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PS5 DualSense vs. Xbox Series X Gamepad – Which Controller is Best?

With two next-gen consoles about to come out, the real question to ask is which one feels best? For that, we'll need to compare the PS5's DualSense to the Xbox Series X controller.

Getting a feel for the controller is one of the most important parts of a new console purchase. This is the part of the hardware that you touch the most often, and being able to use it well is essential to the overall enjoyment of the product.

That's why developers spend countless hours, making sure that everything about their product feels just right in your hands. Sony and Microsoft have done very well in this regard, putting out some of the best controllers ever released.

PS5 DualSense vs Xbox Series X Gamepad
(Source: Sony/Microsoft)

Now with the PS5's DualSense controller and the Xbox Series X gamepad, fans want to know which controller is better. As both consoles set to launch, we can take a look at what makes each new controller great.

PS5 DualSense vs. Xbox Series X Controller

In a new episode of IGN's 'Next-Gen Console Watch,' Jonathan Dornbush and Ryan McCaffrey go head to head in explaining what makes their console's controllers great.

New Features

According to the PlayStation podcast host Dornbush, the PS5's DualSense makes excellent use of its new haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. This is especially true in its pack-in game Astro's Playroom, where the controller is fully utilized.

astros playroom
(Source: Sony)

However, it has to be said that the simple title is designed to show off the new hardware in a way that many games might not. Many developers have confirmed their intentions to make good use of the new controller technology, but we'll have to see if this is still the case in a year's time.

For Xbox's part, McCaffrey explains that there's not too much change to the Xbox Series X Gamepad.

"It is functionally and physically identical to the Xbox One controller," McCaffrey explains.

This isn't quite the case; however, as the Xbox podcast host confirms, there are some slight changes to the overall design. There are adjustments to surface textures, including new grips on the triggers, and the shape of the controller has been altered slightly too.

In terms of new features, however, the controller is left lacking. However, in this case, Xbox isn't changing what isn't broken.

However, it should be pointed out that this isn't the best Xbox controller on the market. The Xbox Elite Controller v2 still holds that title, but the premium hardware is likely too expensive to include with every Series X unit.

Battery Life

In terms of battery life, it appears the Xbox is incredibly efficient, though. McCaffrey mentions that he's been playing with the Xbox Series X Gamepad for the better part of a month now.

In that time, the gamer has played a lot yet still has more than half of his battery life remaining. The Xbox Series X Gamepad continues to use AA batteries, but it seems that the newest controller doesn't drain the juice too quickly.

Next-Gen Controllers
(Source: Sonyy/Microsoft)

Going back to Dornbush, the PlayStation advocate mentions that Astro's Playroom makes heavy use of the DualSense controller. Whether you're using the movement sensor, microphone, or simply experiencing the constant use of haptic feedback, the device is extremely busy.

"It has lasted me longer in a session than the DualShock 4 did," Dornbush confirms. "Even something like Astro where it is very much using all facets of the controller - and I presume that's a bit more of a drain on the battery life - I haven't noticed a, y'know, dramatic time down in using the controller."

Players may well not notice their DualSense running out of battery much, it seems. This is especially true if they're the type of gamer to leave it on charge when not in use.

The DualSense controller reportedly has double the battery life of the DualShock 4, and that's an exciting fact.

Price

When it comes to price, getting your hands on a second controller for your next-gen console never comes cheap. If you're looking to play local multiplayer with a friend or partner, though, it's worth the investment.

Xbox Next-Gen Controllers
(Source: Microsoft)

Xbox fans will have to shell out $59.99 for their Xbox Series X controller, but there's good news for Xbox One fans. If you already have an Xbox One controller, Microsoft has confirmed that it will be compatible with the Series X/S.

PlayStation's DualShock 4 controllers will also work with the PS5 but not with any next-gen games. Therefore, if you're looking to play a PS5 title with a friend, you'll need a second DualSense.

The DualSense will set you back a significant $69.99, so here's hoping you only need to make the investment once. Those who have broken a controller or two in anger before should stay away from Demon's Souls at launch.

Conclusion

It isn't easy to compare the DualSense and the Xbox Series X controller at the end of the day. The two controllers both look excellent at what they do.

In terms of new innovations, PS5's hardware certainly has the edge. We're excited to see what the adaptive triggers and haptic feedback can offer next-gen gaming.

After all, the PS5 controller is more next-gen than the console, according to early reports. However, the Xbox controller is also known for being one of the best-feeling gamepads to date.

There's no clear winner for Sony or Microsoft, but we'd say every gamer about to get their hands on a next-gen console is getting a win. And all things considered, nobody is basing their choice of hardware off which console has the better controller, especially in a race this tight.

If you're yet to get your hands on a pre-order for the upcoming consoles, you're not necessarily out of luck. Here's how Best Buy will be selling PS5 and Xbox Series X/S on launch day.