DualSense Edge Review - On The Edge Of Glory
For quite a few years, Xbox has had the monopoly on the premium, pro level controller market. On their side of the fence, the Xbox Elite controller has been the obvious go-to choice, however for those of the PlayStation persuasion, there hasn’t been an obvious front-runner amongst the third-party offerings. PlayStation had previously shown fleeting interest in getting involved in the race when it launched the Dualshcok 4 Back Button Attachment for PS4 in early 2020 giving its fans a taste of what could be possible, but it’s now, in 2023, where the console manufacturer has leaned in fully to the possibilities of a pro level controller – introducing the DualSense Edge.
The DualSense Edge is a product of years of pro-tier controllers, PlayStation clearly having assessed the offerings of the Xbox Elite, and its successor, the Xbox Elite Series 2, as well as a host of third-party offerings to ensure that every box that could be ticked, has been in the R&D phase of producing this controller. Just as seen in other controllers, the DualSense Edge will offer players interchangeable analogue sticks, premium grips, various takes on rear input, as well as customisable profiles to ensure that you can pivot between play styles with ease, no matter the game.
So with the DualSense Edge offering all that a third-party controller offers, but at a greater price, what can it offer that is going to set it apart? Ultimately the point of difference is that its made by the same team responsible for the console that it is connected to, giving the DualSense Edge and edge over its competitors due to both the hardware and software-based ways with which is seamlessly interacts with the PS5. The DualSense Edge comes equipped with two Function Buttons, placed just below the location of the two analog sticks allowing players to quickly and intuitively draw up a quick access menu that can facilitate quick swaps between previously assigned, button-mapped profiles. The function buttons even give the player the ability to rebalance audio on the fly as they see fit.
On a more mechanical level, the DualSense Edge offers a range of features geared for the pro-level gamer. As well as possessing additional inputs in the form of the the LB and RB slots, which can be fitted with either lever style, or semi-circle styled buttons, the DualSense Edge also brings a key advancement to the already fantastic haptic-infused triggers – stop sliders. At the rear of the controller, players have sliders, one for each trigger, that allows you to customise the travel distance you want or need to depress the triggers to. You can make that distance incredibly short, the standard distance, and a point right in the middle. On top of this, on the software side, you have the ability to customise the activation points further, adjusting the dead zones for each trigger to suit the players needs. As for the the rear LB/RB buttons, the lever style will be familiar to most who’ve used other pro controllers previously – the semi-circular buttons however are quite unique and certainly address concerns that players can have with the lever-style option. The semi-circular option consumes far less space and allows the player to rest their fingers in a more natural place on the controller without fear of unintended consequences in game for mashing a button, whereas you will forever need to be careful when using the levers. Get caught up in a horrifying or gripping moment and squeeze too tightly on the controller and you might accidentally fire shots when you don’t need to, or (as I did a few times), jump and roll forward because that’s what I’d mapped the levers to do.
The analog sticks are now replaceable and adjustable. While you cannot relocate them to create the offset controller configuration of an Xbox or Nintendo Switch controller setup, the sticks can be removed and replaced, should the dreaded stick-drift ever plague them, but the tips can also be replaced by tall or short domed tips that evoke the PS1-PS3 era for those needing a nostalgic touch. For those looking to improve their gameplay, I’m not sure why you would ever want to use these, but the ability to replace the tips opens up the possibilities of third-party offerings being socketed into the controller.
The DualSense Edge comes with a hardshell case for safe storage and a 3 meter braided charging cord to facilitate extended gameplay given the reduced battery life of the controller. The Edge is noticeably heavier than its base sibling, not excessively so, but obvious if you’ve grown accustomed to the standard DualSense. The battery-life of the DualSense Edge will of course vary dependent upon the demands of the games you’re playing, but typically the controller will announce its struggles between 4-5 hours after you start depleting the battery, and will tap out less than an hour later.
The DualSense does so many things right, and is certainly the best option available on PlayStation, rivalling the offerings of the Xbox Elite Series 2, but the price at $340AUD positions the controller as nearly $100 more expensive than the Xbox alternative, with a significantly poorer battery life to boot. What the DualSense Edge offers is exceptional, and it’s right on the edge of greatness, but you’ll be significantly out of pocket to enjoy those perks.
The DualSense Edge was provided to Player2 for the purposes of a review, and was kindly provided by PlayStation Australia