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PlayStation 5 devs explain how DualSense haptics will actually work

A number of PlayStation 5 developers have done their best to explain how the haptic technology in the console's new DualSense controller will actually work.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

August 20, 2020

2 Min Read

A number of PlayStation 5 developers have done their best to explain how the haptic technology in the console's new DualSense controller will actually work. 

In a post on the PlayStation Blog, the devs behind titles like Deathloop, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and others explained how those next-gen titles will use the DualSense's haptic triggers and feedback to sell immersion. 

For instance, Deathloop game director Dinga Bakaba said the dev team has been able to use the tech to imbue gameplay with more "physicality" by actually blocking those haptic triggers whenever a gun jams in-game. 

"I’m really excited by the adaptive triggers and the haptic feedback, both features that will bring some physicality in game experiences, and give important feedback," explained Bakaba.

"Deathloop being a first-person shooter, we do a lot of things to make weapons feel differently from one another. One I like is blocking the triggers when your weapon jams, to give to the player an immediate feedback even before the animation plays out, which prompts the player in a physical way that they have to unjam their gun."

Meanwhile, Spider-Man: Miles Morales creative director Brian Horton said the tech will essentially serve as a spider sense for players, who'll be able to feel the direction of incoming attacks using haptics. The tech can also be used to ground some of Miles' signature abilities like Venom Punch and Venom Blast.

"The haptic feedback precision allows us to do all sorts of new things. In Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, we’ll be hinting to players which direction attacks are coming from by providing haptic feedback from the appropriate direction on the DualSense wireless controller," commented Horton.  

"What does it feel like to use Miles’s stealth ability? How does a Venom Blast feel? Because of the high resolution of DualSense wireless 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."

You can read more developer testimonies over on the PlayStation blog. Sure, they're unashamedly promotional, but until we can go hands on with the DualSense ourselves it's the best we've got. 

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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