Sony’s colorful PS5 DualSense controllers include a hidden design change

Blue, pink and purple Sony DualSense controllers for the PS5 against a galaxy backdrop
(Image credit: Sony)

Having a colorful alternative to the PS5’s standard white DualSense controller isn’t the only incentive to buy an extra controller it seems, as Sony appears to have made under the hood improvements to its three new pads.

As discovered in a teardown video by TronicsFix, the new color variants contain slightly different springs for the triggers. Where the original DualSense controller’s springs had a 0.25mm thickness, the springs found in the new Nova Pink, Galactic Purple, and Starlight Blue controllers measured as 0.3mm thick. 

While there hasn’t been any extensive testing to indicate whether players will feel the difference during a game, that little extra thickness may make the springs for the controllers’ adaptive triggers more durable.

One of the unique features of the PS5 DualSense controller is its adaptive triggers, which add dynamic resistance when pulled back, such as different weapon functions in Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart or feeling pedal pressure that reflect the real-world cars in Gran Turismo 7.

Unfortunately, all that extra strain on the triggers, and players pushing against them,  is also likely to result in more wear and tear. In fact, shortly after the PS5’s launch in 2020, Hot Hardware had reported complaints from PS5 users whose DualSense triggers were either malfunctioning or just outright breaking, although it’s not clear how widespread the problem has been.

The teardown video above also notes that the colored controllers feature a very minor change to the analog stick module. It may be a simple cosmetic change, though, as it looks like Sony has swapped a small black piece of plastic on the bottom for a green piece of plastic that looks identical. It could also be that this change has something to do with avoiding stick drift, something that has been plaguing other gaming hardware from Nintendo Switch to even the Steam Deck, but there’s no proof of this yet.

Otherwise, the new PS5 DualSense controllers are still the same, with an identical battery, model number, and motherboard as the older models, although some of the chips have been flipped around. The main reason for buying these colored variants will ultimately be down to personal preference, then. 

The new controllers also come at a slightly higher price of $74.99 / £64.99 / AU$119.99 compared to $69.99 / £59.99 / AU$109 for the standard white or Midnight Black models.

Could we see more improvements?

It’s not known whether the minor changes in the colored variants will also be implemented in newer models of the white, Midnight Black, or Cosmic Red controllers but hopefully, any meaningful improvements are rolled out across the board in the future.

Any benefits made to the DualSense aren’t just exclusive to PS5 users, either, but also PC players who opt to use Sony’s pad. Valve announced official PS5 DualSense support in the Steam client beta last year, although some of the controller’s other headline features, including rumble, the trackpad, and gyro are only supported by selected games like Metro Exodus.

In any case, strong continuous support for the PS5 DualSense controller’s unique functions from both first-party and third-party titles has helped prove the case for Sony’s innovation - even proving an initially skeptical Adam Vjestica wrong. Any steps to ensure that they have the endurance to provide that immersive experience for many more years are welcome.

Alan Wen

Alan Wen is a freelance journalist writing about video games in the form of features, interview, previews, reviews and op-eds. His work has appeared in print including Edge, Official Playstation Magazine, GamesMaster, Games TM, Wireframe, Stuff, and online including Kotaku UK, TechRadar, FANDOM, Rock Paper Shotgun, Digital Spy, The Guardian, and The Telegraph.