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Sony confirms you can’t play PS5 games with your PS4 controller

Published Aug 3rd, 2020 4:31PM EDT
DualSense vs. DualShock 4
Image: PlayStation

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  • Sony revealed the DualSense controller for the PS5 earlier this year, and this week, the company confirmed that you will need one to play PS5 games.
  • Sony shared its PS5 compatibility plans for every PS4 accessory and peripheral on Monday.
  • You will still be able to use your DualShock 4 controller to play PS4 games on your PS5, but you won’t be able to use the PS4 wireless controller to play PS5 games.

If you were holding out hope that you might be able to play local multiplayer games on your PS5 without having to buy at least one extra DualSense controller, Sony has some bad news for you. On Monday, Sony shared a Q&A about the compatibility of PS4 peripherals and accessories on PS5 on the PlayStation Blog, and though most will still work with the next-generation console, there are some exceptions, the most notable of which is the DualShock 4.

Here’s the official answer to the question about whether or not the PlayStation 4’s DualShock 4 controller will work with PS5 games: “No, 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.”

If you’ve seen a picture of the DualSense, you probably understand why you would need one to play PS5 games. The DualSense represents arguably the most significant shift in design for a Sony controller since Sony added joysticks to the PS1 controller. Aside from the new look and feel, the DualSense adds a number of new features, including haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, and a built-in microphone. Some PS5 games will apparently lean heavily on these new features, which is why you won’t be able to play them with a DualShock 4.

The good news is that your DualShock 4 controller won’t be completely useless if and when you decide to upgrade to a PS5. Here’s how all of your current accessories and peripherals will work with the new console:

  • Specialty peripherals, such as officially licensed racing wheels, arcade sticks, and flight sticks, will work with PS5 games and supported PS4 games.
  • The Platinum and Gold Wireless Headsets, as well as third-party headsets that connect via USB port or audio jack, will work on PS5 (the headset companion app is not compatible with PS5).
  • The DualShock 4 wireless controller and PlayStation officially licensed third-party gamepad controllers will work with supported PS4 games.
  • Both the PS Move Motion Controllers and the PlayStation VR Aim Controller will work with supported PS VR games on PS5.

We still don’t know much about backwards compatibility of PS4 games on PS5, but it seems like you’ll be able to use your DualShock 4 with most, if not all, supported games. Your PlayStation VR accessories will still be usable as well, and in a separate section, Sony confirms that “PlayStation Camera will work with PS5 for playing supported PS VR games.” You’ll need an adaptor to make it work, but Sony says it will provide one for free.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.