PlayStation DualSense Edge controller review: Paying three times the price for extra control doesn’t make sense
A cynic might say gamers form one of the most, er, passionate group of consumers on the planet — always ready to buy the latest marketing hype, ever the disciples of technology promising an edge.
t’s why high-end graphics cards for PCs can fetch north of a grand — all for the sake of a few extra frames per second or an ultra-realistic rendering technique such as ray-tracing.
Console players aren’t immune to the race, where each generation of machine proudly trumpets a superior performance measured in teraflops or, more colloquially, gazillions of polygons on screen. But, in general, the hardware stays the same from one batch to the next, at least on the inside.
Sony and Microsoft stepped outside of that cycle last time with upgraded versions of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One during their life span. In this generation, Sony wants us to believe that a new controller will give players the advantage.
This is odd on some levels because Sony already holds the lead in the controller stakes. In a straight fight between the equipment of the PS5 and the comparable Xbox Series, Sony’s standard DualSense gamepad holds all the cards. Sure, the Xbox controller is a fine, solid piece of kit, but it pales beside the tech inside that of its rival, which sports variable-tension triggers, motion-sensing, speaker and touchpad.
Notwithstanding this disparity, Sony wants to press home the upper hand with the launch last week of the PS5 DualSense Edge controller, which retails at — checks notes, shakes head — €240, approximately three times the cost of its standard gamepad. It’s not gold-plated, nor does it look radically different, it’s just mildly customisable and adds a couple of buttons. For a select band of committed players, however, perhaps it will be worth the triple premium.
In the hand, the Edge feels almost identical to its cheaper sibling. Around the back, two new (but removable) levers give you extra controls — maybe for a special move or a button combo that was previously hard to access.
Under the thumbsticks, two new function buttons link to player profiles that enable quick swapping of preferences such as headphone volume, vibration level and custom button assignments. Digging deeper into these menus reveals subtler modifications such as thumbstick and trigger deadzones — useful for the different requirements of a shooter versus a racer, for example. The caps of the sticks themselves are hot-swappable too for those who like a domed nub under the thumb. The Edge comes bundled with three types to suit most tastes.
Perhaps the most welcome upgrade for me is the most prosaic — an ultra-long charging cable and smart carrying case to keep all the bits tidy. The most unwelcome “enhancement” is a shorter battery life, a feature the original DualSense wasn’t renowned for in the first place.
Sony’s marketing doesn’t make it clear whether the Edge’s components are superior, longer-life quality to those of the standard controller, but you’d hope so at this highly elevated price point. So useful? Yes. Essential? No. The new controller is the sort of luxury item that might be justifiable for devout esports players but most gamers can easily make do with their already excellent bog-standard gamepad.
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Note that Microsoft also sells a premium controller costing a multiple of its basic version. It at least has the virtue of allowing a huge range of colours via a customised order.
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