Sony has revealed that we’ll only be able to use DualShock 4 controllers on backwards compatible PlayStation 4 games on the PlayStation 5. They’re doing this because they want everyone to enjoy the new features on the DualSense, and they’ve also probably completely changed the UI so that it’s near impossible to work a PlayStation 5 with a DualShock 4. Microsoft however, is just going to let us do whatever we want.
As you can see in the above tweet, Microsoft is really doubling down on backwards compatibility. They’re allowing us to use the official Xbox One controllers, the Xbox Adaptive Controller, the Xbox Elite Wireless Controllers, SCUF Controllers, and of course all third-party devices, on the Xbox Series X. This is a huge contrast between the two big new consoles launching this year.
I understand why Sony is pushing the DualSense, it’s a solid decision for pushing their system forward. They want all of the features that they’ve put into the PlayStation 5 to be utilised as much as possible, which means using the latest controller. Microsoft on the other hand, have clearly designed their UI in such a way that it doesn’t matter so much what controller you use.
Now there is a downside to the fact that Microsoft is allowing us to use the Xbox One series of controllers. It means that all of the innovations that Sony has made with the DualSense definitely won’t be present. Microsoft has basically come out and said that a controller is a controller, and it doesn’t matter what you play with. For them, the games are what will make the difference with their new console, not the hardware. Sony is very much the opposite. They want people to experience games in a new way, which is why they’re pushing that DualSense so much.
I don’t think that anyone can fault Sony for what they’re doing. The PlayStation 5 is just moving in a slightly different direction to the Xbox Series X, and that really is absolutely fine. If we don’t have stark contrasts between these consoles, there’s no point in deciding which one is your favourite. I think that if Sony reveals more backwards compatible games, then this could be a really fun journey for the early days of the next-generation. It certainly will be with Microsoft regardless.