The PS5 DualSense controller was such a big change from the PlayStation that it was placed first in Sony’s PS5 launch strategy. Adaptive triggers and a new tactile feedback engine were announced several months before Sony even started talking about PS5 hardware. Microsoft has launched two new consoles to the market and neither of the two consoles has a new controller, but there is no denying that the PS5 is a much better console with the new DualSense.
Microsoft asked Xbox customers earlier this year if they were interested in the PlayStation 5s DualSense controller and features such as tactile feedback and adaptive triggers. An update to the Xbox controller is likely to be an important accessory at the launch of the Xbox X and S series, and DualSense could serve as inspiration.
Microsoft has decided to refine its existing pad to make it more accessible and responsive while Sony introduces new immersive technologies such as tactile feedback and adaptive triggers. Microsoft is sticking to the familiar design of its Xbox X-Pad series and making minor changes to the design under the hood to make improvements. The symmetrical thumb and key placement of past Sony controllers are retained, as is the familiar flat forehead touchpad and two buttons.
Unchanged in ergonomics, the revised controller resembles its Xbox One counterpart with a circular D-pad, five clearly defined square surfaces, and textured triggers inspired by the Wireless Xbox Elite Series 2 controller. It’s basically a PlayStation controller with extra chunks and matching features. The older controller models lack a few features that make the new one a worthy upgrade for you.
For what it’s worth, you can use your existing Xbox One accessories with the Xbox X and X-S series, including older controllers. You may also want to take some of Sony’s next-generation accessories with you for the PS5 system.
The same does not apply to the PS5, which allows you to use the DualShock 4 to play backward compatible PS4 games. Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S – they are identical in color and controller – and start playing Xbox Series X games as if you were on the PS4. Apart from a few aesthetic details such as a USB-C charging port instead of a micro USB, this is the only difference between the controllers.
In other words, the next-gen two-disc consoles are not designed to compete with each other. There is some evidence that Microsoft missed an opportunity to innovate and look different with DualSense and DualShock 4.
It’s not the first time the Xbox has shown interest in the PlayStation controller. Microsoft sent a survey to Xbox buyers of the X and S series and asked for feedback on the purchase of the system. The survey was made available to those who purchased the Xbox S and X series.
The Xbox X and S series could get an improved controller, Xbox CEO Phil Spencer was part of a recent podcast. When asked about future hardware disclosures he suggested the Xbox team could be inspired by the PlayStation 5s DualSense controller. Speaking about the kind of changes and additional accessories that will come to the new console, Spencer said his team is thinking about different types of devices that will take more games to more places. That’s not the only thing Spencer teases about the future of the Xbox, as he also explained in the interview that the company is incorporating more narratives into games.