The PS5 DualSense vs Xbox Series X battle has never been fiercer. Perhaps you are platform dependent or interested in owning one on PC. That’s all you need to know.
Two years after launch, the battle between PS5 and Xbox Series X has begun. Exclusive games, high-value services, and console specs take a lot of consideration when deciding which console to choose. But it’s important not to underestimate the importance of each console controller.
A console can have a huge impact on your gaming experience, so it’s worth paying attention to whether or not the console you choose has one that works for you. Interestingly, both Microsoft and Sony have approached the console issue differently with their new generation consoles.
While Microsoft chose to enhance its existing design, Sony went a little further by dropping the DualShock name for DualSense, which introduces exciting new immersive features, such as haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. Either way, it all helps create the best PS5 games and the best Xbox Series X games.
Want to know how the two controllers stack up against each other? We’re putting the PS5 DualSense Controller and Xbox Wireless Controller head to head, providing an in-depth comparison of the latest generation of gaming hardware. If you’re interested in seeing how the consoles stack up specifically against each other, check out our PS5 vs Xbox Series X guide.
PS5 DualSense Controller vs Xbox Series X Controller: Price
While the prices of the Xbox Series X and PS5 consoles are pretty much identical, the consoles differ quite a bit. The DualSense controller for PS5 costs $69.99 / £59.99 / AU $95.85, while the standalone Xbox Wireless Controller is $59.99 / £54.99 / AU $74.99.
It’s worth nothing, though, that you can use all your existing Xbox One accessories on your Xbox Series X | S, including older consoles. The same can’t be said for the PS5, which only lets you use a DualShock 4 if you’re playing a PS4 game via backwards compatibility, while the DualSense can’t be used with a PS4 controller at all.
PS5 DualSense Controller vs. Xbox Series X Controller: Design
Both companies have taken different approaches to their controller designs with this generation. Sony ditched the traditional DualShock design but Microsoft doubled down on its current design in subtle but important ways.
The immediate change you’ll notice with the PS5 DualSense controller is the white color scheme – which has been limited to limited edition PlayStation consoles in the past – while the central side of the console remains black. While the analog sticks are in the same place, the face buttons are now transparent, giving the controller a more premium look.
Otherwise, the touchpad returns, and the light bar is housed inside since the Dualshock 4’s mid-cycle review is now centered around the touchpad itself. The Share button has been replaced by the Create button, which Sony claims it uses to “innovate new ways for players to create epic gameplay content to share with the world.”
The console now also charges via a USB-C connection, rather than the previous micro-USB. USB-C has become the new standard, which means you’ll be able to charge your console via the same cable you use for many Android phones, iPad Pros, MacBooks, or Nintendo Switch.
The USB-C port can also be found on the Xbox Series X console, though Microsoft’s changes are more conservative. For example, a new Share button has been added to the center of the controller, hopefully that means we’re no longer digging through menus in the heat of battle to grab a clip.
The D-pad has also been swapped for a hybrid dish-style entry that draws inspiration from the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller. This allows more control over the complex inputs you would find in a fighting game. There’s also a new tight trigger control, which helps keep players from slipping into those tense battle royale encounters. The overall outline of the controller has also been made smaller, which helps little hands feel more comfortable to hold.
PS5 DualSense Controller vs Xbox Series X Controller: Features
The Xbox Series X console has a neat under-the-hood feature. It involves sending information from the console to the console (and TV through HDMI) repeatedly, allowing your actions to match the frames on the screen. This removes milliseconds from response times and is part of what the company calls Dynamic Latency Input.
The console operates on the same infrastructure as the Xbox Wireless Radio for Xbox One, and continues to offer Bluetooth compatibility by using Bluetooth Low Energy pairing to make switching devices instantaneous. This can potentially be very useful if you plan to stream through Xbox Cloud Gaming to other devices you own.
Sony’s DualSense offers much more player facing technology. DualSense has its own built-in microphone, so you can use it to talk to your friends online without using a headset. In addition to that, it also offers Bluetooth connectivity, and the main plus is haptic feedback and adaptive triggers.
This technology, built into the game’s triggers and body, allows players to feel in-game actions, such as pulling a bow string or driving through thick mud. It’s very impressive, and it can create some really amazing sensations that make games feel even more immersive. It’s up to the developers to implement the technology, of course, but expect Sony’s first-party studios to adopt it regularly.
One drawback to the DualSense that we noticed is that although it has a bunch of great features, there is also a fairly average battery life. It’s not quite capable of competing with the Xbox Series X console, which can use AA batteries or a “play and charge” pack.