If you own an Xbox Series X/S, you may have received a survey from Microsoft about how you're enjoying it. Expected questions about players' next-gen experience include how players are enjoying quick resume, and new performance options. One particularly interesting part of the survey is a question about Xbox players knowledge of, and desire, for features that are exclusive to the PlayStation 5's DualSense controller.
As reported by TechRadar, the survey contains the usual kinds of questions you'd expect on a hardware questionnaire, such as your overall satisfaction with the console. It also has it's software-specific questions, like how users enjoy the home screen UI, which went through several changes in the Xbox One's lifetime. However, there are also a few specific questions that might be a sign of things to come. One of these asks if the Xbox Series X "feels next-gen," but a more interesting one asks if users are "aware of features on PlayStation controllers" that they wish were on Xbox controllers. Another question asked specifically what features customers would like to see on Xbox controllers. DualSense controllers come with a selection of features, such as haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, that are designed to make gaming more immersive.
Microsoft has had their eye on DualSense controllers for a while now. In a November 2020 interview with The Verge, Phil Spencer, the head of Microsoft's Xbox division, said:
I applaud what [Sony] did with the controller, not actually for — well, I shouldn’t say not for the specifics of the controller, but more than just the specifics of the controller. I think for all of us in the industry, we should learn from each other and the innovation that we all push on, whether it’s distribution of business model like Game Pass, or controller tech, or the Wii back in the day, which clearly had an impact on us when we went off and did Kinect and Sony did the Move. I think all of that innovation is something that we should all be looking at and learning and growing and saying, ‘Okay, what’s really going to break out and become a common part of a platform that developers and players are going to look for?’ Or, ‘What is more vertical around a specific scenario on a specific piece of hardware?’ We’re trying to be eyes open on that. For any technology, whether it’s a controller, or any VR, or anything else…
Of course, big leaps in technology can negatively affect backward compatibility. Controllers for the Xbox Series X/S are very similar to Xbox One controllers, with the addition of a Share button. Meanwhile, the DualSense is a good bit different from its DualShock 4 predecessor, and the older controllers can only be used in backward-compatible PS4 games. It's possible Microsoft may decide to bring out new controllers with DualSense technology, but we'll have to see if the people they surveyed think it's a good idea.