In a recent blog post, the PlayStation team confirmed that PlayStation 5 games will not support the PlayStation 4’s DualShock 4 controller.
“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,” Sony says regarding their decision to not make the DualShock 4 compatible with PlayStation 5 games.
The blog post goes on to clarify that DualShock 4 controllers and officially licensed third-party gamepad controllers will “work with supported PS4 games” on PlayStation 5. They also note that “the PS Move Motion Controllers and the PlayStation VR Aim Controller will work with supported PS VR games on PS5” and that “Specialty peripherals, such as officially licensed racing wheels, arcade sticks, and flight sticks, will work with PS5 games and supported PS4 games.”
Additionally, the PlayStation team clarifies that “The Platinum and Gold Wireless Headsets, as well as third-party headsets that connect via USB port or audio jack, will work on PS5” but that the headset companion app is not compatible with the PlayStation 5. The PlayStation Camera will also work with “PS5 for playing supported PS VR games” but it will require an adaptor that will be “provided at no additional cost to PS VR users.”
While Sony clarifies that some of these details are subject to be expanded upon and that certain third-party peripherals may or may not ultimately be compatible, the big news here is that you will not be able to use your PlayStation 4 controller to play PlayStation 5 games.
That bit of news has the distinction of being both surprising and not surprising based on how you look at it. Historically, many consoles have either not supported controllers from previous consoles or did support them with the understanding that you may have to work around some limited functionality. In that respect, this news is hardly a surprise.
Yet, with the Xbox team confirming that they intend for the Xbox Series X to fully-support pretty much every old Xbox accessory that the next-gen console is capable of supporting, there are some who wondered if Sony would step up and also expand their own hardware backward compatibility program. It now seems that will not be the case.
Your reaction to that news may depend somewhat on your expectations and whether or not you believe that the PlayStation 5’s controller will offer an experience that the PlayStation 4’s controller will not. While Sony has revealed the first details about the PlayStation 5’s controller, it does remain to be seen exactly how developers will use it in such a way that would make the PlayStation 4’s controller fundamentally incompatible with next-gen games.