Sony just unveiled the first piece of news about the Playstation 5 yesterday. The controller, the DualSense, replaces the long-running DualShock brand for Sony. This was a shock for some people. They felt like the Playstation 4 controller was almost or basically perfect. The DualSense isn’t too large of a departure from that previous branding of controller though. It still has the same face buttons, the same d-pad shape, and the same placement of the analog sticks. Most of the contention between Xbox, Nintendo, and Sony “die-hards”, I’ll call most of them dummies for the sake of this article, is that placement of sticks. But first, a quick aside.
It’s Not The 1990’s Anymore
No one cares what console you have. It isn’t the era of “Genesis Does What Nintendon’t!” or Blast Processing. Sure, the Xbox Series X is looking to be the more powerful console, but that doesn’t make the Playstation 5 or the Switch any worse. If you have the Playstation and I have the Xbox, great, I hope there’s some cross-play games. The only thing that differs majorly between the consoles nowadays is power of the machine itself, and the game library.
For some people owning all three major companies consoles is a financial limitation. In that case, yes, do your due diligence before buying. Research what you want out of the console and all that. But for a lot of other people, they’ll just own two or all three of them eventually. So coming online and touting how “pLAyStaTioN is TRasH” doesn’t help anyone, and just makes you look like a jackass. Video games are for everyone to enjoy.
Back To The DualSense Comparison
Now one of the biggest complaints I’ve read and heard is about the two-tone scheme of the DualSense. One, they’re controllers, you don’t think that Sony is going to make this in a billion different colors? Two, the color of the controller is nice, but what’re you looking at the most while you’re playing? Not the controller, the game. Now until I can actually get the controller in my hands, I’m going to assume it’s similar to the grip, size, and feel of the Playstation 4 DualShock. That controller was a vast improvement on the Playstation 3’s DualShock, in every single way. The controller was slightly bigger, had a touchpad (that I didn’t really use for anything but navigating menus), and it just felt better built.
The one area that Sony could improve upon the Playstation 4 DualShock is in the triggers. The triggers are an improvement on the previous L2/R2 buttons. I think that if they’re more similar to actual triggers or the Xbox controller’s triggers, that would go a long way in improving this design. Once again, until we have it in our hands, or see someone with pedigree talk about the controller in their hands, we’re all guessing.
It’s a slight tweak to the light on the controller that makes me excited about this one though. This is nitpicking to the MAXIMUM, but the light on the PS4 controller was too bright. It’s a cool idea to differentiate between who is player one or two or to have a customized color that you want, but when it’s idle and you’re sitting in your room in the dark watching something, it’s way too bright. This is a small tweak that I feel goes a long way.
Now What About Xbox Series X?
I’ve long been a supporter of the Xbox controller. The Xbox 360 controller was a breath of fresh air when it came to design. It was form fitting, it introduced the RB/LB bumper buttons, and had triggers. The D-pad was atrocious and used AA batteries like a monster, but it was a step in the right direction for gaming. Like the PS4 DualShock, the Xbox One controller was bigger, and an improvement on an already great model. The absolute pinnacle of this would be the Xbox One Elite controller. Now you might not like doo-dads and sticks coming out the back of your controller, but for me, it was about the weight of the controller in my hands. The Elite controller has more weight to it than any other controller this side of the NES Advantage.
It probably won’t be as hefty as the Elite controller, but the Xbox Series X controller looks almost identical to the Xbox One controller at first glance. With these new style controllers it’s about the details though. The bumpers and triggers are rounded off to better fit a wider range of hand sizes. You can read all about the various details of the Series X controller right here. The biggest improvement that I can see off the bat is the D-pad. It looks similar to the Elite Controller. I hope that it can be more functional than previous Xbox D-pads. Although if you’re playing a fighting game competitively, you’ll want a fight-stick anyway.
What Separates One From Another In The Battle Between Series X and DualSense?
To me this is between form and batteries. There are lots of memes going around on various video game pages and forums that Xbox controllers need AA batteries still. While I can say, yes, that’s a pain in the ass to have batteries around. You can also invest in a nice rechargeable battery pack for your Xbox controllers and that issue is solved. The Playstation controllers have used internal rechargeable batteries since the PS3 DualShock. It might not be completely true, but from an anecdotal standpoint, my Xbox One controller consistently has better battery life than the Playstation 4 DualShock.
So who really knows, I’m sure someone out there can test this for sure. My biggest choice is that I like the placement of the analog sticks on Xbox controllers more than Playstation controllers. The offset analog sticks on the Xbox One controller make it the most comfortable to use for any type of games. Playstation might have better exclusive games, which means to play all the best ones, you need both consoles. I find myself getting the third party games released on both consoles, mostly on Xbox though.
It comes down to your personal preference though. I don’t fault anyone for buying one console over the other. When it comes down to it, I’ll most likely be buying both consoles down the line. I went with the Playstation 4 first last generation. I’ll be getting the Series X unless Sony blows me away with their reveal of what the PS5 actually looks like. Which could be in jeopardy, by the way, you can read about that below. It’s a long way to November, though. What do you think about these controllers? Which console are you getting? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook.
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