Earlier today PlayStation revealed two striking new colors for the DualSense wireless controller: Cosmic Red and Midnight Black, both available starting in June. This update was paired with an insightful Returnal deep dive that highlighted Housemarque’s amazing implementation of the DualSense controller’s many features.
To round out today’s news, they’ve also gathered a few updates from upcoming games that take advantage of adaptive triggers, haptic feedback, and more.
If you’ve played titles like Returnal and Astro’s Playroom, you know how integral the DualSense controller can be to the full experience. PlayStation creators are excited to see (and feel!) how developers use the controller to further pull players into the game.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
Insomniac Games: The fidelity of the controller’s haptics allows us to give so many things in the world a distinct feel and the range allows us to support bombastic responses like explosions all the way down to footsteps without the sensation getting old. Although firing weapons and striking different surfaces with your wrench were no-brainers for haptics, also use many more subtle cues that make the haptic canvas feel full.
Subnautica: Below Zero
Unknown Worlds: When first held a DualSense controller in our hands, the developers knew they had to take advantage of its awesome features in Subnautica.
When players use the new Metal Detector tool and select a target resource, also use rumble and vibration to help players actually feel where their target is through the controller. Varying levels and speeds of vibration rumble in the correct direction of the resource helps let players know if things are on their left, to their right, or right in front of them, simply by holding their controller.
Tango Gameworks: The opportunities that DualSense controller technology presents for Ghostwire: Tokyo couldn’t excite us more. The combination of haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, and built-in audio lets players further immerse themselves in the supernatural world of the game.
With haptic feedback, players attune themselves to their surroundings, aided by otherworldly voices emanating from the controller’s speakers. This lets you use your “sixth sense,” perceiving things normal humans cannot and using that insight to help solve the many mysteries enveloping the city of Tokyo.
In combat, players weave elemental powers with their hands to take on malicious spirits, and the DualSense controller’s adaptive triggers bring these powers to life by offering each their own distinct, tangible feeling. Even with your eyes closed, you can tell the difference between wielding snappy, precise bursts of wind, the destructive rush of water; and the raw devastation of fire.
Life is Strange: True Colors
Deck Nine: At its core, Life is Strange: True Colors is about connecting with people through Alex Chen’s psychic power of Empathy. Alex’s supernatural ability allows her to view and experience the strong emotions of others through their brightly colored auras – and so the burning red of Anger, sharp purple of Fear, the deep blue of Sadness, and shining gold of Joy will all blaze into life through the new light bar as you connect with each of them.
As you explore the streets and spaces of Haven Springs, reaching out with Alex’s growing power using the left trigger, you’ll find the trigger feedback strength ramps up as the power builds in intensity, haptically hinting at the volatile, supernatural sense that’s just barely under Alex’s control. Even as Alex becomes more confident in her power across the arc of the game, it’s never something she taps into lightly.
Bandai Namco: In Scarlet Nexus, players will wield psychokinetic abilities to lift and hurl objects at enemies. The DualSense controller is a great match for this power, as both the haptics and adaptive triggers enhance the sensation of smashing pieces of the environment into foes.
When you lift and toss objects, you will feel the flow of the hero’s power, no matter if it’s from left to right or front to back. When the object moves from left to right on-screen, the sensation is achieved by having the left motor vibrate then move along to the right motor.
Moreover, adaptive triggers provide players with a more realistic game experience. Just like you sense weight and resistance while picking up objects in real life, you’ll feel like you’re lifting an in-game object with your own strength.
Mobile Suit Gundam Battle Operation 2
Bandai Namco: The PS5 version of GBO2 utilizes the DualSense controller to better imitate the feeling of firing various weapons, from resistance when pulling the trigger to feedback that indicates your projectile hit its target.
When using L2 or R2 for the attack, pilots will notice a resistance to simulate the pulling of an actual trigger. For example, with the bazooka the resistance will cause the trigger to catch at the input position just before the bullet is fired, and as you continue to pull the trigger, the bullet will fire and release the tension. Also they have also created a stronger rumble at the time of discharge, and a longer trail (the rumbling will last longer) to recreate the discharge of a larger caliber bullet.
The creaters also made modifications to the vibration patterns of different weapons – you’ll have a unique sensation whether you are using a machine gun or beam rifle. For melee attacks, they’ve recreated the effect of your hands feeling tingly after you hit something. When your attack lands on an opponent, the effect is meant to feel like you’ve dealt a heavy blow to them.
Kena: Bridge of Spirits
Ember Lab: Development with the DualSense controller has allowed us to add a deeper level of immersion to the experience in Kena. As a Spirit Guide, Kena can transform her staff into a bow and this mechanic takes full advantage of the DualSense adaptive triggers. When Kena draws her bow, players can feel the resistance in the triggers as the wood bends and strains under pressure. In combination with the haptic feedback, the player has the sensation of drawing a bow.
Housemarque: The immediate new potential DualSense brought to the table is the ability to fully convince and immerse with haptic feedback detail that simply was not possible before. They can now provide subtle details that cross the threshold for what the hands and brain believe to be real and truly bring the player’s consciousness into the world on screen.
As an example, the rain in Returnal is complemented by subtle raindrop haptic pulses, that are procedurally synthesized at runtime, which allowed us to refine and tweak the feel of them on the fly whilst playing in-game. The end result of that approach is that along with the visuals and audio, the haptic sensations produced by the DualSense controller give your subconscious brain yet another indication that it really is in the world of Atropos, standing in the rain.