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Sony’s DualSense Edge offers an opulent toolbox for tweaking your PS5 controls

For decades now, a popular recurring theme in the gaming industry has been that game controllers have too many buttons. They confuse people who don’t play regularly.the thought goes They scare new players. Nintendo spent a generation testing the theory with the Wii. Apple built a phone based on similar logic.

With its new DualSense Edge controller, Sony doesn’t seem particularly concerned with any of that. Adding up things you can press, move, talk, click, swipe or swap, there are over 30 ways to interact with your device. That doesn’t include alternate states like holding down buttons or the extensive options you can tweak in the PlayStation 5’s menus.

Like the Elite series of Xbox pro controllers, Sony’s DualSense Edge was never intended to appeal to everyone. But after spending some time with it recently, it seems completely comprehensive and a great option for those willing to shell out $199.99 to optimize every aspect of their controller.

The big launch for the DualSense Edge is that it gives you a lot more control over various aspects of the standard DualSense. That includes physical changes and add-ons: grips feel rubberier and are less likely to slip out of your hands; you can swap the analog sticks to replace them; you can change the tops of the sticks to choose the length and style that you prefer; you can switch the toggle or half-dome buttons on the back of the controller for additional button inputs; you can slide a small switch to adjust the firmness of the triggers; You can hold down either of the two “function” buttons to change your controller’s settings on the fly; and you can lock a wired cable in place with a “jack housing” cap to prevent any chance of it becoming disconnected during a game.

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A screenshot of the menu shows some of the ways you can tweak the DualSense Edge controller

Image: Sony Interactive Entertainment

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It also includes extensive software menus in the PS5 interface that allow you to adjust things like analog stick sensitivity and dead zones, allowing you to control different types of stick speeds to better suit different styles of play. And those options are based on a system of custom profiles, so you can quickly jump between different play styles or between different games and have your precise settings ready to go in a second.

Everything works great. It’s fun to play around with the different settings and set up the games however you like, like making the triggers stiff for fighting games or making your turn rate faster for shooting games. It’s easy to change settings in the menus and, in some cases, on the fly while you play.

Granted, when I first started using the controller, I accidentally pressed one of the function buttons a couple of times without paying attention, and while many buttons on the controller can be disabled, those can’t. Although after getting used to the controller over the course of an hour or so, this seemed to be less of an issue.

Similar to the Xbox Elite, the price will be an issue for many. The DualSense Edge costs $200, which isn’t too far off from similar pro controllers, but still a lot considering how similar the Edge looks compared to the standard DualSense on the surface. One could argue that it feels like you’re paying more for Sony’s R&D than the specific plastic and metal that comes with the device, given that the DualSense Edge costs nearly three times what a regular DualSense costs.

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One of the questions I’ve been thinking about since playing with it is whether the DualSense Edge is a better controller for people who don’t want to customize every detail of their experience. Is it for PS5 owners who just play games to appreciate them, rather than hone their performance?

This is not a driver for everyone, even if you have the money and feel like you want “the best” of everything. There are some features that make the experience more enjoyable outside of competitive play, like using the stick-back buttons to make racing games feel more realistic, and being able to easily switch between preset profiles for different games is nice. There’s also the advantage that, in theory, the Edge should allow you to minimize the problem of analog stick drift, since you can widen the dead zone in the center of the sticks where drift occurs.

But for the most part, the appeal of the DualSense Edge isn’t that it’s a better controller, it’s that you can customize it. You can modify it so much that for some players I imagine all the options will be overwhelming. However, for those who compete at a high level, or those who like to think they do, it’s hard to imagine they wouldn’t want the toolbox Sony put together.

Sony Interactive Entertainment will release the DualSense Edge on January 26, 2023. Pre-orders are available on Sony’s PlayStation Direct website, and other major retailers will sell the new controller on February 23, 2023.

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