Sony have detailed the accessibility options that will be built into the PlayStation 5 system software at launch, taking the already broad options available for the PlayStation 4 and expanding them further.
Text to speech, inverting colours, custom button assignments and more are present, but the PS5 will also offer voice dictation through the DualSense controller or other connected microphone, a Screen Reader feature to speak on-screen text, and text to speech for party chats. There will also be colour correction to allow users to adjust colours on a system level, and the ability to set presets that supporting games can load up automatically as they launch.
Obviously, this also extends to the DualSense controller as well, with the PS5 letting you reduce or completely disable the haptic feedback and adaptive triggers built into the controller, just as you can turn the rumble feature off for the DualShock 4 on PS4.
Of course, PlayStation 5 games will be best experienced with the DualSense and all it offers, but if you can turn those features off… well, why can’t we use the DualShock 4 for PlayStation 5 games again?
Sony stated back in August that the DualShock 4 and other PlayStation 4 peripherals can all be used with the PlayStation 5, they will only work for backward compatible titles. This cuts off not just the DualShock 4 from new games, but also all of the expensive licensed pro controllers that many users have bought to up their game in clutch multiplayer moments.
“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,” said Isabelle Tomatis, from PlayStation VR, Peripherals Marketing and Licensing in the August blog post. The question is, if you can turn off all those features, why can’t you knowingly opt to use a DualShock 4 in those situations? It would certainly help lessen the sticker shock of needing to buy multiple controllers for local multiplayer games like Sackboy: A Big Adventure, Overcooked! All You Can Eat, or Dirt 5’s split-screen.
PlayStation 5 buyers will potentially have to keep several PS4 era accessories hanging around for the next few years anyway. The new PS5 camera is seemingly not compatible with PS4 games that use a camera, meaning that you need the PlayStation Camera for PSVR to work, with games potentially relying on the DualShock 4’s light bar for tracking, and in order to use Move controllers with Dreams when playing in PS5 backward compatibility. You’ll need to apply for a free camera adapter, since the old PS4 camera used a proprietary connector.
This is in stark contrast to Xbox. Admittedly, the new Xbox Series X|S controller has none of the new haptic tricks and adaptive trigger advancements of the DualSense, but still modifies the inner workings to try and reduce the controller latency for inputs. Despite this, Microsoft are maintaining full compatibility with Xbox One peripherals on Xbox Series.
You’d ruddy well hope so when Microsot are still pushing out limited edition controllers in the old design!