSense. If you’ve ever held a PlayStation 5 controller before, you know how Edge feels in your hand. The biggest changes to ergonomics are the new, rubberized grip on the back of the controller, two function buttons, a trigger stop, and customizable paddle buttons on the rear.
The customizable back buttons are what makes the most difference on the new controller. I had to adjust my handles a bit to fit them. Unlike the four buttons of the Xbox Elite Series 2 controller, there are only two on the back of the controller. The paddles protrude a bit more than that of the Elite controller, meaning it requires a single press to press instead of the squeeze motion I usually do with the Elite controller. This pack also comes with an alternate set of back buttons in the shape of a half moon. These feel more natural in my hand as they lean directly against my middle finger. Of course, you can completely remove the back buttons if you want.
There are limits to what you can and cannot customize when it comes to button configuration. You can’t program multiple inputs for a single button press, and there are some limitations with the touchpad, although I didn’t understand those limitations well in my preview.
The most useful addition to the DualSense Edge are the two function buttons located just below the analog stick. Holding down a key brings up a menu that allows you to quickly switch controller profiles, adjust headset volume, and pop into menus to adjust your controller settings. Function buttons are like a natural extension of DualSense making it easy to access key features you will likely need during a gaming session. Their placement makes them hard to misclick during hot moments, but they’re easy to access mid-game.
Easy accessibility is possibly the coolest thing about DualSense Edge. While both the Xbox Elite and DualSense Edge controllers allow you to swap controller configurations with little effort, the DualSense Edge–thanks to the function buttons–allows you to easily jump to the settings controls and adjusts the sensitivity of the analog sticks, remaps the buttons, and adjusts the vibration sensitivity. I was able to do this while playing Modern Warfare 2. The biggest hurdle for me when it comes to customizing the controller is always finding the time to really tweak it to suit my needs. . DualSense Edge makes it easy to find and test different controller settings.
The sleek new control menu is also easy to navigate. Once you’ve created a profile, you can customize the button assignment, bar and dead zone sensitivity, dead zone trigger, vibration strength, and trigger effect strength. If you enable trigger stops, it automatically adjusts the sensitivity of the trigger effect.
From the club’s Sensitivity/Dead Zone menu, you can choose from several default sensitivity curves for the club, or you can manually fine-tune sensitivity and dead zones. There’s a handy visualizer in this menu that also tells you how much force you’re putting on the club with your preferred sensitivity settings.
Along with swapping out the bar covers, the DualSense Edge also allows you to remove the bar modules. You can turn on the hood with a small tab on the back of the controller. From there, you can unlock the modules and pull them out. Historically, the bars on the controller were often the first to be used, so this addition is a welcome one. The modules are priced at $20 on the official Sony storefront, which is much more affordable than buying a whole new remote. Opening the hood is a bit tricky, but ideally you shouldn’t have to do it as often.
Annoyingly, the hood itself is made of glossy plastic which attracts smudges and fingerprints. In the few hours of working with the controller, I found it impossible to keep it clean. This is certainly not a problem-solving tool, but it will certainly be enough to annoy some users. Hopefully since the hood can be completely removed we’ll see some aftermarket hoods with a matte finish.
While the DualSense Edge probably won’t cater to casual PlayStation 5 owners, it’s a great toolkit for those who take their gaming seriously. During my time with the controller, I tested God Of War Ragnarok, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and Gran Turismo 7. Between the three games, I found the DualSense Edge best suited to Modern Warfare’s sensational gameplay. . Being able to map jumps and slides to the back buttons means I don’t need to take my thumb off the right analog stick while doing some of the more complex maneuvers of the game.
Meanwhile, the controller feels unhelpful for Gran Turismo 7 and God of War Ragnarok. It’s nice to be able to map the buttons to the back buttons, but the DualSense Edge’s appeal isn’t really strong for single player games where the input is less and the requirement to the player is much less. compared to the competitive multiplayer experience.
Like the Elite, the controller along with the charging cable, replaceable bar cap, back button, and cord lock are all packaged in a white hard case with holes in the back for easy charging. Overall, the DualSense Edge feels like a great option for PlayStation owners who may have reviewed Xbox products with the envy of a professional controller. For $200, you get a controller with a familiar look, improved ergonomics, some new feature options, and a good degree of customization.
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