I just published my hands-on impressions of Sony’s new DualSense Edge gamepad — the $200 answer to Microsoft’s Xbox Elite controllers — and I came away fairly impressed. But you should know that there’s one not so impressive change from the original DualSense controller. It’s got less battery life, Sony confirms to The Verge.
Here’s the company’s full statement about that:
The DualSense Edge wireless controller’s operating time is moderately shorter than the original DualSense wireless controller because we’ve included many more features within the same form factor and ergonomic design as the original DualSense controller. We wanted to strike a good balance between wireless operating time and delivering robust, high-performance features. Additionally, the longer USB braided cable is also great for competitive players who prefer playing with a wired connection to avoid wireless interference – this option preserves battery life.
Sony set out in late 2018 to build a “high performance” premium controller, holding over 100 research sessions with pro gamers to figure out the biggest pain points, says DualSense Edge product manager Tomomasa Mizuno. He says the company eventually challenged itself to build an uncompromised gamepad in the same form factor as the excellent DualSense gamepad that shipped with the PS5.
But though every generation of Sony wireless controller has had weak battery life, including the original DualSense, it apparently isn’t one of the pain points that Sony’s addressing this time.
(In my experience, the DualSense lasts longer than my DualShock 3 and DualShock 4, but I still bought a dedicated charging stand because it still runs out of battery at inconvenient times. You can use such a stand with the DualSense Edge, too, or plug in the bundled 2.8-meter USB-C cable if it’ll reach your couch.)
Sony also isn’t directly addressing joystick drift, the phenomenon where the normal wear and tear on potentiometer-based joysticks can make them wear out over time and give false readings — most famously in the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons, though Sony’s PS5 controllers are also definitely not immune. Sony confirmed to us that the DualSense Edge uses potentiometer-based joysticks, too.
If your $200 DualSense Edge controller does start drifting, though, it’ll be far easier to fix it than most. Sony made the controller’s joysticks completely modular, you can swap them in under a minute without tools, and you’ll be able to buy those modules for $20 at Playstation.com on January 26th or “participating retailers” in late February. There’s a spot for an extra joystick module in the controller’s bundled carrying case, too, though it doesn’t come with extras.
Sony declined to answer questions about whether it considered longer battery life or magnetic Hall Effect sensor joysticks during the DualSense Edge’s development process.