PS5 owners can finally get their hands on the official Pro controller. But its ultra-high price point relegates it to an ultra-niche product without justifying its ergonomic advantages.
What stung Sony in early 2023? While the €600 PlayStation VR2 is about to launch, the Japanese firm is adding another ultra-expensive product to the PS5 lineup: a deluxe controller dubbed the DualSense Edge. For €240, it adds a lot of features to the DualSense (an already excellent base) and a hint of quality workmanship to boot. 240 euros is not a bad amount: for the same price, you can buy almost four regular DualSenses.
Of course, the high-end controller segment has been around for a few years now, and the company is actually late. Microsoft has been offering its Xbox Elite Series 2 tablet for two generations now, and manufacturers like Scuf also sell licensed products suitable for more demanding people. Sony had to start by inflating its accessory offering (it also designs devices for people with disabilities).
Such a price for a controller can be justified under certain conditions: exemplary durability, multi-generational compatibility (understand: DualSense will also be a controller for a possible PlayStation 6) and really advanced features. After a few days with the DualSense Edge in our hands, we have to admit that we are… quite annoyed when it comes to reaching a final verdict.
Sony’s DualSense Edge for PS5 // Thomas Ansel for Numerama
DualSense Edge vs DualSense
difference 55 grams
The DualSense Edge weighs 335 grams compared to the DualSense’s 280 grams. This gap is felt, but is not a disadvantage of the grip (more weight allows you to better feel the object).
The benefit of waiting is that you can copy what works so well for others. Thus, DualSense Edge takes some good arguments from the Xbox Elite Series 2 – one of the benchmarks of the so-called Pro controllers. In this case, the accessory designed for PS5 offers various ways to personalize the gaming experience from a hardware point of view.
Thus we find:
- Possibility to change the shape of the rods, hollow as standard, but which can be chosen curved (with two heights as a bonus). For now, we’d still appreciate that Sony also copied Microsoft’s magnet system to make modifications easier. Instead, you must pull hard to change them.
Three DualSense Edge joysticks // Thomas Ansel for Numerama
- Two arms on the back that can be programmed in a dedicated app (compared to four on the Xbox Elite Series 2). Here again we have a choice of shape, between a simple keel almost glued to the back of the hull, or a much more imposing semi-circle.
One of the quick access options on the back // Thomas Ansel for Numerama.
- Possibility to modify the course of triggers, with three stages in the program. Here the goal is, for example, to reduce the travel as much as possible to turn the trigger into a button (which can save a few precious milliseconds).
You can adjust the stroke of the trigger // Thomas Ansel for Numerama
DualSense does not have any of these features. It also doesn’t come with the protective shell that bundles all the DualSense Edge accessories. In terms of finishes, the difference could be more significant given the difference in price. At €170 more, the DualSense Edge only gets a hint of more grip (specifically a trigger to hang your index finger on or even a touchpad so little used) and the sports buttons are a bit firmer (to see how they evolve over time) . It looks more durable (but not four times stronger), except for that glossy front panel – clearly not an aesthetic choice in the long run.
Looks more durable
Said front surface contains, through non-obvious manipulation, two stick modules that can be completely replaced. Hidden behind this unprecedented specificity is an admission of weakness: Sony can’t ignore the drift phenomenon, which is very common at Joy-Con for Nintendo Switch, but which spares no competitor. The solution offered by the multinational is to replace everything at a lower price instead of buying everything back. The idea is commendable, but the commercial policy remains in question, especially at 25 euros per module. In addition, Sony engineers could develop sticks that can last a very long time so that this never becomes a problem.
Stick module DualSense Edge (25 euros) // Maxime Claudel for Numerama
Well made app
The first time you connect your DualSense Edge to your PS5, you’ll be taken straight to settings. Here you can expand the customization options even further, with many options for remapping keys, assigning keyboard shortcuts, or even tweaking the sensitivity of the sticks. The app is pretty well made and, since it’s integrated into the PlayStation ecosystem, avoids the need for a PC.
You can create dozens and dozens of different profiles (one per game, for example), and install four at the same time in the controller. Then just press and hold one of the FN buttons (located under the sticks) and then the appropriate key to select a profile. It’s simple and, above all, very fast.
PS5 DualSense Edge controller software setup // PS5 screenshot
The DualSense Edge, while intended for those who want the best performance, can make life easier in some cases. For example, we would appreciate assigning L3 and R3 to two keyboard shortcuts on the back so that you no longer have to press the sticks (which will extend their lifespan). It’s just a tiny detail, but the ergonomic advantage cannot be denied. In a title like Elden Ring, some remove the directional cross buttons to avoid too much thumb gymnastics when you need to select an object in the heat of the moment.
Create a profile
Please note that the DualSense Edge is just as good as the regular DualSense in terms of technology (haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, speaker, microphone, gyroscope). On the other hand, its autonomy is lower. We struggled to exceed six hours on a single charge during our sessions (a length that depends on how games use the technology), while we can expect ten hours on the DualSense. This is a regression, as the DualShock 4 for PlayStation 4 lived up to those standards. First of all, this is a real downside compared to the Elite Series 2, which can last over 35/40 hours without batting an eyelid. In DualSense Edge’s defense, we note that the target audience will be more inclined to leave it connected for performance reasons. Thus, Sony offers an accessory to prevent the almost three-meter cable from being untied.
PS5 DualSense Edge controller software setup // PS5 screenshot
Is the DualSense Edge right for you?
The answer to that question is probably no, for at least 95% (maybe 99%) of PlayStation 5 owners performance in competitive play. If you don’t fall into that category, then the excellent DualSense will do the trick, and for the price of just one DualSense, you’ll have enough to buy several to last the life of the PS5. Sony might have invested a little less in their Pro controller to make it a little more affordable. As it is, it’s really overpriced for what it is.
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