Microsoft and Sony have yet to announce the prices for the Xbox Series X and PS5, which will undoubtedly play a part in the deciding factor when shoppers are deciding which console to go for this holiday season.
While we expect more news on that later this month, it's not just the price tag that could affect that final decision; Sony and Microsoft are taking very different approaches to the next generation of consoles, and platform exclusives aside, it looks like the Xbox Series X is the most consumer-friendly console - especially with the latest PS5 revelation.
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Ever since Sony revealed the PS5's new DualSense controller, it's made it clear that players will still be able to use the PlayStation 4's DualShock 4 controller with the console, which is handy if players want to dive into local multiplayer action with friends without forking out £50/ $60 for each new peripheral. However, there's a huge caveat to this that has only just come to light after it was revealed on the PlayStation blog (opens in new tab) this week - and it changes the game entirely.
The post is dedicated to giving prospective PS5 buyers the lowdown on which PS4 peripherals and accessories will be compatible with the PS5, and it's left the internet feeling a bit put out, after confirming that the DualShock 4 won't work with PS5 games, and will only work with "supported PS4 games." This goes for officially licensed third-party gamepad controllers too. Sony explained:
"We believe that PS5 games should take advantage of the new capabilities and features we’re bringing to the platform, including the features of DualSense wireless controller."
So you'll definitely need to buy extra controllers if you plan on playing local multiplayer. Even if you're dipping into your PS4 library, it's not necessarily done away with the issue, as we don't know the extent of the PS5's backwards compatibility with PS4 games.
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Microsoft on the other hand is doing everything it can to offer cross-gen support for its hardware and software, and has already made it clear (opens in new tab) that it supports cross-compatibility with its controllers:
"We’re supporting cross-compatibility between Xbox Series X and Xbox One consoles and controllers. They all work together with the same great Xbox Wireless Radio. Gamers can also play on more devices including PC, Android, and iOS.
"We’re implementing Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE) so that pairing to these devices is much easier. The new controller also remembers multiple devices so switching between them is more seamless. And a USB-C port allows gamers to play and charge with a modern cable that’s more readily available."
On the bright side, Sony has confirmed that peripherals like racing wheels, and arcade sticks will work with PS5 games and "supported PS4 games", and the PS Move Motion Controllers, PlayStation VR Aim Controller, and PlayStation Camera will also work with PS VR games on PS5 - although you'll need the adaptor for the camera.
Meanwhile, the Platinum and Gold Wireless Headsets will work with the PS5, but the headset companion app won't be supported.
So the long and short of it is that you'll need a PS5 and DualSense controller to play PS5 games, while you won't even need an Xbox Series X at the start of Microsoft's next console generation to enjoy its games, and if Microsoft is scrapping Xbox Live Gold, its console ecosystem is looking more attractive by the minute.