Sony has given another extensive interview to Wired, detailing plans for its next-gen console. During the most recent interview, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan revealed the forthcoming hardware’s official name, PlayStation 5. In addition, Ryan confirmed the console’s long-rumored holiday 2020 launch window. Wired’s extensive new look at PS5 also features details about the next DualShock, which, according to system architect Mark Cerny, “doesn’t have a name yet.” Still, there’s plenty of information to dig into, since the likely to be named DualShock 5 will feature two innovative features–haptic feedback and adaptive triggers.
Haptic feedback is something Sony experimented with for the DualShock 4 and wanted to implement again for PS4 Pro, but decided to save for next-gen. Notably, haptics offer a much wider range of feedback. Running along a sandy beach will provide a different level of feedback, compared to a player character trying to move through mud.
Wired writer Peter Rubin went hands-on with an unlabelled DualShock 5, which he said looks similar to the DualShock 4. Rubin played through a series of demos provided by Astro Bot Rescue Mission’s Japan Studio. One demo in particular featured a character running through a platform level across a variety of surfaces. This demo, apparently, felt the most immersive with regards to the new controller’s tactile feel. Rubin explained,
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.
Sony also showed off a version of Gran Turismo Sport running on a PS5 devkit that appeared similar to the one recently described by Gizmodo. With regards to the GT Sport demo, Rubin noted how well the haptics technology worked when driving on different types of race tracks. According to the Wired writer,
Driving on the border between the track and the dirt, I could feel both surfaces. Doing the same thing on the same track using a DualShock 4 on a PS4, that sensation disappeared entirely. It wasn’t that the old style rumble feedback paled in comparison, it was that there was no feedback at all.
The DualShock 5’s adaptive triggers (L2/R2) offers different degrees of resistance; thus, firing a shotgun will not feel the same as firing a machine gun. When using a bow and arrow, tension increases as the arrow’s drawn back. In a post on the PlayStation blog, Ryan noted that the combination of adaptive triggers and haptics can provide players with “a powerful experience that better simulates various actions.”