Beyond just confirming the supposed sensation, Margenau expanded on the topic to discuss how these improved haptics came about. PlayStation 5 owners owe the changes to the update that released back in April, the first big update the console got after its release. Margenau said he’d been giving feedback to the DualSense team prior to the update’s release regarding the feel of games played through backwards compatibility support as opposed to native PlayStation 5 games.
A few months ago, I got to give feedback to the Sony DualSense team to help improve certain timing, intensity, and “texture” of haptics when in backwards compatibility (BC) mode to closer achieve the feeling we authored for the original DualShock 4 for our games.— Kurt Margenau (@kurtmargenau) May 21, 2021
Continuing the discussion in the Twitter thread, Margenau said the DualShock 4 from the PlayStation 4 had two weights inside that differed from the weights in the DualSense. When playing games through the backwards compatibility mode, the DualSense gets signals intended for the DualShock 4 and then emulates them but does so in its own way given the difference in weights and feedback capabilities.
This includes accounting for all the timing differences in the authored rumble that’s built-in when designing for the DS4, and emulating the inherent variation and “rumbly” feeling that comes with a rotating motor.— Kurt Margenau (@kurtmargenau) May 21, 2021
All that goes to say that it was apparently a lot of work to get the improved haptics implemented on backwards compatibility games since the two controllers function so differently from one another, but he takeaway is that games like The Last of Us Part II indeed feel better on the PlayStation 5 now thanks to past updates.
For those wondering why the PlayStation 5 version of the game didn’t just utilize the DualSense haptics completely instead of emulating the PlayStation 4’s feeling, the post from Naughty Dog explaining what had changed noted that the update was only targeting the framerate. The developers did say that they were still working with the new console and that this update was just the “first step of working on the PS5,” so perhaps we’ll see more from The Last of Us Part II on that console in the future.
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