Games: Sony's new controller on the Edge of glory

Neil McGreevy

Neil McGreevy

Neil, a contributor to The Irish News, is a gaming guru.

Sony's new next-gen controller the DualSense Edge was launched this week
Sony's new next-gen controller the DualSense Edge was launched this week

WHEN the PS5 launched back in 2020, Sony perfected the humble control pad with a mechanical marvel that rumbled, resisted and gave feedback to your meathooks.

Going one better, yesterday saw the release of the DualSense Edge – PlayStation's high-end bid for the competitive gaming market that presses all the right buttons for control freaks. But while it's easy on the fingers, it's brutal on the pocket.

From the Resident Evil 4 Chainsaw and Dreamcast Fishing Rod to Nintendo's Donkey Konga Bongos, game controllers are arguably more exciting than the boring grey blocks they command. Once tethered by an umbilical to their console, Atari first toyed with wireless back in 1982, right before the games industry collapsed and videogames became a dirty word.

It wasn't until the PS3 and Xbox 360 generation that wireless become standard. Two generations on, and pads may be packed with motion controls, speakers and haptics, but serious gamers want a little more oomph.

The Xbox Elite catered to players capable of split-second reactions, with extra buttons mapped onto the rear and fully customisable layouts. Sony's DualSense Edge is pretty much the same deal – though hopefully it won't fall apart quite so much as the maligned Microsoft offering.

Whilst the same size and shape as an OG controller, the Edge feels every inch a premium product, with black buttons giving it a sober, no-messing look for those after some serious fun. Coming in a fancy hardshell case along with interchangeable components, you can now rip the caps off your joysticks to swap in old-school domes or even add metal triggers to its backside for flappy-paddle options.

Adjustable triggers, the ability to re-map almost every button and adjust joystick sensitivity along with dedicated function keys to hot-switch profiles make this the Swiss army knife of controllers. But, in the era of stick drift, which has plagued every console on the market, the Edge's best feature is the ability to install a new joystick in 30 seconds flat, with replacements available for just £20.

Of course, all these features mean the battery takes a hit, and the Edge's reduced stamina makes the original DualSense look like the Duracell Bunny – perhaps one reason it comes with nearly three metres of charging cable, along with a nifty lock that keeps it securely in place.

Like a director's cut of the original, Sony's first professional-grade controller groans with extras and feels reassuringly expensive – which, of course, it is. Brace yourself: this puppy will set players back £210. You can pick up a Nintendo Switch for less.

Whether Sony's premium pad is worth the price tag remains to be seen, but competitive gaming types will rejoice at an official pro choice. Like Brexit, the Edge is all about taking back control at any cost – except it actually lives up to the hype.