Even though the PlayStation brand has been around for a few decades already, Sony has always opted to officially license third-party pro controllers for its gaming hardware. There are dozens of them around for each PlayStation generation and while they have all been good, most gamers have waited in anticipation for the company to do its own take on the so-called “pro controller”. This is where the DualSense Edge comes in. It is an R4,300 controller that packs customization features unheard of by Sony and a premium look and feel which makes it the official flagship controller for the PS5.
Watch the DualSense Edge Review below
Before I get to the technical side of things, let’s discuss what you get when you spend R4,300 on a PS5 controller. I have already unboxed the controller in a separate video which you can watch here. When you get your DualSense Edge, you’ll get it neatly packed in a box, covered in a clean white cloth and protected in a hard shell case.
This case is likely where the controller will spend most of its time when you’re not playing. It also houses all the extra goodies you’ll need to fully experience this pro device. It comes with additional analogue nubs. Four in fact. There are two short dome nubs and two high dome nubs. You’ll also get the concaved nubs already installed on the controller.
The shell case also houses the 2.8-meter charging cable which is thankfully braided. You are spending a lot of money on this thing so I wouldn’t expect less. There’s a cable lock for the controller which allows you to plug the controller into the cable and lock it into place. That way it won’t accidently come out and when someone trips over the cable, they will send the entire controller flying instead of just the end of the cable.
There’s also an empty slot in the case for an extra analogue module. At the moment, these modules aren’t available in South Africa but they should be soon. If you’re not in SA, you can order these for $20 at participating retailers.
Lastly, the shell also includes four different paddles. There are two half dome paddles and two lever back paddles. These are metal and magnetically slide into the back of the controller.
The case itself is also quite nifty. It houses a velcro flap at the back where you can slide a charging cable in to leave the Edge charging while you’re not using it. The shell case zips up nicely and keeps everything neat and tidy.
When it comes to the design of the DualSense Edge, it definitely sells that premium price tag that comes with it. It looks like the average DualSense but the small finishes give it a little extra polish. The touchpad, for example, features black plastic with the PlayStation symbols embossed into it. The analogue casing is also shiny. There’s a rubber coating on the inner handles of the controller and some extra PlayStation symbols on the R2 and L2 triggers. This helps with grip.
Of course, there are extra buttons and bits on the Edge too. Underneath the analogue sticks, you’ll find the two function buttons. These are used to change controller profiles. On the back, there are also two trigger toggles. These reduce the distance the L2 and R2 buttons need to travel in order to register a press. The back of the controller also features two holes for the paddles and a release toggle which ejects the front plastic face in order to get into swap out the analogue stick modules.
Setting up the DualSense Edge was pretty simple. In fact, Sony provides a really cool pop-up screen when you first plug in the controller. This screen gave me a quick glance at the features on the device and then walked me through the setup.
You need to keep in mind that this DualSense Edge is as customizable as you want it to be. It all really depends on your play style across your games. However, the foundations available on this controller open up some exciting ways to approach your gaming sessions. I play a lot of Destiny 2 so I immediately slapped in the half-dome paddles and assigned X to the right paddle and L3 to the left paddle. That way I could jump around without having to remove my thumb off the camera stick I could also sprint without having to click in L3.
When I played PvP in Destiny 2, I then quickly swapped to another preset that I made. The secondary one had a reduced trigger zone and the circle button on the left paddle. So both my thumbs were always on the analogue sticks no matter how much I was sprinting and jumping around.
I also made a preset for Forspoken. I assigned the circle button to the right paddle which is the game’s parkour sprint button. That way I could easily sprint around and jump without having to let go of the circle button to press X in order to jump.
Sony makes customizing the DualSense Edge incredibly easy. It is even easier to switch between profiles. You just hold down one of the function buttons and a menu on the PS5 appears where you press the designated button assigned to whatever profile you make. You can also store profiles on the PS5 so if you run out of space on the controller, you save it on the console and take it off when you need to. Best of all, this is all done without ever having to plug in the controller after the first initial setup.
I also need to mention that every button is remappable on the DualSense Edge. So you can really go to town on tweaking this controller experience to your liking. You don’t even need to use the paddles to assign different buttons to other buttons. If you’re playing Monster Hunter Rise and feel like the attack buttons, which are triangle and circle, need to be R1 and R2, you can do that. There’s no more excuse for putting up with questionable button layouts and games that don’t include remappable controller configurations.
There’s especially a lot to do in the stick settings. Here, you can not only adjust the dead zone, which is a much-needed feature but there are mappable sensitivity settings to choose from too. It is all represented in a curve layout and Sony even gives you a brief description of each curve and what genre of game might benefit from it. You can also adjust the curve further and fiddle with the stick while you’re doing it to see how it portrays in real-time.
In a way, the DualSense Edge also aims to eliminate some of the issues seen on the mainstream DualSense controller. Namely, drift. While the extra paddles on this controller are cool and definitely come in handy, the big selling point of the Edge is the ability to completely remove your analogue stick modules and slot in new ones.
Removing them is pretty simple and I could definitely see myself stocking up with a few in case my current set starts to look nasty. But there’s a huge missed opportunity here which I hoped Sony would not miss.
If you know me and have watched my previous video where I showed you how to protect your analogue stick shaft from damage, you would know that a pro controller should make me happy. Sadly, it doesn’t. You see, the analogue stick caps are still plastic which means this will wear down over time. Already after a day or so of use, I noticed the nasty white ring around the shaft and plastic shaving on the face.
I usually tape my stick shaft to prevent it from shaving and building up inside the analogue. This causes damage by just generally playing games. Unfortunately, I was hoping Sony would opt for metal stick caps here. Not only is this controller very expensive, but the metal shaft would prolong the lifespan of the module and the cap. Instead, we got cheap plastic.
Thankfully, should you ever replace your module, a single pack comes with three caps so the ugly damaged ones can get tossed out with the module. I do hope that Sony releases a premium module set that perhaps includes a metal set of caps and a stick shaft. The opportunity is right in front of them to further enhance this controller with even better add-ons.
Another issue I can’t ignore is the battery life. It is abysmal. I had to charge my controller every night after three hours of gaming. Sure, I was playing Forspoken which uses every DualSense feature but be prepared for a battery life that will inconvenience you. In the end, I just set up a power outlet next to me and used my iPhone charger with a USB-C cable to keep it in charge when the warning popped up. This 1050mAh battery just isn’t great at all.
Thankfully, once I embraced the poor battery life, I kinda learnt to live with it. I charged the controller in the DualSense charging dock alongside my other controllers. I also used the cable and lock. You can also use the same charging cable that came with your PS5 by the way. It also supports the cable lock too.
The DualSense Edge is a pricy controller but you need to compare apples with apples here. The same level of customization and features found on other devices would cost you the same too. The Xbox Elite Series 2 controller costs the same as the Edge. Importing a Scuff Relfex will also set you back well over R4,000. Even over R5,000 at times.
I enjoy the DualSense Edge for what it is. I can use it without worrying about damaging the shaft and getting drift because I can simply replace the entire module should drift ever happen. It gives me that ease of mind. I don’t have to sit and tape my controller shaft anymore because of this controller. For me, that alone is enough to warrant the price tag. I do wish the battery life was better and we had more premium modules and shafts but hopefully, we’ll get there soon.
The DualSense Edge is available now starting at R4,300.
DualSense Edge Review
Design - 7/10
Performance - 8.5/10
Value - 8.5/10
The DualSense Edge has the potential to be the best controller on the market but Sony’s cheap plastic stick modules and poor battery life hold it back.
Cheap analogue stick modules
Poor battery life