Why the PS5 controller is all about haptic feedback, according to the tech's creator

(Image credit: Sony)

When it comes to the DualSense controller on PS5, a big deal has been made about haptic feedback, which is essentially a more advanced and immersive alternative to the rumble function you get in existing controllers. Why are haptics so important to Sony during this new generation? It's because innovation in games consoles now has to come from somewhere outside of graphics and audio, if you believe one of the brains behind the DualSense controller's big new feature. 

Immersion is the company behind the haptics in the DualSense pad, and CEO Ramzi Haidamus has talked about why he feels Sony is focusing on the technology for its next-gen console.

“We believe that Sony has done a wonderful job delivering an amazing surround sound experience over the years,” said Haidamus during a recent financial earnings call (via wccftech). “That experience is pretty much maximized. In other words, it's kind of hard to increase it by a significant amount. And the same thing with video, the incredible graphics on the PS4 will be improved with the PS5. But we're getting to that point where it is quite an outstanding experience. 

"And therefore, the question is where do you go next, which is why we believe Sony and other gaming consoles are starting to focus on haptics. It's kind of the third experience to get you more immersed in that game.”

Of course, haptics isn't the only area where Sony is innovating this generation. The console's SSD will also enable more instantaneous loading of games. Plus, of course, games will get a serious visual upgrade on PS5, and 3D audio could be the PS5's most important feature

What's new about the DualSense controller?

As well as doing away with the traditional DualShock name, the new PS5 controller will focus on haptic feedback and provide adaptive triggers to give players a much more immersive experience overall.

Anyone that's played with the current DualShock controller will be familiar with the rumbling that reacts to certain situations in-game, but the DualSense technology will take that much further. Haptic feedback will simulate touch and will output vibrations or movements to replicate a real-life touch experience. Essentially, it will "ads a variety of powerful sensations you’ll feel when you play, such as the slow grittiness of driving a car through mud."

The price of the controller hasn't been announced, but we're expecting to hear more details in the near future. In the meantime, here's everything we know so far.

Sarah James is a freelance video game writer with bylines at PC Gamer, TechRadar, Official PlayStation Magazine, PCGamesN, Kotaku UK, RockPaperShotgun, GamesRadar, Red Bull Gaming, GAMINGbible, and more.