Probably the most anticipated console launch of the last decade, the release of the PlayStation 5 left many a little bit confused by Sony’s decisions regarding reverse compatibility – more especially around VR and Controllers. However, that’s been cleared up, and this is the breakdown.
Firstly, the PS5 brings in a whole host of new technologies, while the PSVR – which it thankfully is compatible with – has really done its fair share of ageing, especially when pitted against rivals like the Oculus Quest 2.
Secondly, the Dualshock4 controller will work specifically on PS 4 supported games, and only the DualSense controls will be usable on PS5 games.
This backwards compatibility issue – the need to have a PS4 controller at hand to play last gen games – represents an added cost on those who might have sold their PS4 consoles, or simply never owned one. However, the added spend on the buyers side does not come as a surprise. The Story of previous PlayStation releases went a similar way – the DualShock 2 was not compatible with the PS3, with the narrative remaining unchanged for the release of the PS4.
All Eyes On VR
Another issue is VR, a budding gamer looking to enjoy their PSVR experience via the technologically superior PS needs more than just a headset and standard console. In this instance, one needs to be prepared to purchase the whole enchilada. That’s the PS Camera as well as the PS Camera adapter for PS5. Furthermore, many instances may require you to get your hands on a DualShock 4 controller, a pair of PS Move controllers, and possibly even the PS Aim controller.
In the meantime, PS5 owners will have to get around those sorts of hurdles to take advantage of the current PSVR – yes, there are whispers of a PSVR 2 going around the rumour mill.
However, not all prospects of the DualSense controller’s use in virtual reality gaming are bleak. There happens to be a hidden talent that the DualSense controller comes with – despite the DualSense’s lack of a light bar (used as a part of many game’s motion tracking mechanisms), it can still be used for titles that don’t employ controller tracking.
These are games like DirtRally, SkyrimVR (in gamepad mode as opposed to PS Move mode), and Resident Evil 7 VR – all of which utilise the camera for head tracking instead of controller tracking.
This one feature could go some way in relieving the frustration – for those who don’t have DualShock 4 – that may come from those titles that require the older controller. At least you’ll be able to play some of the titles in your collection.
For the time being, this is what PlayStation 5 owners looking to get in on the virtual reality craze will have to deal with. This should only worsen with time as new release titles start to leave old technology behind, especially after Sony releases the much anticipated update to their PSVR platform.