Review: Sony’s new DualSense Edge for PS5 makes gaming’s best controller even better

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DualSense Edge

Sony today launched the new DualSense Edge, a next-generation PlayStation 5 controller that marries all of the original next-generation features with some entirely new additions. Complete with swappable joystick modules, there are also back paddles, adjustable trigger depth, and remappable button profiles to elevate the experience. Now that it is widely available, we’re taking a closer look at how the $200 gamepad stacks up.

Hands-on with Sony’s new DualSense Edge PS5 controller

At its core, the new DualSense Edge is very much just an iteration of the controller that Sony shipped with the PS5 at launch. We already wrote home about just how compelling all of the new features were on the baseline version of the gamepad, and now the company is looking to elevate that experience even further with plenty of new tricks for more dedicated gamers. We previously covered just what to expect from the controller when it was revealed, and now we’re seeing how the $199.99 accessory actually delivers.

Right out of the box, the new DualSense Edge Controller is much more premium than what you’ll find unwrapping a standard gamepad. After taking it out of the heftier cardboard packaging, there’s a white hardshell case that houses the accessory on top of some other inclusions, which we’ll circle back on in a bit.

Unzip the carrying case, and you’ll, of course, find the gamepad, which features a form factor very similar to that of the standard DualSense counterpart. So if you find the controller that shipped with your console to be comfortable, expect much of the same this time around.

That very same case also stores all of the modular accessories that come with the controller while doubling as a charger for the unit. A little Velcro pad on the back can be opened to provide direct access to the controller’s USB-C port. Then the rest of the case has room for each of the swappable joystick caps, back button paddles, and other gear.

Same form factor, all-new features

As for actually improving on the DualSense feature set, the new Edge version steps up to deliver plenty of extra functionality. These are all things that only the most dedicated of gamers are going to appreciate, which is easily reflected in the price tag. You have to be someone who wants to have every bit of chance to one-up the competition to really find the DualSense Edge to be worth the money – or at least be concerned about customizing the experience to be a bit more tailored to your own gameplay needs.

As for how Sony actually delivers that, we’ll start with the controller’s most notable inclusion. Joystick drift has been a buzzword in recent years largely just surrounding Nintendo, but it’s an issue that has affected just about every corner of the gamepad market. Odds are if your more recent controller has a typical joystick input, it will suffer from drift sooner or later. Sony is looking to put an end to this, at least in some capacity, by including swappable modules that can be installed right into the controller without having to know your way around a circuit board.

Prying open the front panel reveals a pair of levels on either side, which, when lifted, will let you eject the built-in joysticks. Each of these modules is identical and can be replaced down the line if either one fails. So instead of having to buy a new controller, you can just pick up a new part and save yourself the cost, as well as save another piece of tech from ending up in a landfill. But at just $20 each, you’ll need to replace a lot of joysticks before the DualSense Edge starts making sense from a financial standpoint.

Of course, Sony isn’t just stopping there. The new gamepad also comes outfitted with three other core pieces of functionality. Building off of the Adapter Triggers that we raved about back in our review of the original DualSense controller, the new Edge edition allows you to adjust the actual trigger depth. These little sliders on the back have three settings, allowing you to adjust just how far you have to pull the trigger before it registers. I’ve found this to easily be one of my favorite additions, offering more responsive gameplay during Overwatch 2 rounds or any other shooter, for that matter.

While we’re on the back of the gamepad, there are also some customizable paddles that let you further enhance the gameplay experience. These can be used to have faster access to certain abilities in game or just provide a more comfortable experience. Included in the box are two different pairs of paddles, which can be easily swapped out, thanks to magnetically snapping into place.

Then there are the actual features built into the software side of things. In the PlayStation menu are the abilities to go in and really configure the gamepad however you like it. While games offer their own button mapping features, the controller now can store that information, so tweaks you make can apply to every title you own instead of just one. Buttons can also be completely deactivated, which is a nice addition for those looking to make the experience a little more accessible to anyone without precise finger movements.

To help with that, Sony has also implemented custom profiles that can easily be swapped based on what game you’re playing. So if you’re just looking to enjoy a more comfortable experience while frightfully playing the Dead Space remake or want to have the most optimal setup for pwning enemies in Call of Duty, it’s easy to swap back and forth. This is done using the onboard Fn buttons located under the joysticks.

9to5Toys’ Take

At the end of the day, anyone who sees the $199.99 price tag is going to know if the controller is for them. There’s no amount of words I could write to make you actually want to shell out that kind of cash if you weren’t already debating it in your own head. I could easily sit here and type out that the Sony DualSense Edge will make you a more competitive player in your favorite FPS title or tell you that it’s unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before, but that just isn’t what Sony is going for here. It’s an iterative update that makes the best gamepad on the market a little bit better.

Don’t get me wrong – the added features are something that more hardcore gamers are going to love. But I don’t see this as being as big of a jump forward as the original DualSense controller was back when the PS5 first launched.

That being said, it’s as next-generation as we’ll likely to get for the next few years. All of the changes do go a long way at stacking up toward an entirely new experience, even if the alterations aren’t going to be musts for most gamers out there. But really, when it’s all said and done, Sony nails the feature set on the gamepad and delivers really everything I could want, especially for something that costs $200.

The original PS5 gamepad was already the best gamepad on the market, and now Sony has stepped up to deliver a controller that is even better with the new DualSense Edge.

Buy the new Sony DualSense Edge controller now

Best Buy

In the near future, I’ll also be doing a comparison with the competing Xbox Elite 2 controller to see just how it stacks up against the flagship model from across the gaming pond. But in the meantime, feel free to fire away any questions you have about the DualSense Edge experience in the comments below or over on Twitter.

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