Sony DualSense Edge review: Good software, lacklustre hardware in this 'pro' controller
It just doesn't feel 'premium' enough.
The Sony PlayStation DualSense Edge is Sony's first ever 'professional' controller for their PlayStation line of consoles.
Akin to Microsoft's Xbox Elite controller, the DualSense Edge comes with customisability options not present in your standard DualSense 5 controller for the PlayStation 5.
Announced August 2022, the Edge's reveal built a lot of hype around it, not only because Sony finally had the sense to create a 'pro' controller, but also the fact that it has a customisability option not present in any of its rivals in the industry — the swappable analog sticks.
So how does the Edge fare? Is it worth the extra S$200 over the standard DualSense 5 controller (S$109)? Read on to find out.
The DualSense Edge comes with a stylish hard case, which will probably do a good job of protecting the controller, while also housing its customisability options if you pack it for travelling.
In the case, you'll find:
Two kinds of rear triggers/back buttons
High analog dome caps
Low analog dome caps
USB-C to USB-A braided cable
USB connector housing
I have been using the DualSense Edge for a week, as Sony provided me with an early unit for review.
The software customisability part of the DualSense Edge is where it really shines.
Being made exclusively for the PlayStation 5 and its games, you are able to customise the controller in a myriad of ways you see fit on the console.
If you play multiple games, you are also able to create up to three custom profiles on the controller to fit your needs.
You are able to map all the buttons (even the face buttons) to specific actions fit for the relevant game.
Beyond that, you are also able to tune the sensitivity and deadzone of your analog sticks as well.
Much like tuning the sensitivity of a computer mouse, this will help increase the precision of the stick's input.
For comparison, the DualSense 5 only has one static sensitivity.
Games will usually allow the player to change the in-game sensitivity according to their preferences. So with the additional layer of customisation provided by the Edge, you are able to fine tune your in-game input a little more.
Switching the controller profiles on your PlayStation 5's menu is also easy and very intuitive. It is quick and you do not need to exit or minimise the game to access the menu.
The Edge also sports the adaptive triggers that the original DualSense 5 is known for. However, by using the stop sliders (to shorten the activation of the L2 and R2 triggers), the Edge automatically disables this function.
Using the Edge on a PC however, just reverts the controller to being a regular DualSense 5 controller with no additional hardware or software features.
Nice to have: Swappable analog sticks and parts
The swappable analog sticks are also a nice touch.
That said, I don't see a use for this at the moment, since there are no custom analog sticks being made for the Edge....yet.
The only thing I could see this being useful for now is swapping out analog sticks that have the dreaded stick drift.
But if that were the case, why isn't there any effort to redesign the analog sticks to stop this problem? I would take a more robust metal version of the analog stick than the capability to swap.
Speculation aside, I hope Sony is able to release more versions of analog sticks soon to make this feature worthwhile.
Being able to change your analog stick's caps and adding rear buttons at the back of the controller is also nice, although these functions are already expected in the world of premium game controllers.
Cons: Controller feel and battery life
I don't want to be a Debbie Downer for such an exciting release for the PlayStation, but this has to be said.
I have used the Xbox Elite controller, and while I wouldn't say that it is the most hardy thing ever (I've destroyed the triggers on my Xbox Elite controller from the Xbox One era), there is a noticeable difference in robustness when you compare the standard Xbox controller to the Elite version.
The Elite feels much higher quality in hand, with the body and buttons being a lot more rigid and sturdy than the original Xbox controller.
The DualSense Edge however, doesn't exude the 'premium' price when you compare it to a standard DualSense 5 controller.
In fact, despite using my DualSense 5 that I got with my PlayStation 5 for a good two years now, it somehow feels much better in hand.
The buttons on the DualSense 5 feel snappier and more tactile to press, while the buttons on the Edge have some noticeable pre-travel and mushiness to them, especially the D-Pad and the face buttons.
If you are thinking "oh maybe the DualSense 5's buttons are broken in", no, it doesn't work that way. Buttons will be even more prone to being 'loose' and wobbly the more you use them, not get tighter.
Then again, this might be limited to the DualSense Edge I got, as I haven't seen this mentioned in any of the other reviews I've seen.
The rest of the controller is pretty standard. The coating and feel of the controller is no different from the DualSense 5.
The battery life on the Edge is another sticking point. I am able to use my DualSense 5 for up to 12 hours of gameplay, but the Edge runs dry at around 7 hours on my unit and I am prompted to recharge it.
This may be a compromise for the DualSense Edge, since it has a few extra moving parts, and adding a larger capacity battery will also increase its weight. Right now, the Edge does feel similar in weight to the standard DualSense 5.
Conclusion: Is the DualSense Edge worth your money?
If you solely play your games on the PlayStation 5, and would like a lot more customisability options for your games, then the DualSense Edge is something that you could consider spending your hard-earned money on.
If you don't play any competitive games on your PlayStation 5, or if you swap playing games between your console and PC a lot, I wouldn't recommend the DualSense Edge. It doesn't feel any more 'premium' than the DualSense 5.
Sure, the Edge has some customisability options (that only work on the PlayStation 5), but would I pay S$200 more to have those extras without a bump in hardware quality? Probably not.
If you are looking to purchase a controller solely for PC gaming... well, the DualSense 5 or the Xbox Elite controller are a much better buys.
Both have much better battery life than the DualSense Edge, while the Elite feels much sturdier, and the DualSense 5 is much cheaper for the same functions.
Hopefully, Sony is able to release custom analog sticks for the Edge soon, and maybe bundle them together in a controller package to fit the different needs of PlayStation 5 users.
The Sony DualSense Edge is now on sale for S$295.90, while you can find the standard DualSense 5 for S$109.
Dominic loves tech and games. When he is not busy watercooling his computer parts, he does some pro wrestling.
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