The demand for high-end console controllers was once filled exclusively by third-party companies like Scuf and Astro, but Microsoft jumped into the fray with its Xbox One Elite controller in 2015 (with a hardware refresh in 2019’s Series 2 ). Professional gamers — and serious amateurs — kept flocking to these gamepads, which actually offered an advantage over the competition, thanks to customizable sensitivity settings for the paddles and analog sticks and triggers on the back. Given the success of these controllers, it was surprising that Sony only dipped a toe in the same waters with the back-button attachment slapped on the PlayStation 4’s existing DualShock 4 controller. Beyond that, though, Sony left the fancy bells and whistles for others.
That all changes with the DualSense Edge, a high-end controller that comes straight from Sony. Launched on January 26 for $199.99, it offers many of the features that have made the Elite and other pro controllers so popular: programmable rear buttons and custom profiles, along with adjustable triggers and analog sticks. But is Sony coming too late to the party?
dualsense edge feature set
If you’re already familiar with the PS5’s DualSense controller, you should know that the DualSense Edge comes with all the same benefits: adaptive triggers, haptic feedback, and the quirky microphone/speaker setup that makes you wonder why your controller even talks. doing. From you But there are several notable differences.
The DualSense Edge comes with a back button in two styles (paddle or half-dome nub). Despite the four attachments included, there are only two slots for the back button, so you’ll have to decide which of the two styles you prefer. The paddles will look familiar to anyone who’s used an Xbox Elite controller, resting nicely beneath your natural controller grip, allowing you to activate them with just a simple squeeze. While this sounds convenient, I found myself with both the Elite controller and the Edge accidentally activating the paddles during tense moments of clenching.
That’s why I’m thrilled with Sony’s inclusion of the half-dome cubbies. They’re slightly out of reach, allowing you to maintain your natural grip while having two additional inputs accessible with your index or middle finger. They have a satisfying click when activated, and they put up an intense fight with god of war ragnarok,s Valkyrie Queen is very smooth, allowing me to shoot arrows with the back buttons and keep my thumb on the analog sticks while I dodge.
That said, it’s hard to ignore the fact that the Xbox Elite Series 2 controller has four back button inputs to the DualSense Edge’s two. Two back buttons will probably be sufficient for most players. But if you want to program all face buttons — or all d-pad inputs — to your back button, you simply can’t do that on the DualSense Edge.
Sony’s solution to this limited button set is to include function buttons located below each analog stick. Holding down the function button allows you to select a previously created profile. Each profile lets you completely reassign all the buttons on your controller, including the back button, and change the sensitivity and dead zones of the analog sticks.
The most obvious use case: Let’s say you’re playing Spider-Man: Miles Moralesand you want to switch Call of Duty: Warzone, Your ideal button mapping can vary dramatically for each game. These function buttons let you swap them in a jiffy – you just hold one down while pressing the face button to select a profile. It’s a very easy process, and the menus for creating a new profile are super intuitive. The Elite Series 2 controller offers similar functionality, though it’s a bit clumsy there, requiring multiple taps to cycle through four profiles.
Another feature where the Sony essentially matches the Elite Series 2: Trigger Stop, which lets you reduce the need to pull the R2 and L2 triggers before they activate. Using this feature will disable the adaptive trigger functionality, but for serious players, it’s a small price to pay for the increased responsiveness and reduced finger strain.
Time to replace analog sticks?
The DualSense Edge has one feature that the Elite Series 2 doesn’t include: the ability to completely replace both analog stick modules. In the age of analog stick drift, the lifespan of controllers is getting shorter. Sony figures that if one of your analog sticks starts acting weird, you probably don’t want to pay for another full-price DualSense Edge, so the Edge lets you rip the whole thing out and swap in a new one. (sold separately for $19.99).
I have a weird feeling about this feature. On one hand, yes, it’s great that you don’t have to junk the entire controller — or send it back to Sony — if an analog stick works. On the other hand, it’s like shouting from the rooftops that these (premium priced) things are about to break. PS5 owners started noticing some DualSense drift issues very early in the console’s lifecycle, and this functionality feels like the one Sony modern analog sticks will surely fail. And not only that, when they fail, you have to pay Sony for the privilege of a quick fix, rather than being able to rely on the company to come up with a more durable design in the first place.
The Elite Series 2, a direct competitor to the DualSense Edge, has also received a lot of complaints about its durability, with failing bumpers being the most common problem. So I guess if you’re looking for a first-party pro controller, you’re kinda damned if you do. It’s too early to say whether the DualSense Edge will suffer the same durability issues, which is to say: maybe wait and see how the first wave of controllers react to steady use.
What else is in the box?
Apart from everything mentioned above, the DualSense Edge comes with a fancy carrying case that keeps all the bits and bobs safe. Inside, there’s a braided USB cable for charging, a cable lock (probably most useful in tournament settings) to prevent untimely unplugging of your controller, and a few different styles of analog sticks. If you’re one of those people who misses the half-dome analog sticks of the PlayStation era, good news: You’ve got two different heights to choose from in addition to the concave style that all DualSense controllers come in. (Also: What’s wrong with you? Those analog sticks were terrible.) [Ed. note: No, they were not.]
The carrying case is a nice touch, especially since it has a Velcro door that lets you slide in your USB cable and charge the controller while it’s safe in its cocoon. It all feels very premium and high-end, which is what it should do for the $200 you’re paying.
What about design?
It goes without saying that the look of the controller comes down purely to taste. I think the DualSense Edge looks… OK. I don’t think it’s ugly, but I do think it’s a downgrade from the standard DualSense controller, which feels more alike. The Edge’s most striking design feature is a patch of glossy plastic around the center of the controller. This is the removable section that provides access to the swappable analog stick module. I’m not sure it has the premium look and feel that Sony is generally known for. Given that it’s just a piece of plastic, it wouldn’t surprise me if Sony sold replacement plates in different colors and sizes like the company does for the PlayStation 5 — but it’s a drag with the box to begin with. Nothing hardcore was included in the accompanying.
While we’re talking design, Microsoft now allows you to completely customize the look of the Elite Series 2 controller, buttons, triggers, faceplate — you name it. Customized gamepads come at a premium price ($10 above the DullSense Edge. If you buy all the accessories), but it’s a cool option that Sony is currently missing.
And that price?
The DualSense Edge comes in at $199.99 – half the cost of the Digital Only PS5 model. That’s… pretty steep, though it’s not that far off from Microsoft’s Elite Series 2 offering, which is $179.99 (though sales often drop that to around $150). I’m sure professional streamers and esports athletes would have no problem spending the money and writing it off on their taxes. But for average people, it’s a lot. Does this make playing PS5 games a great experience? Undoubtedly. Does it give you the advantage of being able to, say, aim and jump at the same time? Fortnite Thanks for the back button? Yes it does.
That said, these days I’d be more comfortable buying a high-end premium controller if I knew it was going to last me at least five years. But until we get several hundred hours of gameplay with the DualSense Edge, we won’t really know what kind of lifespan it will be. Given that, it is difficult to make long term investments.
Plus, again, it’s $200. And it’s not like you’re going to zoom up the leaderboard because you have two more inputs at your disposal. it is a symbol of good for — but if you play a lot of PS5 games, maybe you really need to justify it.
dualsense edge Will be released on 26 January. This review was conducted using the controller provided by Sony. Vox Media is an affiliated partnership. These do not affect editorial content, although Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased through affiliate links. you can find Additional information about Play Gamez’s ethics policy here,