A recent update to Sony’s PlayStation 5 has broken compatibility with several third-party controller adapters. Specifically the Cronus Zen and Besavior U5 stop working after a PS5 update to 24.01-08.60.00. The patch notes for the update do not mention anything related to this change. Unlike Xbox’s policy change on unlicensed accessories it isn’t clear if this change is intentional.
Considering these controller adapters (or emulators) can and are used to cheat, it’s not outlandish to think the block is intentional. As with Xbox, this change can affect players’ legitimate accessible controller setups. While it is true that both platforms now have an official adaptive controller offering, they are not universally accessible for all. Players have different needs and both the Xbox Adaptive Controller and the Access Controller for PS5 cater to these differently. Not to mention players may have controller setups that they can’t afford, or simply don’t want, to replace.
A workaround, but not really
XIM Matrix, a device with similar uses, uses a different method to connect to the PlayStation 5. It uses Remote Play and doesn’t seem to be affected. The best workaround for now, as mentioned on the Zen website and U5 forums, is to skip the PS5 update. In the case of the Cronus Zen, a workaround using Remote Play may work. If players have already updated their console, they will have to wait until a workaround is found. PlayStation may also reverse the blocking change, but that seems less likely.
Freedom of controls
Whether intentional or not, this change unfairly impacts disabled users. While everyone can agree it’s important to counter cheating on multiplayer experiences, this should not block others from playing altogether. This is a part of the industry where I’d love to see the big three look beyond their platform bubble. Working together, or at least not against each other, to find ways for universal controller support. Imagine being able to use a setup designed for your abilities across platforms. Or simply use your favorite controller on all your devices. Players should have this freedom to choose their own controller method. And if not that, at the very least players should be informed early about changes impacting the way they play.