Speaking on a recent episode of the Play, Watch, Listen podcast (starting at around 1:20:00), composer Austin Wintory discusses the new audio systems promised by Unreal Engine 5, and more particularly PS5’s Tempest Engine, which will reportedly allow the console to simulate the sound of individual raindrops in a storm.
Bithell says he’s Googling to “find if it’s been announced yet” before he replies: “You’re going to love what they’re doing with the controller on PS5 as well, with the DualSense stuff. Haptic… the raindrops thing; I’ve had some demos, they’re very good […] you’re gonna have some fun and games with that.” He and Wintory then agree that that’s probably as close as they can get before breaking non-disclosure agreements.
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The connection between the two comments means it’s possible Bithell is suggesting that the PlayStation 5 DualSense will let players feel in-game rain, or integrate with the Tempest Engine in some way, but he doesn’t confirm either point.
It’s not a far-fetched possibility: Sony has previously discussed how the controller will attempt to communicate the feeling of walking through mud, or the tension on a bow string. In a hands-on with an early version of the controller, Wired also explained how the controller could simulate the feeling of driving on two different road surfaces simultaneously.
It may be that these are the same demos Bithell has had – either way, it’s exciting to hear that developers outside of Sony are coming away impressed with the technology.
The DualSense may have other bold new features to show off – check out this article covering a peculiar patent which claims that the DualSense may be able to sense a player’s biometrics as they play. We’ve also speculated on what the DualSense means for Sony’s wider plans for PS5. There’s another new controller on the way with Xbox Series X, too, so why not check out our comparison chart of the two?
Jordan Oloman is a freelance writer for IGN who believes that no one else can feel it for you, and only you can let it in. Follow him on Twitter.