With the Dual Sense Edge, Sony has launched a premium controller for its Playstation 5. Here you can find out what makes it so special – and why it can definitely be worth its enormously high price.
After work, a quick trip out of everyday life, beat up a few monsters, live out the dream of your own gangster empire or experience a captivating story: for many gamers, gaming is a relaxing escape from everyday life. But there are others. Those who are always looking for a new challenge. Always wanting to get a little better and faster at their games. And appreciate even the smallest improvement.
Sony has now released its own controller for this type of gamer. At 240 euros, the Dual Sense Edge costs more than half as much as Sony charges for the cheapest Playstation 5. And more than three times as much as an ordinary controller for the console. In the test we reveal why this is so. And for whom the controller is worthwhile.
A controller for professionals
The fact that you are not dealing with an ordinary controller is obvious the first time you unpack it. The packaging does not contain the Dual Sense Edge. But a chic white case. Only when you open the zipper does the controller appear. And loads of extra knobs, washers and attachments.
This is the special feature of the noble control device: Although the conventional Dual Sense is a very successful controller – in the test of the Playstation 5 it even turned out to be the real star of the console (find out more here). Nevertheless, it is rod goods. Every Dual Sense has the same technical structure. The Edge model, on the other hand, is the tuning controller: it can be adapted by the players to their own needs in numerous ways.
Sony has installed numerous options for this. The most obvious is on the back. A small switch can be used to set in three stages how deeply you can press the shoulder buttons R2 and L2. And even for both buttons independently. This offers an advantage in shooters, for example: if you have to press the trigger several times, the shorter path of the button saves crucial milliseconds. This can bring victory in fast multiplayer duels.
However, it also has a small downside in the shortest setting: the Dual Sense’s shoulder buttons can usually counterbalance with a small motor when the player presses. These adaptive triggers allow game developers to distinguish between a half press and a full press in games like Returnal. And then to assign different actions like fire modes to these. The option is eliminated with the shortest button path. However, the middle setting can also be used as a compromise and both advantages can be combined.
Unfortunately, the failure of the double occupancy cannot be compensated for by one of the other adjustment options. There are two holes on the back of the controller into which two pedals can be inserted as additional buttons. Depending on your preference, they can be attached shorter or a little further away from the handle of the controller. In the test, they were easy to use with the middle or ring finger in both variants.
The buttons can then be assigned a command as desired by the players. For example, the button in the analog sticks, which is a little more difficult to press, can be moved downwards. If you don’t want to have to take your thumb off the right stick as often, you simply cover two of the side buttons next to them with the additional buttons.
Too bad: Half-pressing the adaptive back keys cannot be switched separately to the additional keys. Sony missed an opportunity here.
Full control from the factory
Another special feature of the Dual Sense Edge is that there is basically a great deal of freedom when it comes to assignment. Because the controller comes directly from Sony, it can be extensively reconfigured in the control panel. After the first connection, a tutorial guides you through the initial setup.
The possibilities for fine tuning are impressive. In order to be able to look around faster in shooters, for example, the analog sticks should be highly sensitive. But if you want to aim in detail, they often react too quickly. In the menu for the edge controller, the sensitivity can therefore be adjusted in several ways and react more violently or more cautiously to movements. Key assignments can also be swapped around freely. Unfortunately with the mentioned exception with the adaptive back keys.
Once you’ve found your dream configuration for a game, you don’t have to commit to it for other games: the settings can be saved in different profiles – and you can change them in the middle of the game. In addition, the Dual Sense Edge has two additional buttons on the side facing the player. If you tap one of the buttons placed directly under the analog sticks, you can activate one of the preset profiles with the side buttons. This makes it possible, for example, in games like “Far Cry 6” to use a different key assignment for using vehicles than for shooting on foot. Of course, you always have to think about the switch yourself.
However, switching to the new controller is less difficult than you might think. Anyone who, like me, has been used to the classic Sony controller for years will initially find the use of the additional buttons rather strange. But that’s over quickly. On the first evening, I had to remind myself several times that I now have more buttons to press. And regularly forgot them in the heat of the moment. That’s why it makes sense to place frequently used functions there. As soon as I put the rifle scope there, it took me a few minutes to realize that I had been using the additional buttons the whole time. They already felt perfectly normal. The next question now is how I am going to manage without them after the changeover.
Given the target group, the fact that there is a short training period is perfectly fine: After all, the controller is primarily aimed at users who want to get the most out of their game anyway. And accordingly often consciously adjust their playing style.
Sony is late
However, the idea of bringing out a controller for the professionals did not come from Sony. Competitor Microsoft has been offering its so-called elite controller for several years. There are already similar offers for the Playstation, the manufacturer Scuf is particularly popular. Both are priced at a similar level as the Dual Sense Edge.
Sony’s adaptability is sometimes even greater than that of its competitors. And not just thanks to the expanded options through direct integration into the operating system. Scuf controllers always replace the adaptive shoulder buttons with fast-reacting triggers – and thus forego the option offered by the Edge to use the double assignments of the original. An advantage of Microsoft’s elite controller: The control pad can also be exchanged for a different form factor.
With the Dual Sense Edge, this is only possible with the sticks. But not only the attachments can be exchanged. A plate around the sticks can be removed with a latch on the lower side – which, however, is surprisingly fiddly to use. Then you can remove the complete control unit, including the motors underneath. This makes the controllers very durable: If one of the sticks is defective, you can simply replace it.
Unfortunately, Sony’s new controller isn’t an improvement in every way. The right side keys are unusually flimsy compared to the standard model and have a noticeably lower resistance. This is not a bad thing in principle and has no noticeable disadvantage in the game. Ironically, the more expensive controller feels less valuable at this point.
The Edge cannot hold a candle to the normal model in terms of battery performance either. After just a few hours of use, the warning message appears that the juice will soon run out. This is particularly irritating because the controller is noticeably heavier in the hand. And one would therefore rather expect a grown battery. Sony’s solution: the included cable. Not only is it made to a very high standard, it is also unusually long at 3 meters. And should therefore often reach as far as the couch.
Conclusion: A great controller – with a very small target group
Sony hit the mark with its first professional controller. The Dual Sense Edge feels great in the hand and offers numerous useful and well-implemented options for optimizing it to suit your own needs. Above all, the good adjustment software directly in the system, the quick change between the profiles and the option to choose between adaptive and fast triggers set the Dual Sense Edge apart from its competitors.
Weaknesses are the mediocre battery life and the strangely flimsy side buttons. Both are not a deal breaker, but Sony should definitely fix them in a sequel.
The biggest drawback for most players is probably the price anyway. Almost 240 euros is not an extraordinarily high price compared to the competitors for what is on offer. If you are actually satisfied with the normal controller, the surcharge simply cannot be justified. For the target group, however, it is one of the best controllers on the market.
The Dual Sense Edge will be available from January 24th and will cost 239 euros.
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