I’m all for an existing PS5 Pro controller, but Sony will really need to impress if it’s planning to break into an already crowded market.
The PS5 has a phenomenal official controller in DualSense, but Sony has been noticeably quiet on a more premium option. Recently, however, leaker Tom Henderson published a report (opens in new tab) detailing that an official PS5 Pro controller could be on the way.
As it’s just a rumor, Henderson’s report is worth taking with a pinch of salt. However, it does detail a controller that checks most of the boxes you’d expect from other Pro pads, like the Xbox Elite wireless controller. Removable analog sticks, rear paddle buttons and trigger stops for a high level of customization.
However, beyond that and a vague mention of “significant software updates”, there’s no idea how a potential PS5 Pro controller can really separate itself from the pack. How would the theoretical block sit side by side with Xbox’s elite offering?
Makes DualSense perfect
It makes perfect sense that a premium console would have a similar premium controller. So why hasn’t Sony jumped on the Pro controller bandwagon yet?
Perhaps the tech giant feels its DualSense controller is already quite premium. And that’s fair. With its haptic feedback and adaptive triggers especially, the PS5 pad offers features that are a little above the competition’s entry-level models.
But let’s look at the aforementioned Xbox Elite controller for a second. When it comes to Pro pads, it’s arguably as premium as possible. Changeable grips, comfortable rubberized grips and a sleek black finish mark Xbox’s high-end keyboard as a luxury purchase – with a hefty price tag to match.
Hopefully a PS5 Pro controller will meet at least some of these criteria. It will need to get the Pro controller fundamentals right, like customization and premium finish. But it will also need to go further than that to make what is likely to be an expensive controller worth the asking price.
The DualSense is already a fantastic starting point, standing out from the crowd with its amazing haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. And it’s these finer features that I believe Sony can leverage to create a seriously competitive PS5 Pro controller.
These two features are by far the DualSense’s most valuable assets. Feeling expertly designed haptics come into play when you scream around a corner in Gran Turismo 7 or block a vicious attack with your shield in Demon’s Souls, never gets old.
In addition, adaptive triggers make actions like driving or shooting much more enjoyable. They give a more tangible feel to these virtual objects. A PS5 Pro controller can offer even greater accuracy when it comes to haptics and adaptive triggers. Not unlike how the Wii Motion Plus accessory improved the Wii’s unique selling point at the time.
But that’s not the only front a PS5 Pro controller will need to improve on. Compared to its competitors in the Nintendo Switch Pro controller and Xbox wireless controller, the DualSense’s battery life is embarrassingly low.
An updated DualSense will absolutely need to resolve this. All the updated bells and whistles a PS5 Pro controller can muster will be for naught if battery life hours remain in the single digits. Features like haptic feedback consume battery for sure, but I would personally be willing to pay more if it means I don’t have to charge my keyboard every 4-5 hours.
Sony has a real opportunity to stand out in the market with a premium version of the DualSense. If it can offer common Pro controller features mixed with its custom haptics – and tie it all together with longer battery life – then Sony may have one of the best Pro controllers ever made in its wheelhouse.