Reimagining the Spider-Man 2 PS5 trailer with haptic feedback;  Here's how to try it out for yourself

Reimagining the Spider-Man 2 PS5 trailer with haptic feedback; Here’s how to try it out for yourself

No, you’re not reading this title wrong at all, we really managed to recreate Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 from Insomniac Games with functional haptic feedback. Is your sense of Spidey fooled by curiosity? Here’s how you can try it out.

How did it become

Last month, we published an article that goes a little deeper into the PS5’s DualSense controller and the way developers have used haptic feedback to create a more comprehensive experience. In what started out primarily as an experiment, we’ve posted a video showing off those touches in a game built just for it, Astro’s Playroom.

I noticed that the audio capture wasn’t perfect at all at the time of making this video, and since then I’ve discovered a better way to capture haptic feedback which I feel is closer to the console’s raw output. This made me want to keep experimenting, and looking at some of the other titles, mostly first-party ones, to see exactly how other studios have been profiting from them. As I am currently working on another deep dive, an idea popped into my mind. Will it be possible to reboot and force touch on the DualSense controller? Well, that was an answer already answered during the PS5 launch.

Soon after the DualSense console and controller were made available to the public, many were quick to discover that it was entirely possible to send audio to the DualSense and play it, not through its speakers, but through its haptic motors. Once you connect the DualSense to a computer via USB and change the audio properties of the output to DualSense, one can technically play a computer game, movie and/or music and get some forced feedback as the audio is translated to the console and outputs using its internal drivers. It’s rather elegant, but not entirely practical, as feedback takes all audio sources into account rather than those triggered by a particular action.

What that means is that the touch you feel is not based entirely on an action. For example, let’s say you’re playing Call of Duty on PS5. When you shoot, you get some kind of feedback from the console to simulate the sounds of bullets. If you try to do this on an unsupported title on PC, you might get the same response, but if the scene includes music, the character and other non-playable characters talking, or other sounds outside of shooting, all of that will be taken into account. This can translate to comments getting distorted because she doesn’t know exactly what to focus on, so she tries to run it all at once. So this method is not ideal at all unless the game in question has DualSense and haptic support right from the start.

The other thing is, just because you hear it on the screen doesn’t mean it will be the same type of sound used for touch. For the games that I found that really benefited from DualSense, a lot of the sound on the screen differed from the one I heard from the touches. This should come as no surprise as the console’s intent is not to reproduce what you hear on the screen, but to give you a sense of what that particular action might feel through the form of haptic feedback.

Take these clips from Marvel’s Spider-Man Miles Morales and Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart we recorded and compare how different the in-game sound is from what you hear on console.

We see? Quite different, isn’t it?

To make a long story short: At some point during the audio recording (a deep dive for that coming later) of both Spider-Man PS4 and Spider-Man Miles Morales, I realized I had enough to reconstruct some scenes using touch. I first experimented with the remaster, adding new touches, because as it is, it’s pretty standard compared to the massive leap by Miles Morales. I was very pleased with the scenes recreated, which you will see in another article later this year.

However, since I was in the process of recording vibrations directly from the DualSense, I was curious as to whether the recorded audio cues would play through the controller and provide the exact feedback that was originally given from the time it was produced on the PS5. To my surprise, I did, or at least close to the original reactions.

Before playing the trailer, you’ll want to do these things

Well, before we move on to the trailer, there are a few things you’ll want to do first. As this is about the DualSense controller and its haptic feedback, it’s not really intended to play the trailer directly through headphones or external speakers. For this reason, you will need the following:

  • DualSense Controller
  • USB cable to connect the controller to the computer
  • Desktop or Laptop
  • Change audio settings, use a third-party app like DualSenseX, or another app that makes it easy to enable haptic audio
  • VLC player if you want to play the trailer with its original sound and touches at the same time

There are different ways to enable haptic audio for DualSense on PC. If you are someone who does not want to use a third party app, you can follow this video guide. However, we found that using a third-party app is more straightforward without messing with our PC settings directly, so in this case we’ll look at setting up with the DualSenseX app, which you can download here.

Once the app is installed, you’ll want to connect your DualSense controller via a USB cable. The app should detect this and you should now have access to all settings. You’ll want to go to the Settings tab, then select the Console menu. You should see the option to enable voice touch, toggle it on. You’ll also want to choose a default sound. If you want the trailer to play in its original sound during the touch experience, you will need to choose a different sound on its own channel.

If you’re stuck with the default setting and don’t care about playing the trailer in its original sound, you should be ready to play the trailer now, which is below. Other than that, you can download both the original trailer and the edited trailer if you’re interested in playing the trailer with both haptics and original audio. You can download the package we made here: Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 PS5 Trailers

I’m not familiar with a lot of video playback apps, so we’ll be using VLC. If you do not have VLC, you can download it here: VLC Player

Open it, go to Tools, then Preferences. This will open a new window with additional settings. You need to be in the interface tab, and you want to make sure the “Allow one instance only” box is unchecked, otherwise you won’t be able to open two videos simultaneously.

Once you do that, open both videos, and pause them. Returning to the DualSenseX app, double-check the audio you selected for output, then go to the video featuring haptic audio. If you right-click on it and go to Audio, then Audio Devices, you can select the audio output to a different source. Make sure this is the device your DualSense controller is set to, and is different from what your speakers or headphones are set to.

If you do it right, you should be able to play the modified trailer with touch playback through the console instead of through the speakers. The audio in the original trailer must be played through speakers or headphones. The tricky part here is placing the windows so you can press the play button at the same time so they’re in sync, or else you’ll be ready to try out the trailer with haptic feedback!

Finally, here’s the trailer for Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 with full haptic feedback. Be sure to keep watching after the trailer for full details of where we caught each haptic sound.

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 Haptic Feedback Trailer

Fabulous isn’t it? Stay tuned for more haptic feedback here on the MP1st!

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