Microsoft and Sony have each announced in turn the controller which will accompany their upcoming console, the Xbox Series X on one side, the PS5 on the other. It is the opportunity to make the point on the two accessories.

Thanks to the recent announcement from Sony, we know the controller for the PS5. It will be the DualSense, which will take the result of the DualShock 4 with big changes. And it’s been a few weeks already that we know all of the pad that will accompany the Xbox Series X — future console from Microsoft.

As we know the technical sheet of the two accessories, one can already enjoy the game of comparison. It is all the more relevant that Microsoft and Sony do not have the same approach. On the future generation, the roles are reversed : continuity for the Xbox Series the X-and breaking for the PlayStation 5

Continuity and rupture

Sony has chosen to break with tradition for the DualSense, which is based on a design to accent the futuristic (the choice to associate the colours black and white). It should be noted, however, that the two sticks symmetrical and close together are kept. This is the main difference with the controller of the Xbox Series X, that is, always on the sticks asymmetrical.

In an article in a presentation published on 16 march, Microsoft speaks of sublimation of the rocker, which highlights a willingness to take the existing structure — the excellent Xbox pad One — and improve it. We find, therefore, a design slightly modified, through small touches. For the moment, the multinational showed only a black version, but one can imagine that his product will be available in multiple colours (as is the case with the Xbox One).

It should be noted that Sony and Microsoft intend to always be sharing an argument flagship of their future console. Sony now calls its Share button the Create button, while Microsoft has added a button… Share.

A different philosophy in terms of ergonomics

Opt for sticks symmetric or asymmetric does not have an impact only on the design (visual harmony or not). It is a different philosophy in terms of ergonomics. The two opposing camps : some prefer the solution from Sony, other than Microsoft. If we can estimate that it is above all a matter of habit, it is not forbidden to think that the asymmetry is objectively more logical in terms of positioning of the fingers in the majority of situations. Because, in practice, the asymmetry allows to align both thumbs (the left one for movement, the right for the actions).

After having missed its first Xbox (the huge pad nicknamed the Duke), Microsoft has worked hard to improve significantly the usability — much more than Sony in comparison. To that of the Xbox Series X, it has drawn from the teachings of the rocker Elite 2, which is considered one of the best pads on the market. The engineers have widened the cross-directional so that it draws better with the thumb while the trigger buttons and the sleeves feature a — true — grip.

Sony is not as much a die-hard with the DualSense, and does not evoke, for example, no grip to improve the handling (it still appears to detect a different texture between the front and rear on the pictures). The d-pad, for its part, is divided into four keys.

Sony is focusing on the immersion

With DualSense, Sony highlights two innovations that focus on immersion : a haptic feedback for vibration, more accurate, and triggers adaptive to a feeling more realistic in some cases (examples : bend the arc, press the accelerator pedal). On paper, these are two advantages in the face to Microsoft, but it remains to be seen how developers will use these arguments. After all, triggers the vibrating of the Xbox One, survendues during the presentation, have not been as exploited as this. The bell sound is similar to the speaker of the DualShock 4, as requested in too few games to make it an element that is actually differentiating.

In addition, the DualSense still rely on a huge trackpad, which is installed above the sticks, and introduced on the DualShock 4. It is a touch-sensitive surface that can help in the navigation. Again, its use is at the discretion of the developers, which are sometimes a key to pause the game. Finally, we should emphasise the presence of microphones to switch to a headset during a voice chat.

The Xbox Series X is a lot more wise on the improvements, say visible. And Microsoft puts more emphasis on technology to build an ecosystem of easy-to-use (Bluetooth Low Energy, to facilitate the pairing). They are part of the logic of the opening of the business, which is estimated that you will not use his controller with only the Xbox Series X. Finally, Microsoft focuses on latency, ultra reduced to improve the performance of the players.

Microsoft and their controller battery

It was believed that Microsoft had definitively turned the page of the controllers to the batteries with its pad luxury Elite 2. But no : the controller of the Xbox Series X will be delivered with two AA batteries, a habit that date for the Xbox 360. The multinational justified in going behind the opinions shared on the topic and the desire to offer the choice. In fact, it is quite possible to opt for rechargeable batteries or a removable battery to recharge by the USB port-C (this will be the same kit as for the Xbox One).

Sony, for its part, has never marketed a single controller to batteries, and it is hoped that the autonomy of the DualSense will be considerably improved compared to that of the DualShock 4 (it is necessary to reload too often). Of course, the full battery is through a USB port-C.