Former Xbox Boss Shares His Thoughts On Sony's PS5 DualShock Strategy

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Former Xbox boss Albert Penello has shared his thoughts on Sony’s recent announcement that DualShock 4 controllers cannot be used to play PlayStation 5 games.

In a series of tweets, Penello started off by saying it’s “fair enough” that Sony wants to prioritize its new controller to make use of its new features, such as haptic feedback.

However, Penello mentioned that Sony’s announcement “feels off.”

“Technology-wise, they clearly work,” Penello said of DualShock 4 controllers working on PS5. “Other accessories will be supported (Fight sticks, PSVR) and that’s awesome. When you look at the actual DualsSense features, there is nothing about what they are doing that should prevent DS4 from working.”

“Same # of buttons. Same layout. Both have haptics, motion, and touch,” he added. “The one feature only on the DualSense is the microphone –and any games *needing* the microphone could use of headset on DS4. There is literally no reason the DS4 would not work for all PS5 games.”

Penello went on to say that he believes the “vast majority” of PS5 games coming out will also factor in the DualShock 4 since third-party developers will be releasing PS4 editions of their games alongside the next-gen versions. Penello also wondered what might happen when a PS4 game gets an upgrade for PS5.

“What about upgraded titles? If a PS4 game running on PS5 gets an upgrade, does the DS4 stop working? Will customers have to forego title updates for controller compatibility? If they don’t, then the argument breaks. If they do, this seems very messy,” Penello went on to say.

Penello said a better solution might have been to allow the DualSense controller to work on PS4. “Stop selling DS4 and make DualSense your ‘cross-gen’ controller,” Penello said.

Penello, who now works at Amazon, said he believes Sony is adopting this strategy to make more money.

“This seems like a $$ play which is totally Sony’s prerogative. What I really hope is that all this leads to a cheaper console. If they really are shooting for $499 or higher, this bill is adding up. I bet DualSense is more expensive than DS4, too. I’m betting $69,” he said.

The DualShock 4 controller can be used on the PS5, but only to play supported backwards-compatible PS4 titles. Sony explained that PS5 games will not be compatible with the DualShock 4 because it feels that the games “should take advantage of the new capabilities and features we’re bringing to the platform, including the features of DualSense wireless controller.”

Sony’s strategy stands in contrast to Microsoft’s. The Xbox Series X will work with existing Xbox One controllers for its new games.

This is just the latest example of how Sony and Microsoft have different strategies for next-gen. Sony is working on PS5-exclusive titles for the console’s launch, while Microsoft’s marquee Xbox Series X launch title Halo Infinite will also come to Xbox One (and PC).

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