Analysing the Next-Gen Controllers

Dual Sense Vs. Series X: How Do They Stack Up?

Sony and Microsoft recently revealed their new controllers, the DualSense and Series X controller, coming this holiday season. In addition to the console specs we got some interesting details about how each of these controllers is going to work. Let’s take a look at what’s new with each controller and see how they stack up against each other.

Series X Controller

The new controller for the Xbox Series X is not a drastic departure from the standard Xbox One controller. The general design will feel very familiar to fans with a few design updates and new features. Microsoft detailed some of their design choices and philosophy in an interview with the lead controller designer. Check out that interview here.

Microsoft attempted to be more inclusive with the controller design for a wider range of people based on hand sizes. They accomplished this by rounding down the bumpers and reducing rounded areas near the triggers. Reducing size and adding curvature in these areas makes the controller accessible to those with smaller hands without making it uncomfortable to older audiences with larger hands. Additionally, Microsoft adjusted the grips to compliment the adjustments made to the bumpers and triggers.

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Xbox Series X Controller image
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Another interesting update is how Microsoft chose to handle the D-pad. The design approach attempts to make a hybrid design of the standard Xbox One controller and the Elite controller. This design philosophy covers the widest reach for many game genres and how players need inputs in those titles.

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Some of the more advanced design upgrades come in the way of general compatibility. The Series X controllers will be cross compatible with the Xbox one and vice versa. Additionally, they are making the compatibility with other devices more seamless. Usage and transition between iOS, Android, PC, phones and more will be quick and simple. Something else Xbox fans will love is that their peripherals, like the chat pad or headsets, will carry over to the Series X. Finally, they added a share button making it easier to share snapshots and game play videos on a variety of social platforms.

Microsoft is also pushing for a strong technical delivery with the Series X controller. They reduced the input latency improving overall responsiveness of the controller. Add in some touch ups to the analog sticks and the matte finishes to the body and the controller is looking strong.

Sony’s Dual Sense

Currently, we know far less about the Dual Sense controller than we do about the Series X. Based on the information Sony released here with the controller reveal, it seems both companies took a similar approach to controller design.

Sony made big adjustments for the ergonomic design of the Dual Sense coming from the Dual Shock 4. The designers changed the angles of the trigger buttons to offer a better slope for most hand sizes. They rounded out the wide angles of the body to contour with the shape of the hands and adjusted the grips for a light and sturdy feel.

DualSense Controller for PlayStation 5
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The Guts of The Dual Sense

Sony aimed for a more immersive feel with their controller in this upcoming console generation. They added haptic vibrations in the body to offer a more responsive feel to the actions taken in game. Sony added adaptive triggers for snappy responses in most games. A huge adjustment to the battery life is coming, which was a common complaint in early Dual Shock 4 controllers.

A built-in microphone was added to the controller. Sony advertises the mic as an easy drop in drop out option for conversations with friends. Some voice features from the PS4 will also be brought forward with the microphone. They are shifting directions slightly with the removal of the share button, but they added the new “create” button. For now we know it will have many of the same share features, but they are boasting some additional capabilities that haven’t been revealed.

Introducing DualSense, the New Wireless Game Controller for PlayStation 5
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The general design of the controller is the most significant change we can see so far. Sony dropped the single-color design and opted for a two-tone black and white color scheme. They moved the LED to both sides of the touch pad shifting the lighting to the face of the controller rather than the back. That’s all we know for now, but we expect more details in the coming months.

How Do They Compare?

Based on what we know about both controllers we can see both companies are trying to make some big steps for the experience of gamers in the next console generation. Microsoft has been more forthcoming with information at the moment offering more transparency with their design choices than Sony.

DualSense Controller for PlayStation 5
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Each controller made changes to their ergonomic design to accommodate a wide range of gamers from multiple age groups. Microsoft only needed minor tweaks to their design, while Sony actually made a larger shift to the controller taking on a similar design to the Xbox. Both controllers adjusted the angles and slopes of the bumper and trigger buttons aiming for better contours to most hands. Which controller feels better will likely come down to preference once we all get our hands on them.


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While Microsoft updated the D-pad for a more precise experience based on gamer feedback, Sony decided to stay true to their classic D-pad design. Regarding social connectivity, Microsoft took a page from Sony and added a share button to the controller. We will have to wait and see the nuances of how both share functions work.


We don’t really know what updates, if any, Sony made to input latency or general compatibility, but Microsoft pushed hard for compatibility with numerous devices. Conversely, Sony offered more details about their addition of haptic vibration feedback and adaptive triggers. As far as we know, Microsoft will not have this functionality.

Sony is continuing with the touchpad and microphone from the Dual Shock 4, a design choice Microsoft has chosen to ignore in its own controller. As for battery life, we will have to see how it compares between both controllers as both companies have made improvements to the battery.

With both controllers making interesting upgrades, it will be difficult to choose which controller you might prefer. We are excited to gather up additional details on both designs in the coming months before launch. Both consoles launch this holiday season and we will likely get more news dumps before then.

For more information about Xbox and PS5 check back with Culture of Gaming. As always, thanks for reading!


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Brando is persistently treading the path of becoming a super villain but unfortunately lacks the cranial capacity to do so effectively. Instead he spends his time downing coffee and whiskey almost interchangeably and at times simultaneously while immersing himself in his gaming passions. Now he puts those passions to work writing and discussing games at any given opportunity.

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