The PS5 will allow players to use PS4 DualShock 4 controllers – but only on PS4 games. According to Sony’s FAQ :
We believe that PS5 games should take advantage of the new capabilities and features we’re bringing to the platform, including the features of DualSense wireless controller.
Players are taking this quote to mean only one thing, that Sony could have made PS4 controllers work with modern games, but they just chose to make them incompatible.
Controller compatibility has been a sore spot for the PlayStation line of consoles. The PS3 could use pretty much any controller you plugged in , and they didn’t even need to be official.
That insane level of compatibility was stripped way back for the PS4. Without a whole lot of messing around, you basically couldn’t use a DualShock 3 on the PS4. Now it looks like the PS5 is going to keep that trend going.
Want to plug-in your DualShock 4 into your shiny new PS5 when you have a friend over for local co-op in a next-gen game? You’re outta luck.
While that might not seem like a big deal to most people, it’s annoying that Sony has decided to make them obsolete on purpose, even if the older controller is a particular player’s preference.
Even with new haptic feedback and reactive triggers, the DualSense’s unique form factor might take some doing to convince a section of gamers.
Watch: What New Features Does the DualSense Even Provide?
Comparing the PS5 and the Xbox Series X gets easier as we get closer to the release period. We’re finally starting to get enough information to make informed decisions about which next-gen machine is for us as consumers.
So far, it seems like the PS5 will have to rely solely on its decent exclusives because it’s not precisely a free-and-open platform. The Xbox family of consoles will soon be playable on almost anything , with pretty much whatever controller you like .
Even if the controller situation seems like a trivial detail to most gamers, you have to admit it’s a sign of the difference in philosophy between PlayStation and Xbox for this upcoming generation. We’ll have to wait a couple of years before assessing which console platform got it right with the next-gen stakes.