The DualSense Edge wireless controller is Sony’s obligatory premium gamepad designed for hardcore players. At $200, it’s not specifically aimed at accessibility. In the hype around Project Leonardo, the DualSense Edge isn’t really being examined for accessibility purposes. I’m happy to report that for some players, the DualSense Edge will provide a more accessible controller without the necessity to configure a full Leonardo setup. Which will not be available until the product launches at a date that has yet to be announced.
While the DualSense Edge isn’t your typical assistive gaming device, it does offer several improvements on the standard DualSense controller.
More Accessible Visuals
One of my biggest gripes with the original DualSense was the gray on white color scheme for the face buttons. This made the controller needlessly low contrast for players with low vision and certain impairments to color vision. Thankfully, the Edge eschews the original design for a light gray on black color scheme for the face buttons. Without a doubt a definite win for accessibility.
For some players, including myself, concave sticks caps and buttons make it easier to prevent controllers from slipping out of our hands. That’s why one of the most impactful features for me in the DualSense Edge is its ability to swap stick caps, and entire stick assemblies. I’m not sure if this is only meant for repairability’s sake, or for joystick upgrades. But the bottom line is that being able to customize not only the surface of the joystick, but the actual mechanicals of each stick means that the DualSense Edge could be much more flexible than the standard DualSense. Either for players who may need sticks that are heavier, harder to push, or sticks that are lighter and easier to push. I hope Sony allows third party manufacturers to develop sticks, right now there is no way to adjust stick tension.
Like other high-end controllers, the DualSense Edge lets you set the trigger actuation depth by manually adjusting sliders on the bottom of the controller. This determines how far you have to press the trigger to register an input. This is a pretty standard feature at this price point, and would have been noticeable more for its absence if it wasn’t included. Still, letting players adjust how far triggers need to be pulled is a great way to make controllers more accessible. Especially for players with limited strength.
Add-ons and Accompaniments
This may sound silly, but honestly the best accessibility feature of the DualSense Edge is the USB-cord lock. This lock is meant to ensure that controllers don’t get unplugged unexpectedly. This is especially useful during tournaments or other scenarios where controller hiccups could result in immediate disqualification.
Believe it or not, I drop my controllers a lot. I try to always leave them plugged in so I can use the cord to retrieve them without any help. Unfortunately most USB-cables aren’t meant to bear a lot of weight, so this technique only works a few times before becoming unplugged. That’s why the inclusion of a locking USB cable is so appreciated. Now I have a controller that I can retrieve, even if I drop it without anyone around to pick it up.
On the whole, the DualSense Edge is a premium product. As such its priced out of most disabled players’ budgets, but it should not be dismissed out of hand. For players with disabilities it may represent a much needed upgrade without having to resort to a fully custom setup. The DualSense Edge is another option when trying to adapt the PlayStation 5 to fit your needs.
A review copy of was provided by the developer / publisher.