The DualSense PS5 controller hands-on taught us nothing new about the gamepad

(Image credit: Sony)

Geoff Keighley hosted a live hands-on with the DualSense PS5 controller on July 17 as part of his Summer Games Fest event – however, we didn't actually learn anything from the stream.

Keighley's stream had the Game Awards presenter talk a bit about (already confirmed) DualSense features such as haptic feedback and the adaptive triggers, before taking the features for a brief test run in a demo for the PS5-exclusive title Astro's Playroom.

While the hands-on gave us a look at the features in action to a degree, it didn't actually provide any new information about the DualSense PS5 controller that we actually wanted to know, such as details on charging, price, or future color variations.

A big disappointment

The only snippets of information we managed to glean from the stream was that the DualSense's audio seems to have more range than the DualShock 4, that apparently it sounds great when paired with Tempest 3D Audio, and that the controller weighs a bit more than the DualShock 4, with Keighley saying the DualSense has "more heft to it" but ultimately feels sturdier.

From the demo, it seems that Astro's Playground is essentially made to show off the DualSense's capabilties and, to an extent, it did that. We saw a frogsuit that was used to showcase the adaptive triggers: Geoff described the tension of wading through sand and we even saw the host blowing into the controller to move an in-game fan - but overall, the hands-on was extremely disappointing. 

It's hard to know how exactly adaptive triggers and haptic feedback feel when you only have someone telling you how it feels. But that could be forgiven if the stream had actually been informative rather than feeling like a marketing stunt.

In addition, the interview with Eric Lempel, PlayStation's head of worldwide marketing, felt more like two buddies having a chat than an actual interview. Lempel gave away pretty much no new information.

It looks like we'll be waiting until the rumored State of Play in August before we get any more juicy PS5 details.

Vic Hood
Associate Editor, TechRadar Gaming

Vic is TechRadar Gaming's Associate Editor. An award-winning games journalist, Vic brings experience from IGN, Eurogamer and more to the TechRadar table. You may have even heard her on the radio or speaking on a panel. Not only is Vic passionate about games, but she's also an avid mental health advocate who has appeared on both panels and podcasts to discuss mental health awareness. Make sure to follow her on Twitter for more.