Sony DualSense Edge for PS5 review: more premium than pro

The event is not small. 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 is satisfied with itself create an official authentication label, but left the field to its partners such as Nacon, Razer or even Thrustmaster. Faced with the popularity of the Xbox Elite and the full range of personalized accessories offered by its direct competitor Microsoft, PlayStation seemed to have no other choice but to respond with the release of the DualSense Edge for PlayStation. 5.

Joystick itself

It’s no surprise to see a nickname as sweet as DualSense Edge taken for this controller, far from “Elite” which almost suggests combative instincts. The Edge is very clearly a DualSense, in its form as in its grip. However, we will notice a weight that is far from the slimming remedy, since we arrived at 330 grams against 282 grams for the classic model. A difference that is not so noticeable on paper, but is really felt when you are on your sofa.

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More than that? Obviously it will be necessary to find the buttons added here and there on the grip. We will start with the two function buttons, located below the two joysticks, always placed parallel to the bottom of the joystick. Each performs the same function: allowing the user to quickly switch profiles, by combining them with one of the four buttons on the front of the controller (square, king, circle, triangle), after adjustment, of course. It is also possible to adjust the volume using the directional pad.

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From there a first question was born: why does it have a key on the left and on the right? In use, by their placement, it is clear only the left hand will mainly press the function button when the right hand will take the profile. Since profile selection is not possible with the D-Pad, the button on the right seems useless for the small function it occupies. Especially since this key is not reprogrammable.

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On the back we can see the most important changes of the DualSense Edge. First of all, the activation distance of the two sticks can be changed thanks to a switch placed on their sides. Three distances are possible: the traditional course, the mid-course, and an instant activation. This feature is almost mandatory on a controller that says “professional”, as it allows players with nervous titles reduce their reaction time and fatigue by removing unnecessary effort. These settings work great.

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And then we have two small magnetic areas, where you can insert two types of accessories: long pallets, which can be oriented lengthwise or widthwise, or half domes, which will place these keys at a distance of articulation. These two new keys – whose behavior is programmable – are well positioned, and the paddles in particular offer great comfort. We are however less convinced of the half domes, which we take care of to jump more than once by taking the joystick back to the hand, and where the 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 on the front. This cover marks a big difference from the original DualSense, because its glossy rather than matte coating is a trap for fingerprints. It’s hard to explain why Sony chose to make this a throwback to the DualSense Edge, which we don’t like. Fortunately, it hides a feature that we really like: the possibility of disconnecting, through two small levers, the two joysticks from their bases. A maintenance operation, mainly, because Sony plans to market these two joysticks separately, to adjust the controller at home if necessary. The system is elegantand prevents this professional controller from being quickly abandoned by stick sanders.

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Both of these sticks can change caps to pick up, at your choice: convex domes standard DualSense features or concave domes high or low. It is more than a pity not to find higher convex domes, which are often recognized among FPS players, when the concave domes of the original DualShock are no longer appreciated by a finer cut of gamers. The rest of the buttons are unchanged from the classic DualSense, except for that the membranes of the cross/square/triangle/round buttons seem softer to us than usual. However, it is difficult to determine if this is not only due to use.

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One final element goes into this stock controller package: a braided USB cable of great length included in a plug locking system right on the handle. You can actually insert this cable into a small cheap plastic box, which then has two hooks on the back of the controller so that your connection is never interrupted by uncontrolled steps in front of you. Why not, but the fact that this little case is very fragile and that it was designed only for the official cable does not play in favor of the system, which we would have liked to have been better designed and open to other manufacturers.

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You understand it following this description: we cannot blame the DualSense Edge for a bad grip, because it is just the same as the DualSense. A joystick that already has ergonomics proven, and continues to be extremely comfortable. The DualSense Edge is a very good PS5 controller, as we’ve been working with them a lot, and offers the “professional” options we’ve come to expect from it, except for the possibility to have the sticks are asymmetrical. But at this point, we’ll forgive Sony, for not being able to part with a feature that has now become its marker of distinction.

© 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 at this time, because it’s the only pro controller on the market that lets you take advantage of the vibration enhancements offered by the brand and the variable tension of the triggers. But it is also a bit ironic, because the support for this function could allow it to offer a short activation of these popular triggers in the software, if the developers of the Japanese conglomerate want to look this.

On the other hand, its autonomy takes a bit of a hit, with 7 hours and 10 minutes of intensive use (Brightness at maximum, in a game that regularly uses vibrations) observed against an average of ten hours with DualSense. The difference is not so marked after all, and it will be fine an intensive game session for a whole day… counting some rest for your stomach and your eyes, or by examining the light and strength of the downward vibrations.

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It also has a joystick best native integration on PlayStation 5, and it is absolutely necessary to justify this purchase. As soon as you connect, the latest console from Sony offers you to view the animal settings, located in the accessory category of settings. No additional app needed on PSN, or even 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 the chick. We have access to three customizable profiles, as the fourth is reserved for the default DualSense configuration. And we were quite shocked by some shortcomings of the team responsible for the software. It is possible to fine tune the behavior of each joystick, 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 truth of reassign each key so that it can have different functionality: Triangle can become Round, two customizable keys can take on all functions of the world, and so on. It is already possible quickly switch profiles in game using the Function keys, or quickly go through the configuration tool before resuming your game. Everything is done effortlessly, and in a very natural way. We just regret that these Function keys can’t be reprogrammed, especially to give extra utility to the right key which is a bit worn out with use.

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On the other hand… It’s just possibleassign a key… to a key. Keybindings are impossible, while this feature can make all the difference for MMORPG players like Final Fantasy XIV (whose hotbar can be called by combining R2 and L2) or fighting players game like Street Fighter V (whose strongest attack should be launched with two to three fist/foot strikes). This is a serious lack of competition, which has included these features for a long time, and suggests that the DualSense Edge was built without regard for its competitors in its features. The same goes for the possibility of create macros for example, oractivate turbo mode, though these two features are often lumped together for the cheats they allow. It doesn’t matter: Sony may have developed a Competition mode that deactivates them during tournaments. He said it was 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 platforms other than PS5. The DualSense Edge is instantly recognized on the PC, and remembers its last used configuration, but a small local tool would be appreciated. Let’s at least notice thatit is compatible with Remote Play application native and official, even Fn keys are not recognized when connected to PS5 remotely; no reconfiguration is possible in this context.

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Not to mention the union minimum, Monitoring Sony’s software on this DualSense Edge shows little misses here and there which it really can’t afford to come late to this lucrative market. This is a disappointment especially since it claims a price that is higher than a lot of its competitors. The conclusion is simple: it really should be better than its rivals… and it isn’t. It certainly has potential thanks to possible software updates, but we can only judge it for what it is on the day of its release.

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