First Impressions of the Sony Dualsense Controller (without a PS5)

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 4 min read
First Impressions of the Sony Dualsense Controller (without a PS5)

I was able to get my hands on one of the new PS5 controllers, the Dualsense controller, and I’ve hooked it up to my PC to play for a while. Here are my impressions.

Current Limitations

I do not have a PS5, so I’m using this with my PC to play games on Steam. There is no official driver available for this controller yet, so all you can do is pair it with your computer and manually map it’s buttons to the standard array of inputs.

This kinda sucks, so I would not recommend jumping in until those are available.

Steam lets me map my buttons, as do emulators, such as Dolphin, but my Game Pass and Epic Games Store games simply don’t know what to do with this thing. And even Steam games are not ideal, since games don’t know you’re using a PlayStation controller and don’t know to put up the names of the buttons to match PlayStation’s branding.

Basically, once there is a driver available, this will all get better and things should “just work” across the board, but that;s going to be a little bit. My fingers are crossed it happens around the same time the PS5 itself launches (November 12) but there’s no reason beyond hope to think that will definitely happen.

Also, you can pair this over Bluetooth woth Android, but iOS has no idea what it is. Since Apple supports the PS4 controller, one would expect that PS5 support is coming (hopefully sooner rather than later).

Hand Feel

“Mouth feel” may be all the rage, but hand feel is super important in a new game controller, and I’m quite happy with the Dualsense so far. It absolutely 100% feels better than the DualShock ever did. I love the Xbox One controller, the Switch Pro controller is great too, and this happily joins their ranks as perfectly delightful as well.

The buttons all feel good, and I continue to really love the D-pad PlayStation has had since the start.

I have not been able to use all the new features, namely the resistive triggers and haptic feedback features, so I’m not even getting the biggest features yet.

One ridiculous detail is in the texture on the back and sides of the controller. Instead of a random pattern for the grain, there are actually the classic PlayStation X, square, circle, and triangle icons. It doesn’t matter at all, and I would bet millions of owners will never notice this at all, but it’s still pretty cool to see.


I really didn’t like the look of this thing when I first saw it online earlier this year, but it looks spectacular in person. The black and white look great, and I never thought I’d say this, but the light bar is stunning: the way it fades in and out around the touchpad are just…it’s just great.

It would be insane if it didn’t, but it’s nice to have a controller that charges over USB-C. This of course means that I have plenty of cables already that work with it, so I didn’t need to get any new cables. It does not come with a cable, so keep that in mind.

I also like that they continue to have a standard 3.5mm headphone jack on the controller, making headphone-gaming super simple.


This is more of a tease than anything else. I don’t have a PS5 to use this thing to its full potential, so there’s tons of stuff left to be experienced. I’m looking forward to the embargo dropping on those with early PS5s to see how all of this comes together. And with luck, I’ll have a PS5 before the end of the year too, and you can be sure I’ll be sharing more about it right here.