It took a while, but Sony has finally hopped on the “pro” controller bandwagon. The DualSense Edge wireless controller is Sony’s long-awaited answer to hardware coming from the likes of SCUF and, more directly, Microsoft’s Xbox Elite Wireless Controller.
The company did try out some gimmicky back-button attachment for the PS4 DualShock Controller rather late into its life cycle, but it didn’t really answer the needs of controller enthusiasts who wanted more out of their hardware.
The DualSense Edge wireless controller is finally here, and it retails for PHP 12,490 ($199.99) in the Philippines. Can a customizable controller built specifically for the PS5 give enough back to the players to offset the premium price?
Table of Contents
DualSense Edge Review – What’s in the box?
For its price, you better expect all the bells and whistles that come along with a controller that’s almost half the price of an actual PS5. Thankfully, the DualSense Edge offers a number of attachments and parts that are packed in a premium carrying case.
Here’s what you get with your DualSense Edge:
- DualSense Edge wireless controller
- USB braided cable
- 2 Standard Caps / 2 High Dome Caps / 2 Low Dome Caps
- 2 Half Dome Back Buttons / 2 Lever Back Buttons
- Connector Housing
- Carrying Case
You’ll be getting a full suite of accessories to go along with your new controller, although, when compared to its Xbox counterpart, you’ll immediately notice the lack of another set of back buttons (the Edge only has 2 back buttons) and a D-pad replacement piece.
The braided USB charging cable feels really sturdy, the connector housing will keep the charging cable secure at all times (I hardly ever use this because I don’t see a point for it in how I play, and you probably won’t either), and the inclusion of dome analog caps is very much welcome. The dome analog caps, when plugged in, change the height of the sticks by a bit, so you’ll need to try them out to see which ones you prefer.
That said, the accessories feel really premium, all the way up to the carrying case, which is surprisingly made out of hard plastic and not just any run-of-the-mill cloth cover, and there’s even an opening that will allow you to store the controller while charging it. The aesthetic looks very much in line with the PS5, from the white and black color scheme to the sleek curves.
DualSense Edge Review – What’s the difference?
The DualSense Edge has a number of differences compared to its more basic little brother, not just with its functions but also in looks.
The Edge has a shinier piano black plate along with a black touchpad that has the iconic PlayStation symbols etched on it. You’ll also immediately notice the black D-pad and face buttons that really give it a nice contrast compared to the white ones of the basic controller.
Over at the back, you’ll notice the trigger switches that can adjust the travel distance of your presses, along with two slots for the back button attachments. The inner grip of the Edge is also made of rubber and not plastic, which isn’t even that grippy at all, to be quite honest. I would have also loved it if the rubber grip extended all the way to the back and not just on the inner grip, similar to the Xbox Elite Controller.
Another difference is the addition of two function buttons at the bottom part of the controller, which can be used to switch profiles among other things.
Because of these, the DualSense Edge is slightly heavier and larger than the basic DualSense controller. The size is hardly noticeable, but the heft of the Edge is immediately felt and the build is more solid because of it. Thankfully, the Edge can still fit in the original DualSense charging station, so that’s great!
Overall, I like the aggressive design of the edge better, not just because of the new functions added to it, but because the newly-added black accents really look good when paired with its base white color. Minus points for the glossy piano black panel though; it’s a fingerprint and scratch magnet similar to the glossy middle section of the PS5.
DualSense Edge Review – Paddle up, Triggers Down
The DualSense Edge has a couple of features that will entice power users to take notice – The back buttons and the trigger stops.
The back buttons on the Edge are very easily replaced and removed, so whether you want to use the paddle or the half-dome buttons, you can swap them out in a matter of seconds. It’s sad that Sony only placed two back buttons instead of the usual four on other pro controllers, but two back buttons will be more than enough for most players, as they were for me.
Which is better? It’s all a matter of preference. Personally, I found the half-dome buttons more to my liking since I always kept accidentally pressing on the paddles because they were in the natural placement of where my grip should normally be.
The half-dome buttons sit a bit higher and just within reach of my middle fingers, still easily within reach and not too prone to accidental presses. They are clickier than the paddles but equally responsive. That said, since the placement of the half-dome buttons is a bit higher, longer play sessions can get a bit tiring since your middle finger is raised at an unnatural angle.
As a rule of thumb, and depending on the game, you’ll want to place any command that removes your thumbs from the analog sticks on the back buttons. In Hogwarts Legacy, for example, players can use one of the back buttons to cast Revelio and another one to use a healing potion, keeping their thumbs on the sticks at all times for full control of the character.
The trigger stops are also a nice touch, allowing players to adjust how far away the trigger floor is. In their default state (switch on top), the L2 and R2 triggers will act as a normal controller would, allowing players to press the triggers fully until they bottom out. With the trigger switch down, the floor is much higher, needing only a light press to reach the limit.
If you don’t care much about adaptive trigger functionality (but you should when playing Returnal), then flipping the switch down to the shallowest floor is a great option for better responsiveness and less effort to fully press the triggers. Again, personal preference.
Best thing about all of this is that you don’t need any tools to tinker around with it!
DualSense Edge Review – Stylin’ and Profilin’
Based on the example given for Hogwarts Legacy, you’ll definitely want to keep custom profiles based on certain games on your playlist to avoid having to keep adjusting the button mapping over and over again. Thankfully, the DualSense Edge makes it easy thanks to the function buttons located at the bottom of the controller.
You can save multiple custom profiles, each for a different purpose based on your preferences, and can be easily accessed in-game via the function button. Pressing Fn + a face button will change profiles, and pressing Fn + directional buttons can even change headphone volume and audio balance. It’s very likely that you might not even remember to use them for volume adjustment, but it’s great that the option is there.
Here are some of the other things you can change and save to a profile, which include full button mapping, stick sensitivity/deadzone, trigger deadzone, and more.
One thing that can be overlooked here is how easy the process actually is to switch and customize profiles on the Edge. The UI is easy to understand, there aren’t many windows to go through, and the whole process is just quick and painless from start to finish. Props to Sony for making the whole process of creating and switching profiles as smooth as possible.
DualSense Edge Review – Drifting Away
One thing that the Edge does better than its fellow pro controllers is its ability to let players switch the analog sticks when they start malfunctioning. With the rise of stick drift on a lot of contemporary controllers, this is a godsend for those that want to save themselves from the hassle of repairs down the line.
Sony sells separate replacement stick modules for PHP 1,190 ($19.99) per piece, and they are very easy to replace. Simply flip the “Release” switch on the back of the controller, and the glossy front plate will immediately pop off, exposing the analog modules. Flip the silver switches on either side, and the analog modules will slide out effortlessly.
While having the ability to change this eliminates the need to buy another controller, it would be better if the root of the problem was directly addressed. Whether it be a design flaw or just using better parts, getting replacements is nice to have, but hopefully these pricey controllers would ideally last longer under regular use in the first place.
One thing this also opens up is a way for third-party companies to create alternative sticks, although it remains to be seen if the controller will fully support them.
Offering a choice is always great, and the Edge does just that.
DualSense Edge Review – Battery
One of the biggest knocks against the original DualSense controller is its battery life, which will last anywhere from 6–10 hours (my personal experience), depending on a number of factors (game played, settings, etc.). Because of haptic feedback and the use of adaptive triggers, playtime will vary.
The Edge has been found to use a smaller capacity battery based on a teardown, and Sony’s only official statement about it is that it will last “moderately shorter” compared to the basic DualSense. Based on my playthrough, it lasted me anywhere from 4-6 hours while playing various games (God of War Ragnarok, Returnal, Horizon Forbidden West, and Hogwarts Legacy).
Players may choose to adjust a number of settings to extend battery life, such as lowering vibration intensity, but of course, this also takes away from the overall experience while playing. There’s always a tradeoff, and players can always choose to play while the controller is plugged in to eliminate the worry of low battery life.
At the end of the day, battery life will be an issue depending on the person using it. Based on my playing habits, 4-6 hours of play is enough before I need to charge it. I have an extra DualSense from the base PS5 package which is always on the charging dock, so I just switch it up when needed.
There’s a bigger issue, though: the price.
DualSense Edge Review – Who is this controller for?
At PHP12,490 ($199.99), the DualSense Edge isn’t cheap. It costs 3x the price of a regular DualSense and almost half of an actual PS5, so this is admittedly something that’s more of a want rather than a need.
If you are someone who wants the best performance out of everything they do, tweaking and customizing to make things perfect, then this is for you. You’ll have the luxury of two more buttons to use for whatever purpose, along with swapping out the analog modules for easy maintenance. Custom profiles are great if you have various presets across multiple games, and switching between them is amazingly simple.
Competitive FPS players will also welcome the added buttons and the sensitivity options that the Edge offers, and other genres like fighting games and action RPGs will also benefit from the extra inputs.
Simply put, it’s all in the name already, and this controller is for those who want an edge over the basic experience. Or if you just want the latest and greatest hardware, there’s that too.
Will this controller improve your gameplay? Yes and no; mileage may vary, but the bells and whistles it comes with are definitely welcome. If you’ve lived long enough without ever experiencing back buttons, you won’t miss much, but having them is certainly appreciated and could be life-changing for others.
What We Liked:
- Streamlined and very easy-to-use software, best used on a PS5.
- EVERYTHING is so easy to do – switching analog sticks, back button attachments, and analog caps.
- Solid and premium build.
- Fits in the DualSense Charging Dock.
- Sturdy accessories and attachments.
What We Didn’t Like:
- Glossy piano black plate is a scratch and smudge magnet.
- Decreased battery life
- Only two back buttons instead of the usual four.
- Very pricey.
Verdict: Premium feel and design if you can afford it.
The DualSense Edge wireless controller is that type of hardware that, if you’ve used it, you may not want to go back to the basic DualSense again. The suite of customizable options is fantastic, and the build quality along with the accessories feel really premium. All of its customizable features, like the back buttons and analog sticks, are very easy to fiddle with and can be done in a matter of seconds without the need for screws or tools.
Its biggest hurdle is its price, which costs a hefty sum. The price barrier is very high, so not many will be able to scale that wall, and when taking the shorter battery life into account, it’s definitely a tough pill to swallow. Those that can look past the price will be greeted with a fantastic-looking piece of hardware that may sufficiently meet their needs and then some.
Overall, this is a premium product with a solid build and great features that will not be for everybody. A lot of its features are considered a luxury but not really necessary, although they will greatly improve the playing experience.
*The DualSense Edge wireless controller is now available across PlayStation-authorized retailers for PHP 12,490.
*The DualSense Edge wireless controller was reviewed thanks to a review unit provided by PlayStation Asia