PlayStation 5 to Launch Holiday 2020, Including New Controller with Improved Haptics

It was confirmed back in April that Sony’s upcoming next-gen console would include support for the current-gen PSVR. In a new exclusive interview with Wired, the company further revealed that not only is PlayStation 5 slated to arrive holiday season 2020, but that an improved gamepad with better haptic feedback and “adaptive triggers” will come along with it.

Lead system architect Mark Cerny revealed a prototype controller to Wired, something described as an “unlabeled matte-black doohickey that looks an awful lot like the PS4’s DualShock 4.”

Notable new features include a USB Type-C connector for charging/data transmission, a larger-capacity battery, improved on-board speakers, and heavier overall weight, which was described as less weighty than an Xbox One controller with batteries.

But one of the really interesting things to come to the new gamepad is its “adaptive triggers” which offer varying levels of resistance. This essentially lets developers fine-tune the triggers (L2/R2) to increase tension when needed, like when you’re shooting different styles of guns or driving in variable terrain.

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Wired also reports that the next gamepad (still unnamed) boasts haptic feedback engines “far more capable than the rumble motor console gamers are used to, with highly programmable voice-coil actuators located in the left and right grips of the controller.”

To demonstrate, Sony’s Japan Studio put together a few short demos—the same team behind The Playroom VR (2016) and Astro Bot Rescue Mission (2018).

Here’s what Wired’s Peter Rubin experienced:

“In the most impressive, I ran a character through a platform level featuring a number of different surfaces, all of which gave distinct—and surprisingly immersive—tactile experiences. Sand felt slow and sloggy; mud felt slow and soggy. On ice, a high-frequency response made the thumbsticks really feel like my character was gliding. Jumping into a pool, I got a sense of the resistance of the water; on a wooden bridge, a bouncy sensation,”

Playing a version of Gran Turismo Sport, which was ported to a PS5 dev kit, the controller appeared to offer a greater nuance of haptic feedback, differentiating between different road types with a lighter and harder feel.

Although the lack of news on the next iteration on PSVR is somewhat disheartening, better haptic feedback and wider developer support for the new PS5 gamepad nay very well pave the way for a better PSVR 2 motion controller too, which could incorporate many of the features listed above. That’s of course only healthy conjecture, although as it is now, anything is better than that 2010-era PS Move controllers at this point.

The article makes no mention of whether that 2020 release date will come alongside a prospective PSVR 2, however the company previously confirmed in May that a simultaneous launch was pretty unlikely.

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