PS5 Devs Share How Games Like Spider-Man and Demon’s Souls Use the DualSense Controller

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Sony just dropped its first PlayStation 5 TV ad today, and it mostly focuses on the capabilities of the console’s new DualSense controller. Clearly, the new gamepad, which offers adaptive triggers and high-tech haptic feedback, is going to be a big PS5 selling-point, but how is it actually going to be put to use by software developers? A new PlayStation Blog post delves into that question, providing details on how games like Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Demon’s Souls, Ghostwire: Tokyo, and more are using the controller. Get the details, below.

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  • Demon’s Souls creative director Gavin Moore – With the PS5 DualSense controller and the power of haptics, we can make the combat [in Demon’s Souls] feel grittier, darker, and deadlier. You’ll experience the force of a titanic boss’ attack as you pull off a well-timed guard. Metal strikes metal when your foes block your attacks or you block theirs. That extra sensory feedback through the controller allows you to know your attack hit home and your perfectly-timed parry was a success, so you can react faster and more decisively. We can also turn the simple act of pulling a lever to open a gate into a sensory experience. This is something that rumble could never do. It could never replicate the feeling of metal striking metal or fire crackling in your hand as you conjure magic.
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales creative director Brian Horton – We’ll be hinting to players which direction attacks are coming from by providing haptic feedback from the appropriate direction on the controller. What does it feel like to use Miles’s stealth ability? How does a Venom Blast feel? Because of the high resolution of the PS5 DualSense controller’s haptics system, we can really push the dimensionality of the feedback. For instance, as you hold down Square to do a Venom Punch, you feel Spider-Man’s bio-electricity crackle across from the left side of the controller, culminating in the right side on impact.
  • Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart creative director Marcus Smith – The adaptive triggers are something we’re excited to feature [in Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart]! For instance, the Enforcer is a dual-barreled shotgun type weapon. As you pull the trigger, you’ll fire from one barrel, and you can feel resistance around halfway down the trigger. Need a bigger blast? Pull the trigger through that resistance point and you’ll fire both barrels at the same time.
  • Horizon Forbidden West director Mathijs de Jonge – Horizon Forbidden West features new weapons that are designed to feel unique and play a specific role in combat with machines and human opponents. The DualSense wireless controller adaptive triggers will help us to make the weapons feel even more unique and satisfying to use.
  • Gran Turismo 7 producer Kazunori Yamauchi – I think the most effective use of the adaptive trigger [in Gran Turismo 7] is for representing the operation of the antilock brake system (ABS) while braking. A typical ABS releases brake pressure intermittently while the driver applies pressure to the pedal. The adaptive trigger is suited for recreating this pedal feel, and it will allow the player to accurately feel and understand the relationship between the braking force they want and the tire’s grip. Compared to the rumble force feedback we had in the past, the special character of the haptic feedback is that it has a bigger range of frequencies it can produce.
  • Sackboy: A Big Adventure design director Ned Waterhouse – Adaptive triggers have enabled us to provide sensations which match what Sackboy would feel in game. When picking objects up, there is a tension to each press which conveys that the little guy is struggling to carry it. Similarly, when equipped with the grappling hook, R2’s ‘Weapon Mode’ makes the player feel like they’re actually firing it themselves.
  • Ghostwire: Tokyo director Kenji Kimura – Just as the name “trigger” suggests, the main use of the DualSense wireless controller’s adaptive triggers in Ghostwire: Tokyo is for “active” actions—to shoot or trigger something—and we also use them to create the sensation of recoil. We’re also looking at ways to take advantage of the adaptive triggers to express a sense of persistent energy, or a balance of forces if you will, and for perhaps actions such charging, loading, and a sense of accumulation of power or energy for things. The haptic feedback, in comparison to the vibration function of previous generations, allows us to utilize a much wider range, starting from a very strong vibration that is much more powerful than before, down to extremely light vibration. This way we can offer players very detailed, “textured” nuances.

Of course, none of us really know how much of a game-changer the DualSense controller will be until Sony lets us get our hands on it, but what are your thoughts? Do you think stuff like haptic feedback will be a big PS5 game-changer, or is it just a new generation of rumble?

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