How Deathloop, Gran Turismo 7, Spider-Man: Miles Morales Will Use PS5 Controller’s Fancy Features

How Deathloop, Gran Turismo 7, Spider-Man: Miles Morales Will Use PS5 Controller’s Fancy Features
Photo: Sony

At first glance, the PlayStation 5 DualSense controller doesn’t look like a huge level-up over its predecessor, the DualShock 4. The shape is similar, the layout is near-identical, and the iconic button quadfecta (Square, Triangle, Circle, X) sure hasn’t gone anywhere. But there are a few subtle improvements. One Sony has trumpeted in recent months is the upgraded haptic feedback, and how it pertains to the new “adaptive” triggers.

In a post today on the PlayStation blog, developers of PS5 games shared some thoughts on how haptic feedback works in the DualSense. The coolest nugget of info comes courtesy of Arkane Studios’ Dinga Bakaba, game director for the upcoming first-person assassination game, Deathloop. Apparently, when your gun jams, the DualSense’s triggers will too. This “[gives] to the player an immediate feedback even before the animation plays out, which prompts the player in a physical way that they have to unjam their gun,” Bakaba said.

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We can talk all we want about teraflops and processing power and high-fidelity graphics and other blatantly obvious technological advancements the next generation of consoles will bring. (Indeed, we at Kotaku have. A lot.) But I’d argue that subtle tweaks like this are just as big a deal. Sure, having your triggers jam up in the middle of a match sounds like the type of frustration that makes you want to pull your hair out. It also sounds, to toss out an overused buzzword, immersive as heck. Those who like Arkane’s particular flavour of immersive sim (Dishonored, 2017’s Prey) will likely get a kick out of it.

The blog also goes into other uses of the DualSense haptics. For instance, according to creative director Brian Horton, Spider-Man: Miles Morales will apparently feature a sort of rolling vibration. If you use a special move — say, Miles’ “Venom Punch” — you’ll feel the vibration start on the left-hand grip and move rightward across the controller, ending as you wrap up the attack. It’s a far cry from the typical, unlocalized rumble you’d feel while punching, or getting punched, in 2018’s Spider-Man.

Gran Turismo 7 will use the DualSense triggers’ haptics to mimic the feeling of a real vehicle’s anti-lock braking system. Sounds interesting to me, but maybe someone who better knows how cars work — someone who didn’t get in a minor collision just last week — would be better suited to explain it.

The DualSense will also help the weapons in next year’s Horizon Forbidden West “feel even more unique and satisfying to use,” said Mathis de Jonge, game director at Guerilla Games. He did not elaborate.


  • This sounds super cool. “Immersive as heck” sounds pretty right! I’m so intrigued and excited by its use in GT.

    Ari – I wasn’t sure if the request to explain anti-lock braking was genuine or noT but just in case it was and others are interested also, this too sounds like a great implementation of haptic feedback.

    In cars with anti-lock braking (ABS), when you smash your foot down on the brake so hard it would lock the wheels up, ABS kicks in to prevent that happening. But they way ABS works in practice in a car is by effectively turning the brake on-and-off-and-on-again over and over many times per second. This is what prevents the wheel locking up; it effectively deactivates the brake for a fraction of a second to allow rotation to continue. This feels REALLY weird under Your foot that is on the brake pedal and you also get a very distinctive sound. The feel is a bit like a very gentle jackhammer, tapping the bottom of your foot hard enough to feel, really, really fast, and it’s accompanied by a very rapid rat-a-tat-tat as the brake is on, off, on, off, on, off.

    One of the things I find hard with driving games is that lack of feedback through your ‘feet’, whether your actual feet on pedals on your fingers in the triggers. This sounds like it’s going to be an awesome way to provide some more of that feedback which won’t only increase immersion, But also make the car easier to drive in the game.

    Bring it on!

  • Locking up triggers and such seems genuinely interesting for the feedback it provides. Also seems like the sort of features future VR controllers could do with utilising for added haptics.

    However, it also very much seems like adding a point of failure to hardware, when you decide to lock the triggers and people keep mashing it before realising. Guess we’ll see.

  • As with Kasterix, i wonder how the hardware will hold up? Presumably resistance is generated by some type of small servo? Things that move under resistance tend to break pretty quickly.

    This will be awesome for breaking and accelerating in racing games.

    • I imagine it’s gonna be similar to previous generations where the initial run of controllers reveal the flaws and the later versions fix them and come out sturdier.
      They also have a few versions of Xbox Elite Controllers to look at in terms of tech.

      I just hope they don’t revert to those stupid rubber sheaths they did on the first run of PS4 controllers, that was one of the worst design decisions that I absolutely never want to see again.

  • I always find the most exciting part of a generation leap is the new controller. I still remember the first time I took the SNES controller out of the box. Damn that was awesome!

    Better graphics are great and all, but give me something new and different and I’m in!

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