Sony's new $200 DualSense Edge controller caters to the high-performance enthusiast crowd, but the upgrades come at a cost other than money.
The DualSense Edge is Sony's answer to the Xbox Elite controllers, featuring swappable joysticks, back paddles, and significantly optimized precision and sensitivity profiles. Sony promises that the Edge will give you, well, an edge in all kinds of games, especially shooters where fast-twitch reflexes are needed.
There's just two potential problems with the DualSense Edge. The first is battery life. Sony has officially confirmed the DualSense Edge has a "moderately shorter" battery life than the $70 stock DualSense controller. We don't know the battery size of the Edge, but the regular DualSense uses a 1,560 mAh battery, which can be swapped out in favor of a battery with a higher capacity (I did this with my DualShock 4 and it worked very well).
Sony delivered this official response to The Verge:
The DualSense Edge wireless controller's operating time is moderately shorter than the original DualSense wireless controller because we've included many more features within the same form factor and ergonomic design as the original DualSense controller. We wanted to strike a good balance between wireless operating time and delivering robust, high-performance features. Additionally, the longer USB braided cable is also great for competitive players who prefer playing with a wired connection to avoid wireless interference - this option preserves battery life.
The second problem is stick drift. This is less of a problem than it would be with, say, a DualShock 4 or a regular DualSense because you can easily swap out the joysticks. However Sony has said that all of the Edge's joysticks are potentiometer-based, which means they use the same joysticks as the DualShock 4. This effectively means that the Edge is not immune to stick drift.
We experienced stick drift on a launch version of the PlayStation 5's DualSense controller...and it's not fun. It would be even less fun on a $200 controller.
The DualSense Edge will release on January 26, 2023 and is exclusively available on Sony's own PlayStation Direct storefront. It won't be sold in stores. Pre-order link can be found here.
Ultra-customizable controls: You can make the DualSense Edge wireless controller uniquely yours by remapping or deactivating specific button inputs and fine-tuning your aim by adjusting stick sensitivity and dead zones (the distance your analog stick moves before it's recognized in a game). In addition, each trigger is adjustable with options to tailor travel distance and dead zones to your preference. For example, you can manually reduce travel distance of the triggers for faster inputs in competitive FPS games or reduce the dead zone for precise throttle control in racing games.
● Ability to save multiple control profiles: Once you've found your ideal control settings, you can save them to unique profiles and swap between them on-the-fly. With the DualSense Edge wireless controller, you'll always have your preferred controls for your games ready to go, whether you're facing Norse gods and monsters in God of War RagnarÖk, or rival players in an online battle royale.
● On-controller user interface: The dedicated Function button allows you to easily adjust your setup while staying focused on the in-game action - quickly swap between your pre-set control profiles, adjust game volume and chat balance, and access the controller profile settings menu to set up and test new control iterations while in game.
● Changeable stick caps and back buttons: Three types of swappable stick caps (standard, high dome, and low dome) help you stay comfortable in game while maintaining grip and stability. The two swappable sets of back buttons (half-dome and lever) can be configured to be any other button input, putting more essential controls at your fingertips.
● Replaceable stick modules: Play longer with the ability to fully replace each individual stick module on the controller (replacement stick modules will be sold separately).
● Built-in DualSense wireless controller features: The DualSense Edge wireless controller retains the signature comfort and immersive experience of the DualSense wireless controller when playing supported games, including haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, built-in microphone, motion controls, and more.