PS5 games won't support PS4 controllers — here's why

ps5 controller
(Image credit: Sony)

We already know that the PS5 is designed to play almost all of your PS4 games, but what about accessories? Sony just took to the PlayStation Blog to answer that very question, and it's mostly good news — with a slight catch.

In a FAQ published today, Sony outlined exactly which PS4 accessories will work with its next-generation console. The answer is almost all of them, though there are some slight caveats to be aware of.

The PS5 will support "specialty peripherals" including officially licensed arcade sticks, flight sticks and racing wheels for both PS5 and PS4 games. You'll also be able to use Sony's Platinum and Gold Wireless Headsets, in addition to any gaming headset that connects via USB or the 3.5mm headphone jack. 

You'll also be able to use the PS Move Motion Controller and the PlayStation VR Aim Controller when using your PlayStation VR headset on PS5. And if you own the PlayStation Camera, you'll be able to use it with your PS5 via a special adapter that Sony says it will provide at no extra cost.

Finally, the PS5 will support the DualShock 4 controller, but there are some limitations. You'll be able to use the older PS4 controller (as well as officially licensed third party controllers) when playing PS4 games on your PS5, but not for PS5 games.

"We believe that PS5 games should take advantage of the new capabilities and features we're bringing to the platform, including the features of the DualSense wireless controller," wrote Isabelle Tomatis, who handles PSVR and peripherals marketing at Sony. 

That's not a huge surprise, but it does mean that you'll have to pony up for additional DualSense controllers for PS5 multiplayer games rather than using your old DualShock 4 pads. That strategy is also in contrast with Microsoft's approach, as the Xbox Series X will work with all existing Xbox One accessories regardless of what you're playing (Microsoft even took the opportunity to make a quick jab at Sony about it on Twitter).

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It's yet another notable difference between the PS5, which seems to be focused on being a true generational leap, and the Xbox Series X, which is positioned as just one piece of a larger Xbox ecosystem. That should make for an interesting showdown when both consoles arrive this holiday season. 

Michael Andronico

Mike Andronico is Senior Writer at CNNUnderscored. He was formerly Managing Editor at Tom's Guide, where he wrote extensively on gaming, as well as running the show on the news front. When not at work, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter, devouring Twitch streams and trying to convince people that Hawkeye is the best Avenger.