It was confirmed back in April that Sony’s upcoming next-gen console would include support for the current-gen PSVR. In a new exclusive interview with Wired, the company further revealed that not only is PlayStation 5 slated to arrive holiday season 2020, but that an improved gamepad with better haptic feedback and “adaptive triggers” will come along with it.

Lead system architect Mark Cerny revealed a prototype controller to Wired, something described as an “unlabeled matte-black doohickey that looks an awful lot like the PS4’s DualShock 4.”

Notable new features include a USB Type-C connector for charging/data transmission, a larger-capacity battery, improved on-board speakers, and heavier overall weight, which was described as less weighty than an Xbox One controller with batteries.

But one of the really interesting things to come to the new gamepad is its “adaptive triggers” which offer varying levels of resistance. This essentially lets developers fine-tune the triggers (L2/R2) to increase tension when needed, like when you’re shooting different styles of guns or driving in variable terrain.

Sony Announces 4.2 Million PlayStation VR Units Sold

Wired also reports that the next gamepad (still unnamed) boasts haptic feedback engines “far more capable than the rumble motor console gamers are used to, with highly programmable voice-coil actuators located in the left and right grips of the controller.”

To demonstrate, Sony’s Japan Studio put together a few short demos—the same team behind The Playroom VR (2016) and Astro Bot Rescue Mission (2018).

Here’s what Wired’s Peter Rubin experienced:

“In the most impressive, I ran a character through a platform level featuring a number of different surfaces, all of which gave distinct—and surprisingly immersive—tactile experiences. Sand felt slow and sloggy; mud felt slow and soggy. On ice, a high-frequency response made the thumbsticks really feel like my character was gliding. Jumping into a pool, I got a sense of the resistance of the water; on a wooden bridge, a bouncy sensation,”

Playing a version of Gran Turismo Sport, which was ported to a PS5 dev kit, the controller appeared to offer a greater nuance of haptic feedback, differentiating between different road types with a lighter and harder feel.

Although the lack of news on the next iteration on PSVR is somewhat disheartening, better haptic feedback and wider developer support for the new PS5 gamepad nay very well pave the way for a better PSVR 2 motion controller too, which could incorporate many of the features listed above. That’s of course only healthy conjecture, although as it is now, anything is better than that 2010-era PS Move controllers at this point.

The article makes no mention of whether that 2020 release date will come alongside a prospective PSVR 2, however the company previously confirmed in May that a simultaneous launch was pretty unlikely.

Newsletter graphic

This article may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product we may receive a small commission which helps support the publication. More information.

Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • alex

    Interesting concept for the haptics, while not so much different than a PS4 controller. I’m more eager to see what the new PSVR 2 controllers will look like.

    • Jerald Doerr

      If I understand correctly the new controller just uses a different type of motor more like a standard cell phone motor that has far more range and control. It will be interesting to see how they do the real-time adaptive triggers and see if they can pull it off without them braking in two months’ time.

      • Kevin White

        It’s just a Linear Resonance Actuator (LRA) instead of an Eccentric Rotating Mass (ERM). Vive wands, Index controllers, Switch controllers, smartphones, Steam controllers, etc. use the same thing. Sony’s just switching from “rumble” to the more nuanced LRA. LRAs are similar in some ways to dynamic speaker cones, and can vary amplitude and frequency separately (and can even hit two frequencies simultaneously). LRAs also have much faster transient response — rise time. They can start and stop on a dime. In an ERM, amplitude and frequency are intrinsically linked, and transient response is two orders of magnitude slower.

        The trigger tech is interesting.

        • Jerald Doerr

          Thanks for all that good info! That all sounds like a simple switch of motor type for what might not seem to be a big deal to most people but that and the other things will make the controller better than it is now.

          • Kevin White

            It’ll definitely be an enhancement. The one knock against LRAs is they don’t always pack the same “punch” as ERMs — I’ve been thinking a hybrid system with both in the same chassis would be great, but would require a custom API.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Look at the patents for some of the new ideas by Sony…

  • MosBen

    Man, I hate the Dualshock, all versions. I really wish that there was some way to use an Xbox controller with a Playstation. Though I barely have time for the game systems that I own, my inability to play Spider-Man pains me greatly, but I just can’t get passed the stupid controller.

    • H.E.V.nix

      There is, search for Cronus MAX.

      • MosBen

        That’s definitely cool, though the fact that it won’t work wirelessly is kind of a bummer. Still, that’s one reason not to have a PS4 ticked off, so thanks!

      • MosBen

        Oof, just noticed the $100 price tag. I mean, it’s nice that the option is there, but I’ll probably wait to see what the PS5 is like and if they can either update this for compatibility or release a new compatible product before taking the plunge. And, or course, I’ll be waiting to see when we hear more about the next Xbox.

    • Master E

      I actually injured my thumb playing Destiny with the DualShock. It’s such a dainty controller compared to the Xbox controller. Don’t know how people with large hands manage.

      I hope they change the ergonomics of it for next gen. Won’t keep me from getting the console however.

      • MosBen

        I don’t like the size, but it’s the placement of the left analog stick that really does it. Your thumb’s natural resting point lays in parallel with your arms. Torquing it to the side isn’t comfortable for long periods of time, and generally isn’t great for your thumb. The Xbox controller isn’t perfect, but it’s probably the best that’s been designed.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Well, I have the same feeling with the xbox-controller……

  • Blankfrak

    Those move controllers are the Achilles heel of PSVR. A credible VR system hampered by awful tracking and no analogue.

  • Jerald Doerr

    I’m really looking forward to the high-speed SSD & I/O …

  • JesuSaveSouls

    Isn’t there a hack to use a psvr on the pc ?

    • Alexandre

      I found a tutorial of how to use PSVR on PC. However, I’m not sure it’s a hack.

  • namekuseijin


    • kool

      So you don’t have to here peopls whole conversation online

  • Ok. Now show us the PSVR 2!