Sony DualSense Edge review for PS5: more premium than pro

The event is not trivial. The release of the DualSense Edge marks the first time that Sony and its PlayStation division have developed an “accessory” controller themselves. Until now, the Japanese manufacturer had contented itself with create an official validation labelbut left the field to its partners like Nacon, Razer or even Thrustmaster. Faced with the popularity of the Xbox Elite and the whole range of personalized accessories offered by its direct competitor Microsoft, it seems that PlayStation had no choice but to respond with the release of the DualSense Edge for PlayStation 5.

Joystick itself

It is not shocking to see a nickname as sweet as DualSense Edge being taken up for this controller, far from the “Elite” which almost suggests belligerent instincts. The Edge is very clearly a DualSense, in its form as in its grip. We will nevertheless note a weight far from the slimming cure, since we arrive at 330 grams against 282 grams for the classic model. A difference not so noticeable on paper, but which is really felt when you are on your sofa.

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Beyond that ? It will obviously be necessary to look for the buttons added here and there to the grip. We start with the two function buttons, located below the two joysticks, always placed parallel to the bottom of the joystick. They each fulfill the same function: allowing the user to switch profiles on the fly, by combining them with one of the four buttons on the front of the controller (square, king, circle, triangle), after configuration, of course. It is also possible to adjust the volume using the directional pad.

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From there is already born a first question: why have this key as well on the left as on the right? In use, by their placement, it is obvious that only the left hand will mainly press the function button when the right hand will fetch the profile. Since selecting a profile on the D-Pad is not possible, the button placed on the right seems very futile for the little function it occupies. Especially since this key is not reprogrammable.

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It is on the back that we will find the most significant changes of the DualSense Edge. First of all, the activation distance of the two sticks can be changed thanks to a switch placed on the sides of these. Three distances are possible: the traditional course, the mid-course, and an instant activation. This feature is almost mandatory on a controller claiming to be “professional”, since it allows players of nervous titles to decrease their reaction time and fatigue by removing unnecessary effort. These settings work superbly well.

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And then we have two small magnetic areas, in which you can insert two types of accessories: long pallets, which can be oriented lengthwise or widthwise, or half domes, which will put these keys at a distance of articulation. These two new keys – whose behavior is programmable – are well positioned, and the paddles in particular offer excellent comfort. We are however less convinced by the half domes, which we tended to jump more than once by taking the joystick back in hand, and whose magnet is not strong enough to prevent them from moving from their location.

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Finally, you may notice a small zipper called “release” on the back, which will allow you to blow up the cover surrounding the joysticks at the front. This cover marks a big difference with the original DualSense, since its glossy rather than matte coating is a trap for fingerprints. It’s hard to explain why Sony chose to make this throwback to the DualSense Edge, which we don’t like in the least. Fortunately, it hides a feature that we really like: the possibility of disconnecting, by means of two small levers, the two joysticks from their bases. A maintenance operation, above all, since Sony plans to market these two joysticks separately, so as to repair the controller at home if the need arises. The system is elegantand prevents this professional controller from being abandoned too soon by stick sanders.

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These same sticks can change caps to take, at your choice: convex domes usual features of the DualSense or concave domes highs or lows. It is more than a pity here not to find higher convex domes, which are often acclaimed among FPS players, when the concave domes of the original DualShock are no longer appreciated by an ever finer slice of players. The rest of the buttons do not change from the classic DualSense, except that the membranes of the cross/square/triangle/round buttons seem a bit softer to us than usual. However, it is difficult to determine if this is not simply due to use.

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A final element slips into the already well-stocked package of this controller: a braided USB cable of great length coupled with a plug locking system right on the handle. You can indeed slip this cable into a small inexpensive plastic box, which will then slip two hooks on the back of the controller so that your connection can never be interrupted by uncontrolled steps in front of you. Why not, but the fact that this small case is itself very fragile and that it is only designed for this official cable does not play in favor of the system, which we would have liked better designed and open to other manufacturers.

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You understand it following this description: we can not blame the DualSense Edge for a bad grip, since it is simply identical to that of the DualSense. A joystick whose ergonomics has already proven, and which continues to be ultra-comfortable. The DualSense Edge is a very good PS5 controller, as we already do a lot of them, and offers the “professional” options that we expect from it, with the exception of the possibility of having the sticks asymmetrically. But on this point, we will forgive Sony, which cannot separate itself from a trait that has now become a marker of its difference.

© Lionel MORILLON / 01net.com

What about the setup?

In terms of possibilities, the DualSense Edge is again… a DualSense. In the best sense of the term this time, since it is the only pro controller on the market that allows you to take advantage of the vibration improvements offered by the brand and the variable tension of the triggers. But it is also somewhat ironic, because the support for this function could allow it to offer the short activation of these famous triggers in software, if the developers of the Japanese conglomerate wanted to look into it.

On the other hand, its autonomy takes a little hit, with 7 hours and 10 minutes of intensive use (brightness at maximum, on a game regularly using vibrations) observed against an average of ten hours with the DualSense. The difference is not so marked despite everything, and it will hold well an intensive game session over a whole day… counting a few breaks for your belly and your eyes, or by reviewing the brightness and the power of the vibrations downwards.

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It is also the joystick having best native integration with PlayStation 5, and it was absolutely necessary to justify this purchase. As soon as you connect, Sony’s latest console offers you to take a look at the settings of the beast, which are found in the accessory category of the settings. No additional app needed on the PSN, or even to make its settings on PC / mobile before connecting it to a console, as is often the case with its competitors.

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The settings are more than chick. We have access to three customizable profiles, since the fourth is reserved for the default configuration of the DualSense. And we are somewhat stunned by some shortcomings of the team responsible for the software. It is possible to fine tune the behavior of each joystick, so as to reduce or slow down the movement of the cursor on the screen for example, and this interface is clear and concise. The same goes for the fact of reassign each key so that it takes on a different functionality: Triangle can become Round, the two customizable keys can take on all the functions of the world, and so on. It is possible to switch profiles on the fly in game using the Function keys, or quickly go through the configuration tool before resuming your game. Everything is done really effortlessly, and in a very natural way. We only regret not being able to reprogram these Function keys, in particular to give more utility to the right key which is a bit damaged in use.

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On the other hand… It is only possible toassign a single key… to a key. Keybindings are impossible, while this feature could have made all the difference for players of MMORPGs like Final Fantasy XIV (whose hotbar can be called by combining R2 and L2) or players of fighting games like Street Fighter V (whose most powerful attacks must be launched using two to three fist/foot touches). It is a serious lack of competition, which has been integrating these features for a long time, and which suggests that the DualSense Edge was developed without consideration for its competitors on its features. The same goes for the possibility of create macros for example, oractivate a turbo mode, even if these two features are often singled out for the cheats they allow. Never mind: Sony could very well have developed a Competition mode that deactivates them during tournaments. It’s supposed to be his advantage to master the platform from start to finish.

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Another disappointment: it is not really possible to adjust the controller on other platforms than the PS5. The DualSense Edge is well recognized immediately on PC, and remembers its last used configuration, but a small local tool would have been appreciated. We note at least thatit is compatible with the Remote Play application native and official, even if the Fn keys are not recognized when connected to the PS5 remotely; no reconfiguration possible in this context either.

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Not to mention union minimum, Sony’s software tracking on this DualSense Edge shows small misses here and there that it cannot really afford by arriving very late on this now lucrative market. It is a disappointment all the greater as it claims a price well above the lot of its competitors. The conclusion is simple: it absolutely has to be better than its rivals… and is not. It certainly has the potential thanks to possible software updates, but we can only judge it for what it brings on the day of its release.

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