Sony PlayStation has a big year ahead, with a new PS5 console set to launch towards the end of the year.
But whilst there's still an awful lot of info and features we're still being kept under wraps, it does seem quite clear that one big change Sony are making comes in the form of the console's controller.
Officially, Sony has only confirmed two features about the new Dualshock 5 Controller, namely, haptic feedback and adaptive triggers (more on both further down).
But a multitude of leaks and patents would suggest this is far from the only new features on the horizon for the unofficially named 'Dualshock 5'.
For instance, one feature many are expecting to see, is new back buttons, something that Sony controllers have, traditionally, avoided.
Unlike competitors Xbox, who have sold the Xbox Elite controller – which has back triggers – for well over 5 years.
Of course, PS4 players have had the option of several third-party controllers in the past, but official PS4 controllers have remained fairly uniform for years.
That changes next week though, when PS4 players can get their first taste of next-gen controllers features with the release of Sony's new back button attachment.
PlayStation experts at Push Square suggest the new attachment could be especially important in order to make the PS4 pad compatible with PS5.
"It could be possible that the DualShock 4 will be compatible with Sony's next-gen console." Push Square suggest.
"Given that PS4 games will be backwards compatible with the PS5, it makes some sense to support the controllers too. The reason that the Back Button Attachment makes this seem more likely to us is that it could be an effort on Sony's part to get the PS4 controller ready for next-gen. Perhaps these extra buttons are a necessity if you want to use your DualShock 4 with PS5 games."
It makes even more sense given that PlayStation France have led many to believe the PS5 controller will also work with the PS4.
We'll likely learn more about how backwards and forwards compatibile controllers will be in the coming months, however, what's important is that the back button attachment arrives next week for PS4 users.
The only downside is that in the UK – for some reason that remains unexplained – the attachment is only available in the UK from February 14.
Still, the future is tantalisingly close. And it will only cost £25.99 (for the time being).
What has Sony said about their new PS5 controller?
On an official PlayStation blogpost, Sony President & CEO, Jim Ryan confirmed the following:
One of our goals with the next generation is to deepen the feeling of immersion when you play games, and we had the opportunity with our new controller to reimagine how the sense of touch can add to that immersion.
To that end, there are two key innovations with the PlayStation 5’s new controller. First, we’re adopting haptic feedback to replace the “rumble” technology found in controllers since the 5th generation of consoles. With haptics, you truly feel a broader range of feedback, so crashing into a wall in a race car feels much different than making a tackle on the football field. You can even get a sense for a variety of textures when running through fields of grass or plodding through mud.
The second innovation is something we call adaptive triggers, which have been incorporated into the trigger buttons (L2/R2). Developers can program the resistance of the triggers so that you feel the tactile sensation of drawing a bow and arrow or accelerating an off-road vehicle through rocky terrain. In combination with the haptics, this can produce a powerful experience that better simulates various actions. Game creators have started to receive early versions of the new controller, and we can’t wait to see where their imagination goes with these new features at their disposal.
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