It appears Sony's new most recent range of new DualSense controllers have been quietly upgraded. This refresh doesn’t change the core aesthetic or features of the PS5's advanced controller, but addresses a few issues under the hood that were causing some gamer’s headaches.
This upgrade is tied to the three brand new DualSense colors that were released earlier this year. The Starlight Blue. Nova Pink and Galactic Purple controllers have been torn down by YouTuber TronicsFix (opens in new tab), and it looks like there have been a couple of small but potentially meaningful tweaks to the controller’s internal components.
Firstly, a slightly different spring has been used for the back shoulder buttons. In the first wave of DualSense controllers this spring was 0.25mm in thickness, whereas the new controllers have a slightly thicker spring measuring 0.3mm. This is likely to address complaints that the DualSense triggers are too fragile and prone to breaking, an issue I’ve had personal experience with.
The next change is that Sony has swapped a small black piece of plastic for a seemingly identical-looking green one. TronicFix has theorised that this could be related to preventing the dread problem of analog stick drift. However, as the pieces of plastic appear to be identical, this might be a purely cosmetic change made solely for manufacturing reasons.
Otherwise, the new DualSense controllers appear to be virtually indistinguishable from their first wave counterparts. The battery, model number and motherboard are all pretty much exactly the same, although the size of the board and the location of some components have been shifted. Whether this will impact the controller’s performance remains to be seen.
We have tested a Cosmic Red and a Starlight Blue DualSense and the differences really are imperceptible. The triggers feel identical as do to the analog sticks. However, the upgrades are likely to become apparent over time. At least in theory, the Starlight Blue controller should be less prone to breaking.
As noted, these upgrades have only been spotted in the three new DualSense colorways released back in February. But we’re hoping the previously released Midnight Black and Cosmic Red controllers, and standard white pad, will also be upgraded at some point in the future. Presumably, once Sony has sold through its current stock, these first wave variants will also get the same under-the-hood refresh.