DualShock 4 controllers are only partially compatible with the PlayStation 5

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,593   +606
Staff member
In context: One of the biggest questions when heading into a new generation of consoles is: "What can I carry over from my old console?" Sony understands that users would be wondering this, especially since the PS5 has radically new hardware. So Isabelle Tomatis, Sony's head of VR and peripherals marketing, posted a blog today explaining what users can expect of accessories, from the DualShock 4 to the PSVR.

Sony announced on Monday that the PlayStation 5 only has limited support for the DualShock 4 and other third-party controllers designed for the PlayStation 4. While they should work with backward-compatible PS4 games, the late-model gamepads will not function properly with next-generation PS5 titles.

The reason for this is that the DualSense controllers employ new technologies like haptic feedback and adaptive triggers that the DualShock doesn't have. For example, in April, Sony revealed that the vibration function operates very differently than it does in the DualShock 4. The DualSense's haptics can create a much wider variety of sensations from a hard recoil when firing a gun to the soft taps of falling sand.

While the DS4 and officially licensed third-party controllers should work with PS4 games played on the PS5, Sony makes no guarantees about any other last-generation accessories, even if they are licensed.

"Please note, not all PlayStation officially licensed or third-party peripherals/accessories may work on PS5," Sony said. "We recommend checking with the manufacturer to confirm whether a product will work on PS5 and specific titles."

There are some exceptions. Officially licensed specialty controllers like racing wheels, arcade sticks, and fight sticks will work with "supported" (back-compatible) PS4 titles and new PlayStation 5 games. Sony's Platinum and Gold wireless headsets and third-party headphones that utilize USB should also not have any problems.

The big question is will the PS5 play nice with the PSVR. The short answer is yes. However, the PlayStation Camera, used for tracking, requires a special adapter to work with the PS5. Sony says it will provide this adapter for free to PSVR users. Details on how to get it are forthcoming.

The long and short of it is that if you like having a backup controller, you're not going to want to skimp and just use your old DualShock 4. You'll be better served by buying an extra DualSense, as it will get you through any game regardless of platform. Sony has not announced pricing, but you can expect the newest controller will run at least $60-$80.

Image credit: Aleksandra Suzi

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QuantumPhysics

Posts: 3,553   +3,383
One of the worst things about backward compatibility of games, but not the controllers is that the games themselves were designed around their matching controllers and trying to play an older game with a newer controller often doesn't feel good or work well.

The Playstation 2 and Playstation 3's controllers for example had a completely different trigger pull, feel and depress sensitivity. Trying to play my favorite PS2 classics on the newer systems just isn't as delightful.
 

brucek

Posts: 532   +619
TechSpot Elite
My guess is a good heuristic will be, does Sony make a lot of money selling peripheral type X? Then a new one will be required.

Speaking of controllers, I really wish Sony would make or license a controller on the same quality level as the Xbox Elite. To me that's the one killer advantage of the Xbox side. (Yes, I know there's adapters, it's kind of hokey.)
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,008   +1,852
TechSpot Elite
I mean, this is expected for a new console, minus a few exceptions (mainly with Nintendo). I would like for an exception though if the Devs want to allow them for a PS5 party game or the like.

Otherwise, kudos to MS for allowing X1 controllers fully on the XSX. Maybe next gen Sony will follow too :p
 

Edster

Posts: 61   +46
My guess is a good heuristic will be, does Sony make a lot of money selling peripheral type X? Then a new one will be required.

Speaking of controllers, I really wish Sony would make or license a controller on the same quality level as the Xbox Elite. To me that's the one killer advantage of the Xbox side. (Yes, I know there's adapters, it's kind of hokey.)
Huh is interesting that the Elite controller is that big of an advantage to you, are you a frequent consumer of FPS games? When I tried my friend's Elite, all I thought was that is nice, but certainly not something I would pay a premium for over the normal Xbox controller unless I am actually aspiring to be a Esport gamer. Granted, I don't own Xbox so I have infrequent use of both controllers, whereas I am used to the DS4 I use for PS4 and PC so I may not had got used to the advantages. Or I am easily pleased.

The Switch Elite controller on the other hand was actually needed, ask anyone who played Mario Kart.

I am not surprised that you will need new controllers for PS5 considering they say they have new technology inside it, regardless of the cynicism that they make money off it. But in a way, it would be a good look if "party/split screen" games are compatible for a year, we like to play a bit of FIFA as a group, be a bit weird to have everyone bring their own cause not everyone forked out additional controllers yet. The good part is that the racing wheels can be ported over, unlike PS3 to PS4. My friends and I quit racing game on PS4 entirely because of that. As for headphones, while they say USB powered ones are fine, but there are a lot of USB with optical output headsets out there (for surround sound), are they necessarily going to be fully compatible with Sony also pushing out 3D audio?
 

Panda218

Posts: 676   +392
Huh is interesting that the Elite controller is that big of an advantage to you, are you a frequent consumer of FPS games? When I tried my friend's Elite, all I thought was that is nice, but certainly not something I would pay a premium for over the normal Xbox controller unless I am actually aspiring to be a Esport gamer. Granted, I don't own Xbox so I have infrequent use of both controllers, whereas I am used to the DS4 I use for PS4 and PC so I may not had got used to the advantages. Or I am easily pleased.

The Switch Elite controller on the other hand was actually needed, ask anyone who played Mario Kart.

I am not surprised that you will need new controllers for PS5 considering they say they have new technology inside it, regardless of the cynicism that they make money off it. But in a way, it would be a good look if "party/split screen" games are compatible for a year, we like to play a bit of FIFA as a group, be a bit weird to have everyone bring their own cause not everyone forked out additional controllers yet. The good part is that the racing wheels can be ported over, unlike PS3 to PS4. My friends and I quit racing game on PS4 entirely because of that. As for headphones, while they say USB powered ones are fine, but there are a lot of USB with optical output headsets out there (for surround sound), are they necessarily going to be fully compatible with Sony also pushing out 3D audio?
I never play FPS games with a controller and I'm an avid fan of the elite controllers. The extra buttons are huge to me, even in a single player experience. Sony released the addon that adds 2 buttons to the rear of the controller but I find it to be way too bulky and have **** battery life, just like the DS4 controllers.

I'm hoping that with logitech buying scuff gaming we'll see a solid controller for the ps5 from them and hopefully it'll have offset thumb sticks (that's my biggest gripe with dual shock controllers).

I don't buy the hype of all these "new features" nintendo tried to do the same with HD rumble and it seems to be the same as all the old rumbles, but louder.
 

brucek

Posts: 532   +619
TechSpot Elite
I'm not a competitive player and I doubt that the Elite controller makes me any better at any game. It's just a nice, high quality, premium product that feels good in my hands and once you're used to it other controllers can feel less than ideal.

re: pricing, the younger version of me would have scoffed at paying the price for it. I certainly won't disagree with anyone who says they have better ways to spend their money. But as an adult who has done well and is gauging value vs. say the various finishes and expenses that go into my home, $100 extra for the controller that feels best to me is not a hard sell at all.
 
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lostinlodos

Posts: 159   +35
When I got the switch it took me less than10 minutes to despise the con controller that came with it. Good for a gaming table but not much else. since my switch will forever be docked the pro controller was a no brainer.

That’s said it always struck me as odd people wanting to play new games on a new system with an old controller.
New system... new controller. Just par for the corse.
It’s foolish to think that you can make an old thing do all the new stuff. You can pair an XOX controller to the PS4 and a PS4 controller to the PC and with great determination you can pair a PC controller to either system.
With enough know how or a custom adapter kit you can play old Atari controllers on any Bluetooth or usb system. If you only need one button. ;)

Look, I love my Saturn controller and think it was one of the greatest controllers of all time. I have a few Bluetooth remakes and I even have a USB adapter for my pc/Mac to use the real controller.
But generally for console systems using the correct controller for the system and game at hand tends to be the best option.