Sony DualSense Edge review: Is the PS5 Pro Controller Worth The Price Tag
Its numerous new features – not least the adaptive triggers and haptic feedback – elevate the gaming experience sufficiently that we’ll undoubtedly see rivals sport similar in future.
There’s just one problem though – if you’re a power player, you’ll have realised by now that a conventional DualSense isn’t the most sturdy of accessories. We’ve actually rinsed two of them ourselves, with another two on their way out. It’s an expensive hobby if you have to replace them all the time, that’s for sure.
The thumbsticks are the biggest culprits, becoming spongy and less precise as you play. Games like Call of Duty and FIFA are particularly taxing for controllers, asking for quick directional switching constantly. And, if your controller isn’t quite up to scratch anymore, you can lose vital milliseconds in response time or, worse still, accidentally point the stick in the wrong direction. Even a fractionally different angle could ping a wildly inaccurate pass.
The new DualSense technology has also hampered third-party accessory manufacturers somewhat, providing relatively few alternatives (in comparison to the Xbox Wireless Controller, for example), so what do you do? Well, Sony has provided one answer – its own pro controller to rival the handful from the likes of Scuf and Razer. The DualSense Edge is robust, customisable and technically set up to avoid having to be replaced fully when some parts fail. However, it also costs almost the same as an entire console, so is it worth the price or is it a fanciful extravagance during an era of belt tightening? We tested it to find out.
Case and accessories
- Hard carry case
- Six thumbstick caps included
- Two rear levers and half dome buttons can be added
- 3-metre braided USB-C cable
The DualSense Edge certainly looks and feels the part. It comes with a hard shell carry case that’s about a protective as can be, which contains the controller itself plus a number of add-ons and swappable doohickeys.
There are additional thumbstick caps, with two longer and two shorter alternatives with dome caps. The longer ones provide more travel for those who prefer it, while the shorter duo are the same length as the conventional caps (already installed) but with rounded rather than indented rubberised tips.
The rounded caps are a throwback to the DualShock controllers released for or with former PlayStations up to the PS3. They certainly evoke some pleasant memories of yesteryear gaming but actually have a more practical use too – we find the shape more robust. We’ve not found it a problem with the DualSense so far, but the lipped caps on the PS4 DualShock perished reasonably quickly, tearing the surround away from the middle and ruining the cap entirely. This rounded shape should prevent that entirely.
They can each be easily removed and clipped onto the thumbsticks on the Edge controller, with a nice, satisfying “click” when you do so properly.
Also in the case are two rear paddles (levers) and a couple of half dome buttons. Both can be inserted into dedicated holes on the back of the controller and assigned roles through the customisation tools on the PlayStation 5 itself. You have to choose between the different styles, as only two can be added, and we find it depends on the type of game which is best.
A racing game works well with the paddles, such as F1 22, particularly with gear shifting up and down, while they can get in the way a bit during a fast-paced action or sports game, such as FIFA 23 – we often pressed the paddle accidentally. The half dome buttons, therefore, are better for this as they are further away from your grip. We used them to switch our FIFA custom tactics up and down in Ultimate Team matches, for example, rather than using the directional keypad.
You also get a three-metre long, sturdy, braided USB-C-to-USB-A cable to both charge your controller and use it wired to eliminate even the slightest latency caused through wireless connectivity. There’s a connector housing included too, which makes sure you don’t accidentally disconnect the cable while vigorously waggling your pad.
- Weight: 325g
- Rubberised grips
- Removable faceplate
- Thumbstick modules can be replaced
The controller itself looks similar to the original white and black DualSense but with some key differences.
It’s only fractionally heavier, at 325g over 280g, but feels sturdier and better constructed. The inner panels on each grip are rubberised rather than just texturised plastic, for a much better, more solid hold. The touchpanel at the top sees the return of the PlayStation icons as a pattern, and it is squared off on the top edge which feels nice but can be a pain for those with some third-party USB-C charging docks, as it won’t necessarily fit – it’s a bit wider than the standard DualSense and won’t sit well enough to charge properly.
The front of the controller also features a removable faceplate to allow you to get to the also removable stick modules. These are the elements you clip the thumbstick caps to and, in our experience, suffer the most damage on the conventional controller. Being able to switch them out with replacements is a godsend, therefore, and while you don’t get any in the box (they are priced £20 / $20 separately) it’s a major selling point of the DualSense Edge for sure.