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First PS5 ad highlights DualSense controller’s haptic feedback

Metaphorically speaking; that’s not a professional kraken on a closed course

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Sony published the first TV ad for the PlayStation 5 this morning. See for yourself.

Let’s start with this: I’m glad Sony clarified this is a “dramatization” in the fine print. Otherwise, I would worry that there are krakens in the arctic, perhaps threatened by global warming.

But it appears to be an allegorical tout of the PS5’s haptic feedback through the new DualSense controller, and the console’s 3D audio capabilities. “A world you can see with sound,” says the narrator. And an accompanying blog post on Thursday morning adds more perspective from developers on how PS5 games will call on senses other than sight.

Dinga Bakaba, the director of the (recently delayed) Deathloop, said the DualSense’s adaptive triggers and haptics “will bring some physicality in game experiences, and give important feedback.”

Deathloop being a first-person shooter, we do a lot of things to make weapons feel differently from one another,” Bakaba continued. “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.”

Gavin Moore, of SIE Japan Studio (the folks behind the Demon’s Souls remake), said the haptics will enhance melee combat as well. “You’ll experience the force of a titanic boss’ attack as you pull off a well-timed guard,” Moore said. “Metal strikes metal when your foes block your attacks or you block theirs. That extra sensory feedback through the controller allows you to know your attack hit home and your perfectly-timed parry was a success, so you can react faster and more decisively.”

Kazunori Yamauchi, president of Gran Turismo 7 maker Polyphony Digital, said the adaptive triggers will better represent the implementation of an anti-lock braking system, which motorsports gamers know feels a lot different in real life. “Compared to the rumble force feedback we had in the past, the special character of the haptic feedback is that is has a bigger range of frequencies it can produce,” he added.

The PlayStation 5 does not yet have a launch date or a price (or a pre-order page), but it is scheduled to launch in time for the holiday shopping season. The Xbox Series X will launch in November, Microsoft confirmed last week.

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