dualsense controller front

Does the PS5 controller have a screen?

2 minute read

In tandem with Sony’s upcoming console, the newest controller to hit the PlayStation family (DualSense) looks to shake up the status quo of industrial design in more ways than one. The new DualSense controller will still feature symmetrical sticks like the DualShock 4, but it will also introduce new dynamics to the overall experience.

Read more: How long does the PS4 controller last?

Rumors and rumblings leading up to the official PlayStation 5 reveal have hinted at radical features of its controller but, as with most mock ups and renders, the truth has turned out to be a much more humble affair.

One particularly “out there” feature rumored to be included in the DualSense is the inclusion of a full fledged screen.

Does the final design of the PS5 controller include a screen?

Despite its departure from the DualShock 4, a screen is not something included in the feature set of the DualSense controller for the PS5.

What this controller does include is exciting changes to how in-game feedback is perceived by the player.

Touch pad retained

You won’t find a fancy OLED or traditional LED screen on the already futuristic looking DualSense controller, but Sony has opted to bring over the touch pad of the PS4 controller.

Why is this?

We most likely won’t see exciting gameplay implementations of the touch pad on the PlayStation 5 – it was already a dud on the PlayStation 4 – but it does streamline backwards compatibility and retain any legacy functionality needed. And just like the DualShock 4, it will undoubtedly serve its purpose as an easily accessible button.

Practical novelty

The addition of a small OLED screen to the PS5’s controller would have definitely made for novel excitement, but it also would have been needlessly expensive. Just as the promise of new features with the DualShock 4’s touch pad, the buzz of something entirely new eventually fades. In the end, its utility probably would have been more in line with the Kinect than the advent of online console gaming.

An OLED screen on the DualSense may not have failed as spectacularly as Kinect, but it easily could have become yet another gaming gimmick.

At the other end of the spectrum, Sony’s move to introduce haptic feedback to the controller seems like the better move. Similar to the high quality vibration found in the Nintendo Switch (HD Rumble) or flagship phones, it could offer tactile immersion in ways that we have yet to experience.

Yes, vibration has been around since the days of the N64, but even when you include the Xbox One and PS4 generation, the feedback has always been loose as opposed to tight and well defined. Haptics have the ability to draw out on screen events in a very tangible manner.

Vita (RIP)

It’s not entirely unlikely that we eventually see a revision of the PlayStation controller that includes a screen, but one can’t help but wonder how the Vita, or a hypothetical successor, would fit into the equation. It’s a shame that a next-generation handheld most likely isn’t in the works.

Remote play has already left the proprietary nest, and the Vita has largely gone to dust. The Nintendo Switch has shown what the hybridized approach to gaming can do for the experience, and it would be cool to see a potential spin as seen through the eyes of Sony.

It, along with the conventional uses of a handheld, could potentially make for the most substantial implementation of a screen based controller, but it’s something that, for the time being, is a pipe dream.

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