The Last of Us Part II‘s co-director, Kurt Margenau, has revealed that the game’s improved haptics included in its recent PlayStation 5 update are actually thanks to a DualSense firmware update that was released back in April.
In a Twitter thread, Margenau explained that he had the opportunity to provide feedback to the DualSense technical team a few months ago, which he availed to request improved controller response when the PS5 is in backwards compatibility mode. He asked, and the team delivered. As a result, The Last of Us II‘s haptics feel noticeably better.
The DS4 has two different-sized rotating weights inside, and the DualSense has two weights that move forward and back and can express frequency and amplitude at extremely high fidelity and low latency (almost like a speaker). So the controller firmware in the DualSense has to receive the ‘old’ signals that are meant to spin up a motor (which has much higher latency), and emulate the resulting FEELING in the controller using a completely different mechanical method. 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. This is all done inside the controller without the game code changing at all.
Margenau went on to thank Product Manager Toshimasa Aoki and the DualSense technical team for making all of this possible.
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