PS4 DualShock 4 controller does not work with PS5 games

Your existing PS4 gamepad will work with the PS5 console, but only when playing PlayStation 4 games.

If you’re wondering whether you’ll be able to use your PlayStation 4 controller on the PlayStation 5 then Sony has revealed the answer is… sort of. It’ll only work with ‘supported’ PlayStation 4 games and not at all with PlayStation 5 titles.

From the use of the word supported it’s not really clear whether not all PlayStation 4 games will work with the old controller or not all games will work on the PlayStation 5, but either way there’s certainly no claim of 100% backwards compatibility or anything close to it.

To be honest, the whole FAQ is short on detail and comes with the proviso that, ‘Not all PlayStation officially licensed or third party peripherals/accessories may work on PS5. We recommend checking with the manufacturer to confirm whether a product will work on PS5 and specific titles.’

The PlayStation Camera will work but will require a special adapter which, surprisingly, will be offered for free to PlayStation VR owners. The PlayStation Move motion controllers and PlayStation VR Aim Controller will work without any issues though.

Headsets, including Sony’s Platinum and Gold wireless models, should also work if they connect via USB or an audio jack, although the headset companion app will no longer be compatible.

According to Sony, the reason the DualShock 4 won’t work with PlayStation 5 games is that they’re specifically designed to use the features of the DualSense controller.

That’s relatively reasonable but the real problem here is Sony’s piecemeal approach to backwards compatibility, which stands in stark contrast to Microsoft’s very proactive attempt to try and get as many old games and peripherals working as possible on Xbox Series X.

There’s nothing unusual about Sony’s approach compared to previous generations – in fact it’s more generous than usual – but compared to Microsoft it’s still going to be seen as a weak link in the PlayStation 5’s next gen armour.

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