[UPDATE: A Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) patent has revealed images of what could be the PS5 controller.]
The prototype PS5 controller currently being sent to developers is described as “an unlabelled matte-black doohickey that looks an awful lot like the PS4‘s DualShock 4,” but under the hood there are some significant additions.
The first is “adaptive triggers,” which SIE says can offer varying levels of resistance to make game mechanics such as shooting a bow and arrow—the tension increasing as you pull the arrow back—feel more realistic.
The PS5 controller – which will switch to USBC for charging – also includes haptic feedback, with highly programmable voice-coil actuators located in the left and right grips of the controller.
Combined with an improved speaker on the controller, the haptics can enable “astonishing effects,” claims Wired.
In a series of short demos, the publication ran a character through a platform level featuring a number of different surfaces, which it says gave distinct and tactile experiences.
“Sand felt slow and sloggy; mud felt slow and soggy. On ice, a high-frequency response made the thumbsticks really feel like my character was gliding. Jumping into a pool, I got a sense of the resistance of the water; on a wooden bridge, a bouncy sensation.”
Next, a version of Gran Turismo Sport ported over to a PS5 devkit enabled the player to ‘feel’ the difference between dirt and track surfaces. “Doing the same thing on the same track using a DualShock 4 on a PS4, that sensation disappeared entirely,” the article said.
The PS5 controller’s larger-capacity battery and haptics motors make it a bit heavier than the DualShock 4, it’s claimed. However, product manager Toshi Aoki said the final version will come in a bit lighter than the current Xbox controller “with batteries in it.”
In the same article Sony confirmed that PlayStation 5’s ray-tracing technology will be hardware-accelerated, the console will feature a “completely revamped” user interface and allow configurable game installs.
PS5 will also be backwards compatible with PS4 games and support the current PlayStation VR headset.