PlayStation 5 (PS5) Backward Compatibility Explained

It is another day where Sony releases a new console for all of us; the PlayStation 5. It is a long-awaited console and many fans are excited about it.   

The latest announcement revealed the price and we just grateful for the pricing. The PS5 Digital Edition will cost at USD 399.99 and the PS5 with an Ultra HD Blu – ray disc drive will cost for USD 499.99.  

And with every gen console came out, we always come back to the same questions again and again; does PS5 backward compatibility?  

Well, before we going to get the answer, let us understand what is the meaning of backward compatibility. It is a system that allows for the older system to operate into it. Meaning to say, if PS5 is backward compatibility, it means PS5 can play with its older console like PS4, PS3, PS2, or PS1 games.   

Can you play PS5 games on PS4?  

The answer is absolute no. All games that are designed for PS5 will not be able to be played on PS4. That’s sad news of course. Unlike Microsoft, they did plans to make their Xbox Series X games to be compatible with Xbox One. While Sony on the other hand focuses on the design to be specifically for the PS5 making it won’t work on PS4.  

However, if the games are label as cross-gen games, that is another story to be told. Games like these will get both PS5 and PS4 versions. And there are many confirmed games that will be coming both on PS5 and PS4; Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Watch Dogs Legion, and Cyberpunk 2077.  

Does PS5 Backward Compatibility?  

The answer would be yes to a certain extent. PS5 will only feature backward compatibility with PS4 games only which means that PS3, PS2, and PS1 titles will be missing out. PlayStation CEO, Jim Ryan confirmed that 99% of PS4 games work fine with PS5 and only 1% will be incompatible with PS5 hardware. The 1% games that are unplayable at present will be a rare case to be boot up using the PS5 system due to it being based in part of PS4’s architecture.  

Ryan also added that a vast majority of over 4000 PS4 games will be ready to be played on PS5 backward compatibility. Plus, the compatible titles will run on a higher and more stable frame rate resulting in higher resolutions.  

The history of PlayStation to commit on backward compatibility for their next-gen system is really inconsistent up until now. It all started with PlayStation 2. Sony manages to make it a real standout for PS2 ability to play almost all original PlayStation games on the system. It even allows original PlayStation accessories to be on PS2 such as controllers and memory cards.  

It then starts to get weird when they launched PlayStation 3. The launch version of PS3 had full backward compatibility to play both original PlayStation and PS2 games. But the later versions of PS3 dropped their support to play previous console games.  

After that, we received PlayStation 4 which regrettably has no backward compatibility whatsoever. Later on, to compensate this, they made a new service called PlayStation Now. This service bringing unmodified versions of other games from across PlayStation history to be playable using the PS4 system.  

With all the history on how Sony treated its console, it’s a relief PS5 is able to play PS4 games. This could be a deciding factor especially to those gamers who are on a fence between to get PS5 or Xbox Series X.


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