Devs reveal their upcoming DualSense wireless controller implementations

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Earlier today we revealed two striking new colors for the DualSense wireless controller: Cosmic Red and Midnight Black, both available starting in June. This update was paired with an insightful Returnal deep dive that highlighted Housemarque’s amazing implementation of the DualSense controller’s many features.

To round out today’s news, we’ve also gathered a few updates from upcoming games that take advantage of adaptive triggers, haptic feedback, and more. If you’ve played titles like Returnal and Astro’s Playroom, you know how integral the DualSense controller can be to the full experience. We’re excited to see (and feel!) how developers use the controller to further pull players into the game.*

Devs reveal their upcoming DualSense wireless controller implementations

Here’s what they had to say:

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Insomniac Games: We love how the fidelity of the controller’s haptics allow us to give so many things in the world a distinct feel and the range allows us to support bombastic responses like explosions all the way down to footsteps without the sensation getting old. Although firing weapons and striking different surfaces with your wrench were no-brainers for haptics, we found that we could also use many more subtle cues that make the haptic canvas feel full.

For example, the simple act of picking up bolts from a defeated enemy is that much more satisfying when you feel a tiny impulse from each on in your hands, complemented by a subtle controller sound. Simply using the weapon wheel or scanning the map become more enjoyable when you feel a faint click as you highlight objects.

Subnautica: Below Zero

Unknown Worlds: When we first held a DualSense controller in our hands, we knew we had to take advantage of its awesome features in Subnautica: Below Zero (launching on PS4 and PS5… tomorrow!).

We’ve taken advantage of haptic feedback by connecting players to certain powered tools. You’ll feel like you’re actually turning on the Flashlight’s switch, or feel the coil of the cable in your PrawnSuit as it launches from your Grappling Arm. The drilling sensation as you drill for resources with your Drill Arm also adds to the immersion.

“My main advice for players would be to keep calm and rethink how you approach obstacles!” says Harry Prebble, game designer and Button Bashers creator. “When you grab that first point, it can be a shock seeing an obstacle activate, so your instinct may be to back away as quickly. However, think of these as an opportunity to up your game—Low Gravity Zones and Fans can also propel you way faster than walking, so if you get your angles right, these can become short-cuts to the next button and another vital point.”

As a timed round, you’ll be eager to wrack up those points as quickly as possible, but knowing when to let points go can be just as important for sealing qualification. Community Manager B

How Housemarque created Returnal’s immersive DualSense controller effects

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Hello everyone! We at Housemarque hope you are all enjoying Returnal. We’re so amazed by and grateful for the responses so far. I want to thank you on behalf of the entire team.

In Returnal our goal was to use the DualSense wireless controller to provide a physical experience of feeling, fighting and exploring Atropos. We wanted to add texture and feedback both in terms of gameplay but also bring a new level of immersion and atmosphere.

For the technical side and implementation, we have Harvey Scott, one of our amazing sound designers from PlayStation Studios’ Creative Services Group in London contributing to this post. Harvey was a key sound designer for the haptic feedback in Returnal, and a lot of what you feel in the game is Harvey’s amazing work. More from him later in the article.

During production, our teams were some of the first in the world to experience and learn about PlayStation 5 at Housemarque. I remember clearly our XDEV Producer Pedro Sousa showed us some technical demos from teams in Japan, and he inspired us and drove us to make the most of this technology. We were all struck by the DualSense controller prototype and the potential presented by haptics and adaptive triggers.

With the adaptive triggers on the DualSense controller, our Player Team at Housemarque performed lots of tests and research into how we could use this new functionality in Returnal. We knew we had amazing weaponry on Atropos and using the adaptive triggers for this firepower was a natural fit. Henri Markus, game designer, researched and spent a lot of time with the adaptive triggers, and eventually Henri and Harri Tikkanen, co-founder of Housemarque, came up with the alt-fire trigger functionality – pull half-way to focus aim, feel the satisfying click and then all the way down to enter the alt-fire mode.

Less than a week after receiving the PS5 development kit and our own prototype of the controller, the feature was in the game. At first, implementation didn’t click for us. However, as we tested, refined, and polished, it all came together.

We also started to envision our use of haptic feedback with the DualSense controller for Immersion, Communication and Power. Harvey will now provide more of a deep dive into how we wanted you to feel the journey, the texture and actions as you fight through Atropos with Selene to “White Shadow.”

Next up, Harvey Scott, sound designer who worked on Returnal, explains how Returnal’s soundscape ties together with the DualSense controller to make a truly immersive experience:

The DualSense controller’s haptic feedback is powered by technology that makes it similar to that of a loudspeaker or headphones. Which means that as a sound designer, I can take the same principles and techniques used for designing sound and apply them to creating interesting haptic feedback experiences.

When we first began working on Returnal we knew we had to realise the full potential of the DualSense controller, whilst also staying true to the other design pillars of the game, and above all, creating the best possible experience for the players exploring Atropos with Selene.


The immediate new potential the DualSense controller brought to the table is the ability to fully convince and immerse players with haptic feedback detail that simply was not possible before. We can now provide subtle details that cross the threshold for what the hands and brain believe to be real and truly bring the players consciousness into the world on screen.

As an example, the rain in Returnal is complemented by subtle raindrop haptic pulses, that are procedurally synthesised at runtime, which allowed us to refi

Two new DualSense wireless controller colors hit shelves starting next month

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Since the launch of the PS5 console last November, we’ve been delighted to hear all the amazing feedback and experiences about the DualSense wireless controller from the PlayStation community.

Today, we’re thrilled to introduce two new colors that will be joining the DualSense controller lineup starting next month: Midnight Black and Cosmic Red. Midnight Black features two subtly different shades of black with light grey detailing to reflect how we view space through the night sky, and Cosmic Red offers a striking black and red design inspired by the unique vivid shades of red found throughout the cosmos.

Two new DualSense wireless controller colors hit shelves starting next month

This new lineup of colors will be available at participating retailers globally starting next month. The exact date will vary by location, so check your local retailers for availability. Click here for more information about the new colors.


The DualSense controller marked a radical departure from our previous controllers by delivering innovative features like haptic feedback and adaptive triggers*. The features weren’t the only noticeable transformation – the bold, two-toned color choice was also a significant pivot from our previous controllers. As this marks the first release of new colors for the DualSense controller, we asked Leo Cardoso and Satoshi Aoyagi from our design team to share some additional insights about the color choice and selection process:

“Our goal is to always find designs that will surprise and entice our fans, and these new colors are the result of an extensive selection process. We wanted the new controller colors to complement each other, as well as the original DualSense wireless controller and PS5 console, so we designed the colors around the theme of ‘galaxy’ as it felt like a natural progression from the original PS5 and accessories designs.”

– Leo Cardoso

“Both Midnight Black and Cosmic Red feature a subtle blue hue, that produces unique shades of red and black. A blue hue is also present in the original DualSense wireless controller colors, so all three colors complement each other nicely. The contro

Manifold Garden to receive PS5 upgrade on May 20 and physical release

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Hello again, PlayStation! Today we’re thrilled to announce that we’re releasing a native PlayStation 5 version of Manifold Garden next week on May 20. Even better, if you own the PS4 version or the PS4 Deluxe Edition, you will be able to upgrade for free!

Here is our launch trailer for Manifold Garden on PS5:

Manifold Garden to receive PS5 upgrade on May 20 and physical release

The PS5 version of the game runs at native 4K at 60 FPS and loads very fast. If you want to load the game even faster, you can “Resume” from an activity card and begin playing the game within five seconds. We’ve also taken full advantage of the haptics made possible by the DualSense wireless controller. Additionally, the entire title supports the Official Game Help feature for eligible PlayStation Plus subscribers. Every puzzle in the main progression of the game is fully documented in solution videos without showing you puzzles you haven’t already seen. 

So what does the extra fidelity of the PS5 version look like in practice for Manifold Garden? A core part of the game is traversing through beautiful and impossible architecture, so we’re thrilled that players can experience the world as it was meant to be viewed – in full 4K.

It also means higher levels of details and more objects on screen for some of our more complicated visual effects:

And finally, the significantly improved draw distance of the PS5 version really helps build the unsettling and beautiful atmosphere, surrounding the player in an endlessly recurring sequence of geometry.