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The upcoming PlayStation 5 DualSense controller definitely sounds like it's capable of some pretty cool stuff. Unveiled a few months back, the next-gen pad is all about creating experiences of "heightened immersion" through touch and audio through all kinds of innovative features. At least, that's what Sony said at the time.
But Sony are always going to want to talk up their new kit, right? The best way to get a feeling of how the DualSense controller is shaping up is surely to ask someone impartial who's either been working with it, or has managed to see it in action. A developer, for instance.
Luckily, the most recent episode of the Play, Watch, Listen podcast saw host and developer Mike Bithell touch on some of the controller's potential capabilities. Speaking to fellow hosts Alanah Pearce, Austin Wintory, and Troy Baker, some very intriguing possibilities were teased.
Composer Austin Wintory had just been talking about the Unreal Engine 5 demo from last week. Specifically, he was discussing how the new engine will be able to deliver audio that lets developers sample a single raindrop, effectively making it so that each drop of rain feels and sounds like an individual "event", rather than simply background rain noise.
Bithell, who designed and directed indie darling Thomas Was Alone, then told Wintory that he's going to love what they're doing with the PS5 controller. "Dancing around some [Non-Disclosure Agreements]," he teased, "all I'm saying Austin, is you're gonna love what they're doing with the controller on PS5 ... the DualSense stuff."
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Bithell went on to suggest that he's actually seen a few demos of the DualSense controller's much-touted haptic feedback feature in action. Apparently these demos specifically involved raindrops, implying that the controller will allow you to "feel" rain and other environmental effects.
This is something Sony touched on when it first announced the DualSense, although it didn't get into too much detail at the time.
In a statement, the company wrote: "Based on our discussions with developers, we concluded that the sense of touch within gameplay, much like audio, hasn't been a big focus for many games."
"We had a great opportunity with PS5 to innovate by offering game creators the ability to explore how they can heighten that feeling of immersion through our new controller. This is why we adopted haptic feedback, which adds a variety of powerful sensations you'll feel when you play, such as the slow grittiness of driving a car through mud."
Certainly, if we'll be able to feel a car driving through the mud, it wouldn't be much of a stretch to assume that the controller can replicate the pitter patter of falling rain. It remains to be seen exactly how much such a feature would add to a game... but if implemented right, it could definitely bring new levels of immersion.
Featured Image Credit: Sony
Topics: PlayStation 5
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