Sony has never made their own "Pro" controller before. Instead, the strategy has always been to let interested third parties vie for consumer favour, so over the years we've received pretty solid submissions from companies like Razer and Scuf, but finally Sony saw what Microsoft has managed to do with their relatively successful Elite Series controllers, and are now introducing us to the "Edge".
It is being introduced at a price of just over £200, which is quite expensive. In fact, it's more expensive than an Elite Series 2 with all its respective kit, so with the ambitious pricing, a slam dunk is needed on almost every parameter here. And the Dualsense Edge is just that... Not.
Let's start with all the positives, though. You get a decidedly nice and well-constructed case with it, much like with the Elite Series 2, and it appears rock solid. Inside, there's room for the extra flappy paddles for additional functions on the back of the controller, different kinds of heads for the analogue sticks, and a long, thick, and neat USB-C cable. The only thing missing here is a charging mechanism, because over at Microsoft they're kind enough to include an ingenious charging dock. Granted, there's a hole in the back so the cable can be slipped in and charged without the Edge having to come out of its case, but it's worth noting that Microsoft somehow included a charging stand in their Elite Series 2, which is missing here.
The controller itself builds on the existing DualSense design, and that's only a good thing. It sits brilliantly in the hands, feels solid to hold without being heavy. It supports the fantastic haptic feedback that Sony has carried since the start of this generation, there are almost no complaints in terms of buttons, responsiveness or construction. But again; that could just as easily be said about the existing DualSense at £60.
There are plenty of classic "Pro" features here, though. You can attach two "paddles" to the back (not four like elsewhere), which are crafted in nice metal. There are incremental closure mechanisms of the controller's triggers that can turn activation into something resembling a click, rather than a gradual tap, and there are two additional buttons under each analog stick.
It's the software implementation that impresses most here. Just as you boot up your controller, you're greeted by a slick PS5 interface that walks you through the various functions and lets you tailor profiles that can be switched in an instant. There's even interface input via the Cards system on the console itself, so it's informative, easy and nice to set up. Sony has designed a first-party controller, that's for sure, and the benefit is that it's so tightly integrated into the whole system that you can ditch frustrating elements like a smartphone app for setting, for example. It's all right here - on your PS5.
But it's not all plain sailing, and considering the Edge is a tad more expensive than many competitors, that's just crucial to get right. Missing "dock", okay, only room for two paddles on the back? Never mind. But the heads for the analogue sticks are attached with plastic hasps rather than magnets, which makes swapping them rather nerve-wracking as it's all done via a plasticky "click".
And then there's that damn battery life. We've already confirmed that the physical battery is 1050mAh instead of the 1560mAh you'll find in the regular DualSense, and around that gave us an average battery life of about 4.5 hours of use. That's with haptic feedback turned on, and it's probably 20-30% less than the average DualSense? These are really estimates though, and it depends on what games, what kind of feedback, and what the usage pattern looks like. Let's just say that battery life is shorter, and then we haven't said too much, or too little.
Fortunately, there are also aspects where Sony introduces us to something a little new. For example, you can swap out your entire stick module, meaning the entire analog stick, which means that if your controller develops drift, or just general wear and tear, you can buy a new module outright without having to replace the entire controller. There is also a cable lock that attaches over the cable at the back so it can't be pulled out. Smart.
For £210, the Edge should have neither shorter battery life nor sacrificed a small dock for charging. It should have it all. But that said, this oozes first-party excess, and you certainly get a "Pro" controller when you invest in an Edge.