Former Xbox Director Shares His Thoughts On The PS5 Controller

Sony recently unveiled the PlayStation 5’s new DualSense controller, and it’s very striking. The controller strays from tradition with its two-toned design, while it also sports haptic feedback that Sony says will help increase immersion for next-generation titles.

A lot of people had plenty to say about the controller, and now a former director at Xbox has weighed in with his thoughts as well. Albert Penello, who led the marketing and product planning divisions at Xbox for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One generations, has commented that he generally like’s Sony’s “futuristic” design, but he has some reservations, too.

After nearly 18 years with Microsoft, Penello left the company in May 2018 to join Amazon, where he is currently working on “cool secret stuff.” Amazon is planning to go big on gaming with a new streaming service and multiple MMOs in development, including a Lord of the Rings game.

Penello went on to say he anticipates the DualSense will be “quite comfortable,” but he also remarked that he worries about the partline that runs down the grips. “If you have larger hands, this could create some discomfort in the thenar,” he said, referencing the ball of the thumb on your hand.

Penello also questioned the applicability of the built-in microphone, and he wondered if the controller will work with virtual reality and if it might be compatible with the PlayStation 4.

Penello said the Google Stadia controller is “extremely comfortable,” and that he was anticipating that Sony would move more toward that kind of design as opposed to making the DualSense more in line with the Xbox controller. Penello also said he’s intrigued to see the PS5 console design, because historically, the design of the system and the controller are aligned.

In his previous role at Xbox, Penello conducted user research tests specifically around controllers. Penello previously weighed in on the debate surrounding AA batteries versus an internal rechargeable cell, saying both sides have merit, but ultimately AA batteries offer more choice.

The DualSense uses an internal battery, while the next-gen Xbox controller sticks with AA batteries. For more on the next-generation gamepads, check out GameSpot’s PS5/Xbox Series X comparison feature.

In other news about controllers, Blizzard recently announced that World of Warcraft’s next expansion, Shadowlands, will introduce gamepad support with the Xbox Adaptive Controller.

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