The PS5 DualSense Controller is definitely one of the better devices that arrives with the new consoles back in November 2020. Not only does it feature some incredible hardware such as haptic feedback and adaptive triggers but the PlayStation symbols make the device feel like it was made for the fans. If you don’t know by now (you probably do), the DualSense Controller, and every other Sony original PS5 accessory, include a PlayStation symbol texture somewhere on it. The Verge recently explored how Sony managed to achieve such a tiny detail during its design process.
According to the feature, every DualSense controller out there includes over 40,000 tiny PlayStation symbols which act as the texture for the controller’s grips. Sony decided to apply a microtexture to the controller that helps grip the device (and catch all the grime in your hands at the same time).
Sony’s chief designers behind the PS5, Yujin Morisawa and Takeshi Igarashi revealed that the pattern was created by layering a series of sheets of symbols on top of each other to create a unique pattern. These sheets then create the texture that includes no even space across its entire design. The texture itself was actually sketched out by hand to avoid it being tiled and look computerized.
Morisawa, the Senior Art Director of Sony’s Design Center Product Design Group says that the design was sketched, reworked, digitized and applied countless times to the prototype in order to achieve the best result. The team wanted a balance of good-looking, comfortable and something that won’t slip but at the same time did not feel rough.
Left – Final design | Right – Printed mockups
Sony also opted to physically test the prototype instead of just creating the 3D version of the device in order to try and test the texture over and over again in real-world scenarios. The design was changed multiple times adding fewer symbols, more height, fewer layers of symbols and even resizing it all.
Each layer of symbols featured a different height which resulted in the current design. Some symbols are more predominant while others are faint. Sony opted for using only two layers in the end. One being 15 microns tall and the other 30 microns tall.
Various mockups including different height and layers
The Verge reports that the process of creating the controller shell saw Sony take molten ABS plastic and squeeze it into tiny laser-cut crevices. These crevices were, of course, the controller shell with the symbol textures. Sony then took a multi-axis laser engraving machine to the mould in order to achieve extra precision. This means that every DualSense Controller out there features the same PlayStation Symbol pattern.
The final design featuring two layers of symbols
The same process is done for all the other PS5 accessories. Users can find it on the Pulse 3D Headset, HD Camera, Charging Dock, Meda Remote and on the PS5 itself. You can read the full report here.
Image Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment