Those fortunate enough to purchase a PlayStation 5 will likely own a PlayStation 4 as well. And wouldn’t it be nice to own an extra controller for your old game console? After all, your PS5 purchase does come with its own DualSense controller.
Unfortunately, the standard PS5 DualSense controller will not work with a PS4. When users attempt to connect a PS5 controller to a PS4 console, the devices won’t be able to communicate with each other. Even when connecting the PS5 controller with a wire, the PS4 console will remain unresponsive.
The only way to get your PS5 controller to work with a PS4 is by using Remote Play and a PC. It’s a highly impractical way to get things to work, but it’s better than nothing:
- Set up Remote Play for PS4 on your PC using these instructions
- Plug your PS5 DualSense controller in the PC
- You can now use the PS5 DualSense controller to navigate your PS4 (with highly limited functionality)
It’s no surprise that the two video game console generations are incompatible. The PlayStation controllers are very different from each other. Looking over the key features, it’s easy to understand why the controllers aren’t easily interchangeable:
|PS5 Controller||PS4 Controller|
|Release date||Nov 12, 2020||Nov 15, 2013|
|Price||$69.99 USD||$59.99 USD|
|Size||6.3 x 2.6 x 4.2 “||6.4 x 2.0 x 3.9 “|
|Weight||280 g||210 g|
|Audio jack||3.5 mm||3.5 mm|
|Compatibility||PS5, PC||PS4, PC, Android, iOS|
Using Remote Play For Limited Compatibility
If you’re dead set on using that extra DualSense controller on the previous generation of Sony consoles, Remote Play is the way to go. This feature allows you to control the video game console from your PC.
However, it can’t really be called a ‘solution’. It’s not practical, since you’ll be working with multiple devices at once. And a lot of functionality of the new DualSense controller will be gone. The following features of the PS5 controller will NOT work using the Remote Play functionality for PlayStation 4:
- Haptic feedback
- Adaptive triggers
And it probably wouldn’t matter much, because videogames on the PS4 weren’t designed to use these features to begin with. Still, the workaround is not that great, so it would make more sense to get yourself an extra DualShock 4 controller.
Why Won’t PS5 Controllers Work On PS4?
After all, you can also use PS4 controllers on a PS3 with no extra setup needed. But that was because DualShock 3 to DualShock 4 was only a small evolution. The DualSense controller on the PS5 can be called a revolution.
The controller name gives it away: the PS5 controller isn’t called DualShock 5 for a reason. Sony is starting a new generation of controllers here. There are some drastic changes to the fundamentals. Gamers should play Astro’s Playroom (the game you get with your console purchase) to experience the differences.
Sony consciously made the decision to not build any backwards compatibility into the DualSense controller. Or it might not have been possible from a technological point of view. At the same time, PS4 games are playable on PS5. Making the controllers backwards compatible as well would have been a logical choice here.
And let’s be honest, the money will likely have played a role as well. Sony will know that the incompatibility of the PlayStation 5 DualSense controller with older consoles will make users purchase more of their products. It might not have been their primary driver, but it could definitely have played a role in early decision making for the PS5 controller development.
Fun Fact: PS4 Controllers Will Work On PS5
Interestingly enough, it is possible to connect a PlayStation 4 controller to a PS5 console using a cable (USB port) or wireless Bluetooth connection. But only for PlayStation 4 games, which are backwards compatible with the new video game console (as mentioned earlier). To do this, try the following:
- Open ‘Settings’ on your PS5 Home Screen, choose the gear icon in the top-right corner
- In your ‘Settings’ menu, scroll down and choose ‘Accessories’
- Turn on ‘Bluetooth’ and ‘Accessories’
- Choose ‘Bluetooth Accessories’
- Press and hold the ‘Share’ and ‘PS Logo’ button on your unconnected PS4 controller, do this until the lights start flashing (this means a connection will be made)
- The PS4 controller will appear under ‘Accessories found’ on the ‘Bluetooth Accessories’ page. Select ‘DualShock 4’
- Confirm the registration of your Bluetooth device (i.e. the DualShock 4)
You will now be able to play on your PS5 with an older DualShock 4 controller. But this will only be limited to backwards compatible PS4 games. Again, if you’d like to play PS5 games using a PS4 controller on a PS5 console, you need to use the Remote Play method.
This means that the compatibility of PS4 controllers on your new console will only go so far. Perfect to play your ‘older’ videogames, I would say. So feel free to disconnect that old PS4 console from the television once you’ve upgraded. You will no longer need to use it.
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