PS5 Will Have Backwards Compatibility With PS4 Arcade Sticks

by in Fighting Game News | Aug, 7th 2020

Sony has announced that a number of their current-gen peripherals, like arcade sticks, will work with the PS5, likely in a bid to entice current owners of the PS4 to upgrade their systems with backwards compatibility. Additionally, this means that manufacturers of these products will be able to still sell through their stock and produce items for both the PS4 and PS5 without fear of having a massive back stock they won’t be able to sell eventually. 

It also should help to support the current install base of PS4s around the world, which is currently the largest console in gaming, for years to come. 

What Peripherals Will Work on the PS5

  • DualShock 4 controllers
  • Officially licensed third-party controllers
  • Officially licensed specialty peripherals (racing wheels, flight sticks, arcade sticks) 
  • Platinum and Gold wireless headsets
  • Third-party headsets that connect through USB or audio jacks
  • PlayStation Camera
  • PlayStation Move Motion controllers
  • PlayStation VR Aim controllers

This Is Huge for the FGC and Next-Gen Fighting Games

One of the biggest problems with fighting games, when a new console generation comes up, is that peripherals typically are not cross-compatible with the new system. This usually means that modders and other boards have to be added to existing sticks, if not outright purchased new. It seems that this won’t be the case this time around, however, as PlayStation has said that officially licensed specialty peripherals will be fully backwards compatible on the PS5.

Of course, that means that the product has to be licensed. There are a number of stick manufacturers out there, such as the HitBox, and others, that are not licensed products and there is no guarantee that these products will continue to function properly on the PS5 without more modifications.

However, this is ultimately still very good news for the Fighting Game Community. With an install base of arcade sticks and other licensed products already ready to go from years of playing on the PS4, games like Guilty Gear Strive, which saw a closed beta earlier this year, will be able to hit the ground running when they release alongside the PS5 later this year due to the backwards compatibility. 

Additionally, the fact that Flight Sticks will also work is good news for the upcoming Star Wars Squadrons, which will release on PS4 first. Given the reverse compatibility of the PS5, this means that players will be able to instantly carry on playing the game as though nothing happened – ultimately making the PS5 functionally little more than a PS4 Pro with some exclusive titles that you can’t play without it. 

Normal Controllers Aren’t So Lucky

DualShock 4 controllers very specifically won’t work with PlayStation 5 games as they have been designed with the new controls in mind. However, you will still be able to use the DualShock 4 to play PS4 games and earlier on the PS5. As the system is fully backwards compatible with the PS4, that’s good news, and you won’t have to keep your PS4 hooked up in order to keep playing your library. This is also great news if you’re looking to trade in your PS4 at a GameStop or similar – there’s no reason to keep the old console if you’re planning to upgrade unless you plan on having another setup somewhere else in your house. 

This is pretty normal for PlayStation controllers, however. Most of them are not compatible with the next generation of consoles, so we should consider ourselves lucky that Sony is allowing the DualShock 4 to connect to the console at all. This is because doing so would force developers to account for both controller schemes and splinter the player base in doing so – that’s something that Sony obviously isn’t very keen to do. 

The DualSense controller has a ton of new features that the Dualshock 4 likely won’t be able to keep up with. This is actually in contrast with the Xbox Series X system, which will allow Xbox Elite Series 2 and other Bluetooth Xbox controllers to function on that system.


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