PlayStation debuts first PS5 ad, new DualSense controller details

The first proper PlayStation 5 ad is here, and the emphasis is a bit different than you might expect ahead of a new console launch.

The ad, which is titled “Play Has No Limits” and clocks in at a little over a minute, focuses on the immersive capabilities of the PlayStation 5. What’s fascinating, however, is that it doesn’t try to hype up fancy graphics. In fact, you don’t even see a single second of gameplay. Instead, the spot follows a live-action woman navigating some fantastical special effects designed to show off some of the other technological advancements powering the new hardware.

First, she touches the ice to sense a massive Kraken about to burst through—a nod to the DualSense controller’s new and improved haptics. Then, she looks back and forth at sounds emanating from a jungle camp, a visualization of the PS5’s Tempest Engine for 3D audio. Finally, she draws a bow to shoot a flaming arrow while a voice over talks about feeling “force at your fingertips.” It’s subtler than the other two—likely because it’s harder to convey through a visual metaphor—but it’s meant to highlight the adaptive triggers, a feature that allows games to adjust the tension in response to onscreen events.

If you’re keeping track, that means two out of the three of the focal points of this first PlayStation 5 ad are not about the console itself but about the controller.

To drive home just how important the DualSense’s new features are to Sony’s marketing plans, the company released the ad accompanied by a blog post in which developers on PS5 exclusives detail the specific ways their games will take advantage of the tech.

While many of these are similar to what we’ve already heard, there are a few neat specifics. Multiple developers spoke to the fact that the improved haptic feedback will allow you to instantly tell which direction offscreen attacks are coming from in a first-person game.

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales looks to have a particularly clever use for the higher-resolution rumble. “As you hold down Square to do a Venom Punch, you feel Spider-Man’s bio-electricity crackle across from the left side of the controller, culminating in the right side on impact,” creative director Brian Horton said.

The developers behind Deathloop and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart both shared neat uses for the adaptive triggers. Bethesda’s time-loop shooter will apparently block the triggers from being pulled when your gun jams—”to give to the player an immediate feedback even before the animation plays out,” according to game director Dinga Bakaba.

Rift Apart, meanwhile, features a double-barreled shotgun called the Enforcer. “As you pull the trigger, you’ll fire from one barrel, and you can feel resistance around halfway down the trigger,” creative director Marcus Smith explained. “Need a bigger blast? Pull the trigger through that resistance point and you’ll fire both barrels at the same time.”

These are just a few specific examples, of course. You can read the rest of the (admittedly less exciting) developer write-ups on the PlayStation Blog.

The PlayStation 5 launches this holiday season.

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