Review of DualSense Edge

Review of DualSense Edge ...

The PlayStation 5's first official enthusiast-centric controller has arrived, claiming nearly unlimited customization coupled with official system support to give PlayStation gamers ultimate control over their games, and perhaps a competitive advantage. So, it's time to check whether this device is worth the high asking price.

Just a little dejá vu.

Sony has offered only one official PS5 controller until now. The original DualSense was a significant upgrade from the DualShock 4, including many new features, including adaptive triggers and haptic feedback. The DualSense Edge maintains all of this wonderful tech, while including capabilities such as remapping buttons.

The DualSense Edge is packaged in a tough plastic carrying case, so you can travel with this or a standard DualSense in tow, confident in the knowledge that it will be protected from all but the most extreme bumps and bumps.

The PS logo is displayed on two zippers, each of which has a different appearance and feel – a common theme of Sony's is to include it on a lot of different surfaces, in subtle ways that deftly avoid being too flashy or flashy while still maintaining the overall premium feel and feel of the product. Another thoughtful addition allows for the controller to be charged while still in the case.

However, we noticed that the enclosed area of the case does cause the controller to heat up a bit more than usual while charging, which might affect the battery's lifespan at this point.

The first thing you'll notice about the DualSense Edge is that it looks more or less like the original. This is by design, as it means that all components for the regular DualSense will work with the Edge, such as the official controller charging station. There's nothing to learn about the Edge in terms of playing games in the way you're used to.

Something has changed.

The overall appearance of the controller is changed. The touchpad and face buttons are now black, with small PlayStation face buttons printed on the touchpad and white lettering on the face buttons.

The lower portion of the controller is also covered by a removable black-colored plastic plate, and below that are two function buttons (more on those in a bit). The diffuse plastic that the LEDs on either side of the controller shine through has been reshaped to be a little longer, giving the light a more refined appearance.

The touchpad's player indicator LEDs have also been altered, and now have a hard edge and appear pill-shaped. The microphone mute button and LED, alongside the PS button, appear to be unchanged.

A 2.8 meter (9.1 foot)-long USB-A to USB-C charging/data cable is included with the DualSense Edge. It's a premium, braided cable that's significantly lighter in the hand than other cables of the same length. Naturally, the PS logo is embossed on the USB-C end to let you know that you've grabbed the correct cable. This controller is a must-have for gamers who wish to avoid any additional input delays.

While we're discussing connectivity, a rather unique feature of this kit is the included cable lock. It's a small cage-like mechanism that you open up and place the USB-C end of the cord inside. Closing it snaps the cord in place, and a locking slider prevents the cord from falling loose and being removed from the controller.

The PS5 console will not have to be yanked due to this, although perhaps the intention here is that smaller tugs during long gaming periods will not result in a sudden, round-losing disconnect. This is a thought provoking feature that might provide more peace of mind than anything.

There are a slew of color combinations to choose from.

The DualSense Edge has two sets of paddle triggers and three sets of joystick tops, all of which have been pre-installed, with holes labeled "LB" and "RB." The other set is a more traditional paddle shape, while the other two are small half-domes.

The reason why you would prefer one design over another seems to be the ease with which the paddle may be depressed – half-domes have a greater leverage and thus require a bit more force to actuate, so it would make sense to install these if you have a game's ultimate move mapped to a paddle, in order to avoid accidentally triggering the action while moving the controller or adjusting your grip.

The DualSense Edge includes standard joystick tops pre-installed, as well as two additional sets. These additional sets are dome-shaped and come in short and tall versions, similar to those used in previous DualShock controllers.

The standard top on the left stick and the taller dome on the right stick became comfortable quickly. This is beneficial in first-person shooters and other games where camera control is critical to victory.

Moving the controls to the backside of the controller, there are buttons for each trigger to vary their travel distance. This means you can perform faster actions because the trigger is covering less distance than usual for a full activation. However, moving these sliders to anything other than the default automatically disables the adaptive trigger mechanism for that trigger - a good feature for competitive gamers who don't want any sort of resistance to stand in their way of doing an action.

The L2 and R2 triggers have more of those adorable mini PlayStation face button icons on their bottom half, giving extra grip (in addition to the standard DualSense) that makes the controller less likely to fall from your grip.

Friendly to repair and able to operate as a result.

The most significant physical change on the DualSense Edge controller is the joystick modules themselves. When clicked, a release latch unlocks the white faceplate on the front of the unit. Once that is removed, each joystick module may be replaced or cleaned if necessary.

Sony sells replacement joystick modules for about $20 USD each. This does mean that replacing both sticks will cost you $40, which isn't much cheaper than replacing the entire controller, and user-friendly components are a top pick at this price point.

The fact that the DualSense Edge has interchangeable joystick modules does open the door to Sony making more reliable Hall effect-powered joystick modules to be swapped in (though this is just wishful thinking here). At the very least, it does mean there is no lengthy or costly repair needed to get your sticks functioning like new.

The joysticks make a slight noise when moved off the center point, indicating that they have been moved, and in most configurations input will be picked up as soon as this click point is reached.

The DualSense Edge is powered by a function button, which is at the back of these modules, and this is where everything comes together. The PS5's firmware has already received a patch to enable support for the DualSense Edge, and the integration is at the system level. From here the user can quickly switch to a custom profile, adjust various audio settings, or go into the DualSense Edge customization section.

Funky button mapping and customization

The number of things that can be changed is quite extensive: most buttons can be re-mapped, trigger and joystick deadzones can be customized (including a live demonstration of how your inputs are being interpreted with the proposed settings), joystick sensitivity curves may be precisely tuned to suit certain genres or playstyles, vibration and adaptive trigger intensity may be altered, and of course, these settings can be saved into a custom named profile.

The circle, cross, and square buttons can be assigned to one custom profile only, but the triangle is reserved for returning to the default profile. The pop-up menu would have taken up more screen space, so Sony probably chose the more concise option.

The controller sends a brief vibration and a system alert when you make a quick profile change, although this feature may be customized for those who prefer not to see or feel any sort of alert when changing profiles.

While the DualSense Edge has a lot of nice features, its predecessor was lacking in terms of battery life. Unfortunately, things here remain the same: under most circumstances, expect to see a low battery warning about an hour later.

The DualSense Edge is capable of eking out additional time by disableing adaptive triggers and haptic feedback, and perhaps even a little bit more by disableing LEDs. This isn't a dealbreaker per se, but when compared to other high-end controllers that have battery life in the hundreds of hours, it's certainly not a feature Sony will unveil anytime soon.

The final verdict in DualSense Edge is

At an MSRP of $199.99 USD, this is the type of purchase that requires investigation of what else is out there. In this price range, you might also purchase other third-party controllers, although each of these usually includes a caveat.

The PDP Victrix Pro costs a little less than the DualSense Edge at $179.99, but it doesn't have adaptive triggers or haptic feedback. The SCUF Reflex Pro does include those features, but it's also $50 more for a controller that's not directly integrated into the system and isn't as customizable in terms of functionality. So, pricing on the DualSense Edge seems reasonable.

The DualSense Edge is easily the finest gaming controller Sony has ever released. It makes up for it in performance, and it's a reminder that sometimes choosing first-party accessories is the best choice.